Diane and Nicola’s Cromer Crab Walk for Hospice Appeal Fund

If you’re travelling through Norfolk on 11th May you might just spot a couple of giant shellfish wearing walking boots.

This is the day Parker Hannifin employees, Diane Wheeler and Nicola Smith, are setting out on a 96 mile trek from Knettishall to Cromer to raise money for a Norfolk hospice.   Hiking such a distance along the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path in a single day is no simple task in the best of circumstances and for Diane and Nicola it will be more arduous still because they will be dressed as a crab and a lobster!

The Nook appeal was launched last year by its patron, the Duchess of Cambridge, to raise money for a new facility for EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices).  Demand for EACH’s services means the popular existing hospice at Quidenham has been outgrown and new premises are vital if the charity is to provide support and respite care for even more children with life-threatening conditions.  Planning permission has been granted for a well-equipped building five miles south of Norwich, to be named The Nook, which will provide a tranquil setting for the young people and their families.

Diane and Nicola have found inspiration from the experiences of Eden King, whose Dad, Rod, is a Parker Hannifin colleague.  Eden, who has congenital muscular dystrophy, finds the help EACH offers her family invaluable.  As Diane says, the fundraising effort is “about the support we want to show to a family we have grown to love and admire”.

So if you would like to shell out for our intrepid crustaceans, a dedicated page on the JustGiving website offers a simple and safe way to donate.

The Nook project will only be realised with the support of public donations.  Big or small, every penny will count.

Three Different Types of Oil Analysis for Condition Monitoring

Oil analysis provides maintenance staff and engineers with information on the health of lubricants – vital for ensuring machinery functions smoothly.  As with other condition monitoring techniques, successful analysis reduces downtime and its associated costs.

There are three main options for oil analysis, all of which are provided by Parker Kittiwake: off-site, online or on-site testing.

Off-site testing

The most comprehensive tests can most effectively be done off-site.  The disadvantage here is the turnaround time involved in sending samples to a commercial laboratory.  It is not usually the most practical option for remote installations, such as offshore rig or unattended pipelines.

Before arranging off-site analysis it is important to choose a reputable oil analysis provider so that you can be confident that all the necessary tests – and none of the unnecessary ones – are performed.

Online testing

This allows for instant alerts: sensors will detect problems not readily detectable via vibration or other indicators.  Accuracy cannot be guaranteed in every case, but the early warning it provides will prompt on-site or off-site sample testing, after which the diagnostics and repairs can be dealt with on-site straightaway if the most likely fault is apparent.

Online testing technology is relatively new, but tools such as a Metallic Wear Debris Sensor offer advantages, including real-time analysis and highly flexible interfaces.

On-site testing

This solution enables equipment to be monitored very frequently.  The best testing kits and portable instruments offer laboratory-like accuracy.  Sensor readings can be assessed quickly, if necessary triggering the next stage – off-site sample analysis.  Having all the testing facilities to hand at the site is the best insurance against an expensive technical failure.  Less accessible sites, especially mines, have the most to gain from this monitoring method.

On-site fuel laboratories enable operators to perform a range of tests, including for metal contaminants and particle count.  Parker’s Oil check is an example of an easily operated handheld tool for comparing new and used oils, giving the user valuable advance warning of engine failure.  Similarly, viscosity can be tested on-site using a Heated Viscometer, which an independent report has shown to be as accurate as laboratory analysis.  As well as monitoring changes in lubricating oil viscosity, it also verifies that the fuel is the correct grade for storage and purifiers.

For the full details of all our on-site fuel lab products and in-service testing methods see the Parker Kittiwake website.  Or call us on 01903 731 to speak to one of our specialists.

Measuring emissions in hazardous areas

A large industrial site, which can potentially have many leak sources, is a typically hazardous area demanding a tough, reliable analyser for gas emission monitoring.


