The Florida-based enterprise is planning to build further on its well-established business overhauling turbochargers by branching deeper into the turbocharger retrofit sector.
Fort Lauderdale-headquartered MSHS (formerly Motor Services Hugo Stamp) has built up an extensive business overhauling marine turbochargers, including leading brands such as KBB, Mitsubishi, Napier and MAN. MSHS have a global outreach carrying out work in many locations worldwide, deploying teams based at workshops in Seattle and New Orleans as well as its primary base in Florida and a smaller workshop in Freeport, Bahamas.
The past year has seen MSHS make a substantial business alliance with Washington-based Pacific Power Group, which has an established marine diesel engine sales, repair and service business. Sean Carey, director, service delivery, MSHS, points out, “This alliance with a large company that employs over 250 people is important as it allows us the potential to expand capabilities to overhaul and repair turbochargers at workshops in more locations, including sites across the Western United States, Alaska, Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico.”
In another significant development, in recent months MSHS has made a major investment in portable 3D scanning equipment to support its planned diversification into providing turbocharger retrofit solutions alongside regular maintenance and repair work. Mladen Malovic, regional service manager, turbocharger division, says, “When we remove old turbochargers and replace them with new ones each situation onboard is different, so we need accurate data to carry out the retrofit. The new 3D scanner that we have purchased helps us better meet our customers’ requirements for retrofits, saving time and making the retrofit process overall more efficient.”
The new equipment creates a 3D model to ensure that all components fit and enables retrofitted turbochargers to be easily adapted to meet their new surroundings. Acquired earlier this year, the portable 3D scanner technology offers considerable flexibility as it can be used by technicians in any location not just within the US but overseas as well.
Carey adds, ”We see huge potential in the turbocharger retrofit sector alongside our existing overhaul business. The MSHS retrofit program results in prolonged engine life and an improved environmental footprint and is designed to avoid turbocharger failures, while dramatically improving engine performance.”
MSHS has also embarked on an investment program aimed at upgrading and standardising equipment at its workshops over the past 18 months or so to ensure that all locations have the most up-to-date tools and machines and are driven by the latest software. Carey says, “As new turbochargers enter the market, we put together specific kits to support their maintenance at all our locations. Our priority is to keep up to date with the latest technology and stay ahead of the game by making sure we always have the right equipment and spares for new generation turbochargers, supported by bespoke OEM training packages.”
Another focus for MSHS’ investment where turbochargers are concerned is to build up inventories of spare parts to ensure the teams can always meet demand in the face of supply chain challenges. Malovic says, ”One of the key problems we face at the moment is that the lead time for some components and spare parts for marine turbochargers can be many months. We hold considerable stocks of spares at all our locations and that is something that differentiates MSHS from other service providers in this sector. To address current supply chain problems, we stay ahead of the game by stocking parts in advance and carrying a large amount of inventory to ensure we can respond in a timely manner to our customers’ service needs.”
Training is another aspect of the business that MSHS puts considerable store by. As Malovic points out, “It can be difficult to recruit and retain staff in this particular sector and so we are continually investing in training to build up a new generation of turbocharger technicians. We are currently setting up an in-house academy for training mechanical technicians in both turbochargers and main engines, underlining the fact that investment in people is a big priority for us.”
Demand for turbocharger services has been steadily increasing in recent months, MSHS reports. Prospects for the future have been enhanced by a significant agreement signed earlier this year with leading US shipowner Crowley Maritime. This new deal covers both engine and turbocharger maintenance, servicing and spare parts supply.
Carey says, “We are honoured that one of world’s leading maritime shipping and logistics companies has entrusted us with providing maintenance services to their fleet of over 22 vessels. This latest agreement further strengthens our relationship, allowing us to offer quick and effective solutions that reduce vessel downtime and get existing turbochargers on their fleet working even better.”