• Unit 3A, Adwick Park, Swinton, Rotherham S63 5AB

£4M cost avoidance through the fleetwide application of Stress Wave Monitoring

A north sea platform supply vessel operator recognised the importance of intelligent maintenance and the associated benefits of being able to predict, schedule and carry out optimised maintenance prior to the occurrence of operational failure of key assets onboard their vessels.

The Challenge

The global PSV (Public Services Vehicle) operator was experiencing random component failure during chartered service. The main alternators across the fleet were starting to prove to be an unreliable key asset; these often failed with no warning, resulting in a significant effect on operational availability.

This caused not only the significant cost of asset replacement due to damage related to failures but also significant levels of lost revenue for the operator due to vessels being unavailable to fulfil operational requirements Previous attempts at deploying condition monitoring technology yielded little success. As a result, confidence across the organisation became very low in monitoring technologies, techniques and the accuracy of the data from them.

The operator reported an estimated £100,000 per alternator bearing failure due to consequential damage requiring a full asset replacement. The operator was looking to allocate procurement budgets to replace all the problematic asset types unless a suitable solution could be found.

The Solution

PCMS Engineering proposed a stress wave monitoring solution to detect and predict bearing condition deterioration, allowing the operator to effectively plan bearing changes and prevent in-service failure.

Initial tests were conducted to validate that the bearing defect problems could be identified. Once this was established, the severity levels for alarming were adjusted. Based on this time from detection of potential fault to failure was determined.

Stress wave technology now allows the early detection of bearing defects giving a nine to 12-month window of opportunity to assess the rates of deterioration and plan bearing changes prior to the occurrence of failure

The Results

Since 2010, PCMS and the operator have built a strong partnership through the application of condition monitoring technologies that are now implemented across their entire fleet.

The operator reported significant cost avoidance with an immediate benefit of not needing to replace all of their shaft generators within the fleet.

Also, based on the detection abilities, there have been zero failures of the generators since the program was operational.

  • Costing saving of an estimated £4 million
  • Zero failures – previously average five failures per year at £100k each
  • Data-driven evidence to support improvements in maintenance practices
  • Data to provide evidence for class approved non-maintenance authorisations (Deferrals)

For more information about our stress wave monitoring services, contact us on 01709 876712 or email info@pcmseng.co.uk