ATEX is the term used for two European directives controlling these high-risk, explosive atmospheres. One concerns the protection of workers, while the other focuses on equipment and protective systems. In Britain, the requirements of the former are put into effect by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).  Employers must classify their potentially hazardous areas into zones (see below) and all equipment and protective systems intended to be used in those areas must meet certain requirements.

The Procal solution

Among the recently approved systems is the Procal 2000, which can now continue monitoring hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide and other gases  in the chemical and refining industries, where it is already being used.

The Procal 2000 is a Continuous Emission Monitoring Process Infra-Red Analyser, which uses the reflective beam principle to directly measure process gas as it enters an in-situ sample cell.  Installation is simple and requires very little maintenance.  This makes it suitable for marine environments too.

Its advanced design is the result of many years of research and development in the field of stack gas analysis.

Fire hazards

Under ATEX, gases and vapours are grouped in three zones, each indicating the likelihood and probable duration of hazards being present in flammable concentrations.  Beginning with the most severe, these are numbered 0 (where a flammable atmosphere may be present continuously), 1 and 2.

Each piece of equipment used in these areas has marked on it a series of letters and numbers, which indicate its protection qualities. The Procal 2000 is marked ATEX II 2 G Ex d IIB T4/T6 (application dependent).  This means that it is flameproof and can be safely used in zones 1 and 2 (which would include chemical plants, LNG terminals and a number of mining operations) and where gases such as methane, ethylene and hydrogen (which is especially flammable) are present.

Among other certifications, the Procal 2000 is approved by the IEC, the International Electrotechnical Commission, which is responsible for worldwide standards for electrical, electronic and related technologies.

The challenge of measuring emissions in hazardous areas is often compounded by climatic extremes. A range of accessories ensures that the Procal 2000 can stand up to these. For example, a head cooler allows operation when outside temperatures are high, and a gas flow bypass ensures operation when temperature fluctuations cause thermal stress in a structure.

To find out more about our analysers and their approvals, contact us or call us on 01733 232 495.

The Shipping Industry’s Challenge as it Adapts to Sulphur Restrictions

The hopes of the shipping and bunker refining industries that the global 0.5% sulphur-in-fuel cap would be deferred from 2020 to 2025 appear to have been dashed.

0.5% by 2020

Masamichi Morooka, director of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), announced in February that although postponement was ‘still a possibility’, the industries should be prepared for a 2020 implementation – whatever the cost implications of the lack of availability of compliant fuel.

The fuel availability study, which the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is legally required to complete before the end of 2018, had given the ICS grounds for lobbying for the fuel cap to be postponed, as any supply problems identified in 2018 would leave governments with too little time to react.

Meanwhile, regardless of what the IMO decides, the European Union is set to apply the 0.5% limit to all international shipping within 200 miles of any EU member state by 2020.

This makes it very likely that the EU will push for global implementation in 2020 in order to head off the possibility that, between then and 2025, non-compliant shipping will attempt to get round the restriction by forging a narrow shipping corridor off North Africa.

Early impact of 0.1% cap

The shipping world is already seeing the effects of the 0.1% cap on sulphur-in-fuel in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), introduced on 1st January this year.

In the US bunker market, buyers’ interest in 0.1% fuel oil has been subdued, a reflection of the financial, managerial and other uncertainties surrounding low sulphur fuel oil.  The main challenges include the need for engines to be modified, largely because of the difference in oil viscosity, and the expense of the alternatives, notably scrubbing technology (especially if the vessel will only briefly pass through an ECA) or switching to LNG.

However, non-US suppliers are spotting fresh opportunities and tackling the availability problem.  A new refinery in Cartegena, which is to produce 0.1% sulphur fuel oil, is well placed to supply fuel for ships heading to ECA areas.

Shipping companies have begun to turn to new technologies in recent months in response to the 0.1% cap.  Passenger ferries are largely favouring scrubber installation, and inland shipping is inclining towards LNG, but most other shipping has opted to move away from residual fuel and towards distillate in the form of low sulphur Marine Gas Oil , for which there is already a reliable bunker supply chain.  Other companies are investigating biofuels and fuel cells.

