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German firm buys Kittiwake LinerSCAN systems

Reederei F. Laeisz buys technology for cylinder oil optimization and liner wear monitoring.

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Updated on 08 Apr 2009 14:24 GMT

UK-based Kittiwake Developments has announced that German shipping firm Reederei F. Laeisz has ordered its LinerSCAN system for 17 of its vessels in a deal worth 400,000 euros.

Kittiwake, a leading global provider of marine and related sector technology solutions, has developed LinerSCAN as a system for monitoring liner wear to allow the optimization of cylinder oil feed rates and to alert ships engineering staff to potential main engine damage and failure.

According to Kittiwake, LinerSCAN marks a new era in asset protection for 2 stroke main engines, monitoring liner-wear to report the very early onset ofsevere wear.

LinerSCAN uses magnetometry to quantify the iron in used cylinder oil, reporting changes caused by abrasive wear and highlighting periods of increased physical or thermal stress. This allows appropriate preventative actions during the ships passage to the next port, or even a route change if necessary, and insures against potentially costly ship 'downtime', Kittiwake says.

Harald Schlotfeldt, Fleet Manager at Reederei F. Laeisz, said "We believe that monitoring engine liner wear is an excellent tool to monitor the health and performance of any modern vessels main engine. The employment of LinerSCAN technology will inform proactive maintenance programmes, improve engine reliability, optimize cylinder lube oil feed rateand ultimately realize cost savings."

LinerSCAN sensors are fitted to individual cylinders of the main engine to continually monitor the scrapedown oil for ferrous wear. Multiple output options and bespoke software provide the onboard engineers with actionable and trend-able readings which can be used to improvemaintenance scheduling, decrease sampling and testing costs, optimize lubricant feed rate, minimise liner wear and detect ingress of CAT fines.

An average container ship can spend US $10 million on cylinder lubrication in its life and shipowners currently use offline or laboratory testing of the scrapedown oils to alter the lubrication.

"Dependent upon trade, load, running hours and other factors, constant real-time monitoring is a vital tool in optimising cylinder lube oil feed rate and, as a result, improving efficiency, decreasing lubricant costs and avoiding issues related with over and under lubrication," Kittiwake said in a statement.

During trials Kittiwake said feed rate reduction of up to 40 percent where achieved using LinerSCAN, representing an annual saving of over $100,000.

ExxonMobil recently released engineering reports from Kristen Navigation relating to its tanker, the 56,408 deadweight tonne Astro Cygnus, stating that it has reduced cylinder oil usage by around 10 percent, without compromising cylinder wear. Thus realising estimated annual savings of $93,000 per annum.

Kittiwake said the savings were a direct result of implementing ExxonMobils feed rate optimisation programme, which uses a Mobilgard Scrapedown Analyzer (MSA) to detect changes in the condition of a crosshead marine diesel engines cylinders. The MSA (a Kittiwake product exclusively developed and manufactured for Exxon Mobil)uses similar magnetometry technology to LinerSCAN.

Martin Lucas, managing director, Kittiwake Developments concluded: "Even with the best sampling practices, occasional laboratory results can be unrepresentative and possibly cause false alarms. Onboard real time trending of ferrous wear in PPM provides a greater data set than ever before and can even show that some damaging events improve without interference."

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