SKF equips fleet with customised Marine Condition Monitoring kit

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SKF has initiated a condition-based maintenance programme using its Marine Condition Monitoring kits for Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement (TCM) fleet that has the potential to cut costs and decrease maintenance. The detailed maintenance programme enables a range of benefits, from preventing unexpected failures in critical machinery to providing early indication of possible problems in auxiliary machinery. The customised instrument of monitoring and reporting, supplied by SKF, provides specific data as to which tasks need to be performed and when, enabling on-board engineers to perform maintenance activities and replace components at the right time.

SKF equips fleet with customised Marine Condition Monitoring kitTCM ordered SKF Marine Condition Monitoring kits to equip its whole fleet with this basic condition-based maintenance system. The kits were delivered through a local SKF Authorized Distributor in Piraeus. TCM has been the first Greek shipping company to equip its whole fleet with this condition monitoring system.

Ole Kristian Joedahl, Sales and Marketing Director, Industrial Market, says: “The marine industry is a key segment for us, and one in which we see significant potential. By giving operators access to data that helps them prioritise their maintenance work, our solutions directly support them in preventing unexpected failures and reducing their overall operating costs.”

TCM decided to go to the next step on the maintenance level, adopting advanced condition-based maintenance practices. The target was to prevent unexpected failures in critical machinery, minimising their impact on associated components, as well as ensuring the reliability of fleet operations.

SKF engineers together with the local Authorized Distributor visited TCM’s facilities to discuss their specific needs and define which machines should be regularly monitored. Mr Dimitris Psaradakis, Technical Manager of TCM SA, says: “Ensuring equipment reliability is amongst our standing objectives and in this regard condition monitoring is a very useful tool. At the same time, we need to maintain a consistently high standard of condition monitoring expertise on every ship with a workforce that rotates between ships. Thus, it is important to have a simple to use instrument to monitor the condition of critical auxiliary machinery.”

SKF came up with a customised version of the Marine Condition Monitoring kit, adapted to the customer’s needs. The SKF Marine Condition Monitoring kit is a hand-held instrument, equipped with predefined machinery models and clear quality work instructions, to make sure that TCM engineers have a reliable on the spot assessment of a machine’s condition, for each vessel. The SKF Marine Condition Monitoring kit offers a quick and easy way to monitor the condition of critical auxiliary machinery. In fact, even a non-trained user can understand the results of vibration data measurements and locate the source of the fault in the machinery.

Detailed reporting

With the SKF Marine Condition Monitoring kit vessel engineers collect vibration data from critical auxiliary machinery, including cargo pumps, engine room fans and blowers, compressors, purifiers and electric motors as well as monitoring and evaluating vibration levels in accommodation area, as per MLC guidelines. The data is then downloaded and transmitted through the ship’s communication system to TCM’s headquarters, where a precisely detailed report is produced for each vessel on the current condition of the machinery.

The results are put into simple-to-use customised reports that help vessel engineers to prioritise their work schedule and thereby increase efficiency. The feedback can also generate a work order in the vessel’s maintenance management system, ensuring that each Chief Engineer is aware of all current issues when scheduling maintenance. This service aims at high availability of the TCM’s fleet by keeping their many vessels at sea and operating at maximum performance.

SKF provides advice and support during all stages of the project, from customising the instrument’s features in line with the customer’s needs and training the technical team to integrating the system with ship’s maintenance management system (MMS). SKF engineers also offer after-sales support, providing expert 24-hour service to solve problems and help maximise fleet availability. In addition to supporting modern maintenance strategies, this innovative approach also provides an easy way to check machine acceptance criteria after a machine repair in the workshop or onboard.

Taking the step toward condition-based maintenance does not have to be a large investment. Mr Psaradakis concludes: “With the SKF Marine Condition Monitoring kit, we can identify and rectify problems at an early stage. In a short period, we managed to improve our machinery availability and reliability and reduce maintenance costs significantly. Overall, our investment cost proved to be very low, compared to the benefits we gain from implementing this solution.”

To learn more about SKF’s Marine Condition Monitoring kits please visit

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