In ECAs, fuel oil has to be tested before loading to ensure it complies with the limits (and, in the case of compliant oil, to check it has not been mixed with higher-sulphur oils during the transfer process).  Parker Kittiwake has built a reputation as a global leader in bunker fuel testing and oil sampling solutions, for more information please call the team on +44 1903 731470.

Process and Stack Gas Emission Analysers

Alongside our partner company Parker Kittiwake – Procal we specialise in designing, developing and distributing advanced analysers.  Combined with accessories, these make up our Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) for refineries, blast furnaces, shipping and a range of other industrial applications.  All are a match for the ever-tougher demands of global pollution prevention schemes.

Procal 2000 Infra-red Gas Analyser
The Procal 2000 is a duct- or stack-mounted gas analyser which provides in-stack analysis of up to six gas-phase emission components.

Using the reflective beam principle, it directly measures process gas as it enters the sample cell.  Its patented and sintered metal technology means no gas filtering or sample conditioning is needed.  It therefore requires less maintenance than any comparable system currently available.

Optional add-ons can be purchased to adapt the analyser to specific or extreme environmental conditions, such as a probe heater to ensure the gas cell operates above the process gas dew point.  It is ATEX certified, which means it meets the requirements of the EU directive regulating equipment intended for use in hazardous explosive environments.  It also has approval from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the body responsible for global electrical and electronic standards.

Procal 5000 Ultra-violet Gas Analyser
The Procal 5000 analyses the full UV spectrum to give readings for gas emission concentrations.   The reflective beam principle is used – an extended-life UV source capable of more than 7000 hours of non-stop operation.  Calibration can be checked frequently without intervening, which allows automated legislative compliance.

The Analyser Control Unit, which comes with the system, can power and control up to six analysers, displaying not only gas concentrations but sample conditions, diagnostic data and trends.
Its Auto Verification Unit provides a zero check and span verification, adjusting when necessary.  With the in-situ heater option, this analyser is readily adaptable to cold climates.

In short, the Procal 5000 is a fully verifiable CEMS with upgrades that ensure it can comply with any range or reporting format regulations in force in any part of the world.

Procal 6000 Radioactive Gas Analyser
The duct-mounted analyser Procal 6000, in common with the other analysers we have looked at, comes as part of a system that typically includes an integral calibration function (the Auto Verification Unit) and a Control Unit, as well as extras such as an in-situ heater.  It has been designed for the reliable testing of corrosive and toxic gas-phase samples – and especially the safe testing of radioactive gas. Unlike many extractive systems it is low maintenance and can be kept free of contamination.

Gas Filter Correlation and an additional check measuring wavelength keep cross-sensitivity to a minimum.  Automatic recalibration ensures that very little intervention is needed in the course of operation.

The Control Unit software can report on more than just gas emissions.  In receiving inputs on particulates and opacity, oxygen and velocity, it will produce the type of reports and presentation of results that environmental agencies around the world require.

To find out more about how our products withstand the harshest conditions, please have a look at the video on the Procal website.  You can also contact us via the form on the website or call us on 01733 232495: we look forward to discussing the most suitable and cost-effective solution for your needs.

Parker Kittiwake to Sponsor the Marine Propulsion Awards

Parker Kittiwake is proud to be sponsoring the coveted Marine Propulsion Awards, to be presented at a ceremony on 15th April as part of the annual Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery Conference.

The awards promote and celebrate excellence and innovation in the development of technology for ships’ engineering systems.

