SKF equipment used to control costs


SKF has designed a condition-based monitoring programme for the marine industry to enable ship operators to control costs and avoid damaging equipment breakdowns.

One leading operator, Capital Ship Management Corp, has been investigating condition monitoring strategies (since 2006, in order to reduce the maintenance costs and minimise unexpected machinery and equipment breakdowns. Together with SKF, Capital came up with an effective strategy by utilising a new hand-held device, launched recently by SKF: the SKF QuickCollect. The company has implemented the solution across a fleet of 30 vessels, with a plan to extend the programme for the whole fleet of 56 vessels. SKF helped the company to determine which on-board machines should be regularly monitored.

SKF’s equipment supports ship operators such as Capital to improve the reliability of operations. On-board engineers use the hand-held device to collect vibration data from critical machinery, including cargo pumps, engine room fans, compressors, purifiers and electric motors.

George Ioannidis, Technical Fleet Director at Capital, said: “The SKF QuickCollect portable vibration measuring instrument helps us to have quick and reliable results for immediate action and reduces the cost of repairs dramatically. Furthermore, the on-board engineers now using this vibration device may collect vibration data from all critical and non-critical machinery, including cargo pumps, engine room fans, compressors, purifiers, electric motors etc, and present detailed vibration reports to class surveyors during periodical machinery survey (CMS).”

The device is small, portable and offers a fast, convenient way to monitor the condition of critical machinery. The quick and accurate vibration data analysis and its ease of use make it a powerful diagnostic tool, not only for all chief engineers but also for office technical superintendents.

It provides vibration data in real time, allowing engineers to carry out maintenance and replace components immediately if required. It collects velocity, acceleration enveloping and temperature data and connects with mobile apps such as QuickCollect and ProCollect, accessed via a tablet or smartphone. Its easy-to-understand interface means that even a non-trained user can understand its principles of operation and validate results of the vibration data measurements. The system can be customised for different marine customers, depending on their specific needs.

Vibration data can be viewed in real time through the app or downloaded and reviewed using Analysis and Reporting Manager (ARM) software on any accessible PC. Data can also be uploaded to the cloud, allowing SKF’s onshore vibration analysts to make a more detailed assessment and prepare a report if needed.

“By giving operators access to data that helps them prioritise maintenance work, our solutions directly support them in preventing unexpected failures and reducing operating costs,” said Petros Petritis, SKF Marine Sales Manager.

Capital’s fleet includes 48 tankers (ten VLCCs, four Suezmaxes, seven Aframaxes, 26 MR/Handy product tankers and one small tanker), seven LNG carriers and one modern capesize bulk carrier, with a total deadweight tonnage of approximately 6.5 million tons.