Investing in service-related upgrades

by | 11th May 2020 | News

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Shiprepair & Maintenance: 2nd Quarter 2020Investing-in-service-related-upgrades

Over the past year ABB has further developed its turbocharger service, maintenance and upgrade portfolio to meet shipping customer requirements. These initiatives cover both two- and four-stroke engine applications.


To respond to the implications of the 2020 global sulphur cap, the company is offering what it claims is an easy to implement turbocharger upgrade. This is designed to compensate for the potential efficiency loss that can arise from installing a scrubber in the exhaust system.


For two-stroke main propulsion engines, ABB is now marketing an exposure-based concept for rotor component exchanges. This relies on both a digital assessment of the actual operating profile of the engine as well as a physical assessment of the components at hand.


ABB is in the process of releasing a newly designed turbocharger for four-stroke applications, dedicated to marine auxiliary engines, which is geared towards self-maintenance.


As Thorsten Bosse, head of global service product management, explains: “The crew onboard the vessel can perform the turbocharger service using a mobile app, which provides specific instructions for parts replacements and the related service work to be done. It is also planned that spare parts ordering can be initiated directly from the app.”


Moreover, ABB is adding to its range of upgrade solutions, which go beyond the scope of pure maintenance. Bosse says: “Currently, we are developing two new dedicated upgrade solutions for marine applications within our TPL-A and TPL-C turbocharger families. In this context part load optimisation is often the key benefit our customers are looking for.”


During recent months, ABB has performed a turbocharger upgrade on a fast ferry application featuring its TPL65 turbocharger. The exchange and re-specification of the turbocharger cartridge enabled a part load optimisation generating up to 5g/kWh in fuel savings, the company claims.


“Since emission critical components were exchanged, the upgrade required a full set of onboard NOx measurements with the corresponding class society being present,” says Bosse. “The hassle-free turnkey package we provided was very much appreciated by our customer, who benefitted not only from significant fuel savings but also a NOx optimised and compliant, certified engine application.”


At the heart of ABB’s turbocharger maintenance and repair operation is its extensive network of service stations. Over the past year the company has continued to invest in optimising efficiency at these locations, an example being the digitalisation of its Singapore facility, utilising RFID and barcode technology.


When parts arrive at ABB Turbocharging in Singapore, and then move throughout the warehouse, engineers scan them using a handheld scanner, to assign the latest location. This offers the ability to see exactly where the part is in the warehouse in real-time, enabling staff to locate spares much more quickly than in the past.


For Bosse, the biggest trend as far as turbocharger maintenance and repair activity is concerned is digitalisation. “This development has several potentially significant implications,” he suggests. “Data from the actual turbocharger operation will be used to provide insights into asset health, allowing us to work towards condition- based maintenance, rather than prescribed preventive maintenance, as well as performance optimisation. This will unlock additional potential for turbocharger cost savings and improved operations.”


ABB also says that shipowners and operators are becoming more interested in signing long-term service agreements for turbocharger maintenance.


“We often now see customers wishing to transfer the responsibility for turbocharger servicing to us as the OEM, so we can make sure that their equipment is kept at the highest possible performance and efficiency level,” concludes Bosse.

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