All nominations (the deadline is 30th January) will be reviewed by a panel, with a shortlist voted on by readers of industry publication Marine Propulsion. The categories are:

Marine Engines Award – for an original development that takes engine technology a step forward

Auxiliary Machinery Award – for an enhancement that improves a ship’s operational efficiency or reduces risk to personnel

Environmental Performance Award – for introducing change with a positive environmental benefit

Fuel Efficiency Award – for bringing about a sustainable improvement in fuel efficiency, either on a specific ship or across a fleet

Innovation Award – for any feat of marine engineering that provides an imaginative, effective solution to an engineering need

Shipowner Efficiency Award – for an improvement that has benefited both company and customer in terms of reducing time, cost, or energy consumption

Electrical Systems Award – for equipment that can demonstrate improved efficiency, reduced costs, less waste or better safety

Lifetime Achievement Award – for an individual, selected by Riviera Maritime Media, who has shown consistent leadership and technical inspiration in marine engineering

The two-day Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery Conference, which will be held on 15th-16th April 2015 in London, will see the  biggest players in the shipping world gather to discuss and gain valuable ‘best practice’ insights into the most challenging issues facing ship operators.

With keynote presentations, panel discussions, technology exhibitions and more, it has become an unmissable event for anyone in the marine propulsion industry.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470
Email: kittiwakeinfo@parker.com

South Korea explores Arctic shipping potential

South Korea and Norway held talks this month to discuss marine cooperation in the polar region.

Last year South Korea launched a pilot service on a new shipping route, which cuts the distance between the Asian country and northern Europe from the 22,000 km of the traditional Indian Ocean route to just 7,000 km.

New resources, new sea routes

As South Korea seeks to lessen its dependence on oil from the Middle East, it is attracted by the oil reserves and natural gas deposits of the Arctic.  In addition, its new Northern Sea Route (NSR) would reduce both travel time and fuel costs, bringing significant benefits to the country’s trade, the vast majority of which is handled by sea (with Northern Europe a vital trade partner).  In addition, Korea’s powerful ship-building industry is keen to profit from the increasing demand for offshore platform and ice-hardened vessels in the polar region.  In 2013 South Korea was granted observer status by the Arctic Council, a further step forward in extending its influence.

Arctic challenges

As climate change causes the ice cover to recede, the season for feasible commercial shipping is lengthening.  However, in winter Arctic waters will remain closed to shipping for some time to come.  Shipping companies require consistency, so the irregularity of shipping route openings even in season, along with the difficulty of accurately forecasting weather conditions, could dampen wider commercial enthusiasm.

Similarly problematic is the present lack of opportunities to drop off or pick up cargo while crossing the Arctic, which makes the scope for generating revenues along the route very limited compared to established long-distance routes.

A new Polar Code

Meanwhile, at its November meeting the International Maritime Operation’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee approved a Polar Code aimed at preventing accidents and pollution from toxic liquids and sewage in these ecologically unique regions.  Amendments to MARPOL, which will make the Polar Code’s environmental provisions mandatory, are expected to be given the go-ahead in May 2015.

The Polar Code sets out ship structure and stability, operational safety, training and other specifications for vessels operating in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Other recent news and analysis from the international shipping world can be found on the Parker Kittiwake website.

Quick, reliable on-vessel fuel testing

When a vessel is located in a remote part of the world, a product that allows its crew to test fuel samples without sending them off-site for confirmation will save both time and labour costs.

Even when docked in a major port, local customs regulations or reliance on couriers to deal with logistics can cause delay in getting the analysis data to the right people

On-site fuel labs
Of course, to be effective the product must be robust, accurate and quick to use without in-depth prior training – a specification met by the core electronic QC tests lubricants and residual fuel oils in Parker Kittiwake’s power plant lab.  Supplied in a wall-mounted cabinet, it is designed for use at installations in inhospitable locations.

Both this lab and the fuel and lube lab feature a density meter, which can also be purchased as a stand-alone product.  Tests have shown it is as accurate as more formal laboratory method.  Additionally, its uses are not restricted to measuring diesel and residual bunker fuel density: for example, it will also check that the correct grade of fuel has been delivered, according to ISO 8217.

The Parker Kittiwake Heated Viscometer can be used in a wide variety of applications.  Not only monitoring changes in lubricating oil viscosity, it also verifies that the fuel is the correct grade for storage and purifiers.

