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Parker Kittiwake launches 'breakthrough' analyser for simultaneous onboard testing

ATR analyser measures seven parameters at once using a single sample.

Parker Kittiwake's Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) analyser simultaneously measures seven parameters using one oil sample. Image credit: Parker Kittiwake

Updated on 09 Nov 2017 15:43 GMT

Parker Kittiwake, a manufacturer of condition monitoring technologies, has today announced the launch of its new Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) analyser.

According to Parker Kittiwake, the new analyser represents a "breakthrough" for the simultaneous testing of base number (BN), total acid number (TAN), insolubles, soot loading, viscosity, FAME and water content of oil samples on board a ship, allowing all parameters to be measured using a single sample in one test kit.

The ATR analyser uses infrared spectroscopy to determine the presence of damaging elements such as solid particles or water in a representative sample of oil. It requires no extensive sample preparation and does not utilize any wet chemistry, negating the hazards associated with chemical reagents, as well as the cost of transporting them around the world throughout the lifetime of the test kit.

Infrared spectroscopy is a technology used by laboratories to provide a detailed analysis of the operating conditions within the engine. The ATR analyser brings this technology onboard, giving the operator the data required in real time to allow preventative action to be taken before catastrophic damage and unplanned downtime occurs.

The ATR analyser processes the raw data gathered from the oil sample to return a reading across seven parameters in a simple format for the ship's engineer.

Explaining the benefits of the system, Parker Kittiwake said: "Frequent testing is essential to understanding the operating conditions in the system, allowing engineers to prevent unnecessary damage to critical and expensive engine components. Until now, operators have required a suite of condition monitoring tools to determine the operational integrity of the system, testing for each potentially damaging element separately. This increases cost, the time needed to carry out the testing, and the amount of equipment required. For the first time, the Parker Kittiwake ATR analyser allows operators to combine all of these tests and measure the parameters simultaneously using a single, onboard test kit."

Marine Condition Monitoring Manager Larry Rumbol, who last month addressed the issue of flashpoint levels on Bunker Index, said: "Engineers today face a multitude of challenges brought about by new equipment, technology and operating methods. Their best line of defence is to proactively monitor the condition of the engine through testing a range of parameters to understand the conditions within the system, allowing them to take control of the risks. By taking sophisticated spectroscopy technology out of the laboratory and bringing it straight to the engineers onboard in the form a simple, compact analyser, we can help the crew to maximise the operational efficiencies of their vessels whilst also preventing unplanned downtime and reducing costs."

Rumbol added: "Proactive condition monitoring should be as simple and cost effective to undertake as possible. Providing engineers with the tools they need, without increasing the need for extensive training or complex equipment, is the best way to ensure they have the information required to effectively manage the operational efficiency of the vessel. The ATR analyser provides operators with laboratory standard testing onboard and in real time, allowing them to take immediate action and stand the best chance of preventing costly engine damage."

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