ZF introduces condition monitoring for thruster systems


ZF Marine Krimpen introduced its Condition Monitoring System during the Maritime Industry Exhibition in Gorinchem, the Netherlands, in May 2019.

The Condition Monitoring System is equipped with various sensors and an intelligent electronic evaluation unit. This system measures vibrations, which indicate the condition of the bearings and gears in the thruster’s upper and lower gearbox. The measurement results help the operators identify early on which components need to be replaced or maintained. This means that repairs can be planned and a worsening in the conditions of the components can be avoided, which can prevent downtime and shorten maintenance times. It also extends the service life of the monitored systems and components, allowing the operators to concentrate on their main job.

Visitors to the exhibition also had an opportunity to learn more about the company’s oil cleaning system.

“Particularly with biodegradable oil, it is important to keep contaminants, such as water, out of the system so as to prevent downtime caused by mechanical failure,” said Peter Toxopeus, Sales Manager at ZF Marine Krimpen BV.

By heating up the oil, the water evaporates and a cotton filter filters out the particles down to 1 µm. Clean oil is pumped back into the system, which extends the service life of the oil by ten to 15 times. In conclusion, fewer oil top-ups are needed, which means that operators save money, according to ZF Marine Krimpen.