Testing for water contamination and the cloud point
In any harsh, industrial environment, water contamination can lead to microbiological growth that will clog filters and corrode fuel systems. The DIGI Water in Oil test comes with an ‘easyship’ reagent system, with comprehensive reagent packs for 50 tests.

Lastly, crews of vessels in arctic waters need a straightforward way of identifying the temperature at which wax crystals begin to form in a distillate fuel (the ‘cloud point’). Kittiwake’s highly portable Cloud Point Detector works by cooling an oil sample and monitoring the intensity of light transmission.

A test usually takes just ten minutes.

See our full list of On-Site Fuel Lab products.

The essential checks during bunker sampling

Regulations for bunker sampling are set out in MARPOL Annex VI, though specific rules drawn up by some ports and companies need to be noted too.

As well as inspecting their equipment for any dirt or damage prior to sampling, the ship operating company should follow the regulations and take additional precautions to ensure both accountability and fuel quality.

The following actions will minimise the chances of supplier-receiver disputes:
-    Both the supplier and the receiver need to be on hand to confirm the completion of the process
-    The sample should be poured into several smaller containers and the labels signed by both parties
-    The seal numbers must be written on the sample labels as well as in the Bunker Delivery Note (which both parties should sign and counter-sign).

Fuel quality
The cutter stock should be introduced very gradually to the residual fuel while the contents of the bunker tank are pumped around; insufficient blending will lead to inconsistent or unrepresentative samples.  Changes in the flow of the sample will alert the operator to possible blending problems.

Similarly, the mixture of new fuel and fuel already in the tank (if it is not completely empty) can be chemically unstable, which is why some form of on-vessel testing method can be useful.
If an analysis shows that the flashpoint temperature has fallen below 60°C (though there are certain exceptions), the fuel must be extracted from the vessel as soon as possible and put aside.  A further flashpoint test should be carried out before the fuel is offloaded to avoid subsequent expensive pumping operations.

Even small improvements in fuel quality can make a positive difference further down the line, in terms of prolonging the lifespan of pumps, pistons and other machinery.  Time and energy spent spotting potential problems before the fuel is on-board makes sound financial sense.

Parker Kittiwake supplies lightweight, easily installed Fuel Drip Bunker Samplers, used by shipping companies across the globe.

All aboard a new Port Charter to tackle fuel quality

An initiative to improve the quality and transparency of the bunker fuel supply chain was agreed at the annual convention of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) in Hamburg earlier this month.

Ports signing up to a new Port Charter will need to show that they administer a licensing scheme for bunker suppliers.  The Charter also commits them to ensuring there are suitably qualified staff working in the supply chain and to establishing workable testing procedures.

Industry-wide scrutiny

So far, the ports of Rotterdam, Gibraltar and Singapore have indicated that they will support the Charter.

The proposals, backed by industry group International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), had met some opposition at recent sessions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Maritime Environment Protection Committee meeting.  However, the Committee eventually agreed to set up a correspondence group to formulate draft guidance on fuel oil quality assurance, and to examine whether the existing legal framework was fit for purpose.  A compromise acceptable to all parties was reached by the time delegates gathered in Hamburg.

Raising bunkering standards

Prior to the IMO’s deliberations, IBIA Chairman Jens Maul Jørgensen had voiced his concerns about a lack of respect for ISO standards.  Mr Jørgensen’s view, reported by ShippingWatch, was that robust regulation had to replace voluntary agreements in order to compel suppliers to follow certain criteria.  He also wanted a system in place for revoking licences and preventing unregistered suppliers from operating at ports.

Checks on fuel quality have become increasingly important since an array of new fuel offerings emerged in the wake of the MARPOL Annexe V1, which sets limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts.  In 2015, sulphur content in marine fuel used in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will be limited to 0.10% by weight or lower.

The IBIA’s Hamburg convention also featured a workshop on the mass flow meter, provided by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, along with presentations from industry-leading figures on topics such as emerging markets and new fuels.

See the Parker Kittiwake website for information on fuel oil testing.