Parker Kittiwake Launches New CAT Fines Test Kit

Test kit detects catalytic fines to prevent irreparable damage to fuel pumps, injectors, piston rings and liners

LONDON – 16 October 2015 – Parker Kittiwake, a leading global provider of asset control and protection technology, has today announced a breakthrough in the early detection of catalytic (cat) fines with the launch of its Cat Fines Test Kit. This simple,  wet chemistry, on-board test identifies the presence of abrasive silicon and aluminium fines in HFO.

The quality of fuel brought on board has always been difficult to determine at point of loading and as such Kittiwake has developed many fuel property test kits over the years to ensure the end user is getting what they pay for.  Up till now, the detection of cat fines in fuel oil was only possible using laboratory analysis techniques. The Parker Kittiwake Cat Fines Test Kit provides accurate results in a matter of minutes, potentially preventing critical damage before it occurs.

Earlier this year, leading fuel testing and inspection company Veritas Petroleum Services raised concerns that even when the ignition and combustion characteristics of a fuel have been tested and proven to meet specification, cat fines can still remain undetected in the fuel and consequently enter the system, potentially causing a total loss of propulsion. In parallel, underwriters are increasingly insistent on enforcing compliance with the guidance they issue on reducing the risk of cat fines, which means that owners who do not take sufficient steps to reduce their exposure to this hazard will find their claims much less likely to succeed.

As more emission control areas (ECAs) come into operation, there are growing concerns around fuel quality and the number of engine wear situations related to cat fines are increasing. Research has shown that even small cat fine particles of below 10 micron contribute to significant wear.  Incidences of excessive cylinder liner wear have been recorded even though the bunkered fuel oil was within the limits of the ISO 8217:2005 specification, which dictates a maximum of 60 ppm. This is why cat fines are causing such problems for ship-owners.”

The use of non-ISO compliant fuel, faulty fuel purifiers, and/or rough weather kicking up fines from the bottom of the settling tanks are all capable of introducing these suspended particles into the fuel system. The Parker Kittiwake Cat Fines Test Kit provides early forewarning of these destructive particles and give a vessel’s crew maximum opportunity to take corrective steps.”

For more than two decades, Parker Kittiwake has designed, developed and manufactured condition monitoring and test equipment for lube oil, hydraulic oil and fuels. Engineers the world over use Kittiwake equipment to gain vital insights into the health of their vessels’ engines or to measure fuel quality and compatibility. The Cat Fines Test Kit is an important addition to the company’s comprehensive suite of condition-based maintenance (CBM) products, underlining Parker Kittiwake’s commitment to developing tools and technology that addresses the challenges faced by today’s ship owners and marine engineers.

Parker Kittiwake – on the road to keep you at sea…

Our condition monitoring experts are escaping the office for three days this month for our Hamburg roadshow.

They will be in the city from 16th to 18th June to showcase our market-leading products. The team will be on hand to give a warm welcome to marine engineers and shipping industry professionals who wish to come and inspect, test and discuss our innovative monitoring technology.

Cylinder analysis

Cold corrosion problems? Scuffing incidents? Feed rate optimisation? Parker Kittiwake’s unique tools for monitoring your main engines condition allow you to optimise parameters to ensure optimal running and life of cylinder ring packs, liners and other engine components.

Sensors for wear analysis are especially important now that the requirement for low-sulphur fuel is increasing the risk of scuffing and engine cylinder issues.  Our LinerSCAN cylinder liner monitor supplies real-time data to ensure the optimum cylinder oil lubricant feed rate can be set.

Lube analysis

For looking after your oil – and your valuable vessels – we manufacture practical online conditioning monitoring tools.

Bunker fuel testing products

We also have equipment for on-site testing of bunker fuel, whether for density (our Marine Fuel Density Meter), viscosity (the Heated Viscometer, among other products) or cloud point – which refers to the temperature at which filter-obstructing wax crystals emerge (our robust Cloud Point Detector).  Our lightweight, easy-to-install Fuel Drip Bunker Sampler complies with MARPOL 73/78 Annex VI and is used by vessels worldwide. Available in a number of different sizes, it is the most economic method of collecting a representative bunker fuel sample.

Emissions Monitoring

Procal gas analysis CEM’s system for marine applications, the Procal 2000 infra-red gas analyser will be on display at the roadshow. Suitable for both scrubbed and unscrubbed applications, the P2000 is a world leader in the marine market.

Meet us in Hamburg

The Hamburg roadshow is your opportunity to talk about your application requirements with us and discover the most suitable products for achieving the best possible performance and reliability.

By using the best and latest in condition monitoring products and solutions, your engineers will have the tools they need to ensure fuel quality, keep machinery functioning properly for longer, detect problems before they lead to costly engine failure – and keep your business running successfully.

Registering for the roadshow

If you would like to attend, please indicate when you plan to come by clicking here and completing the simple booking form.  We can then ensure that the right products are on display and arrange for the team members best-placed to help you to be on hand.

The venue is The Design Offices, Training Room II, Cathedral Square, Domstrasse 10, 20095 Hamburg.  We will be here from 9am to 6pm on each of the three days.

If you would like to see details of our products ahead of the roadshow, please visit the Parker Kittiwake website or, for more information, call the team on +44 1903 731470.

Parker Kittiwake Announces Launch of Two New Water Glycol Condition Monitoring Tools

This week sees the launch of Parker Kittiwake’s latest online condition monitoring tools, the icountPD water-glycol particle detector, along with its offline, lab quality partner, the icountBS Water Glycol instrument.

Monitoring water glycol cleanliness limits helps identify fluid contamination in assets critical to the safety of a platform, vessel or machine, such as blowout preventers (BOPs), Crown Mounted Compensators (CMCs) and Riser Tensioner Systems, which cannot be compromised. BOPs, for example, can be damaged by the ingress of contaminated fluid into the umbilical, leading to potentially catastrophic results if the contaminants cause blockages in the system leading to safety components sticking.

The online Parker icountPD particle detector provides continuous real-time analysis of contaminants, whilst the icountBS bottle sample test monitors the fluid onboard and in real time using a sensor directly in the water flow. The tests provide operators with a comprehensive overview of the condition of the fluid, improving safety, reducing wear and increasing uptime.

The Parker water-glycol tests allows operators to make confident, informed decisions onboard regarding maintenance and asset management, without the need to wait for laboratory testing. Armed with this information, operators are better equipped to prevent damage and optimise the operational output of the vessel or platform to realise maximum profits.

The iPD Water Glycol joins other recent additions to Parker Kittiwake’s online condition monitoring products, such as the ThrusterSCAN test.  Designed for early stage fault detection on vessels with large azimuth thruster units (an arrangement of rotating propellers), the system gives warning of impending problems, such as seal failure.

Parker Kittiwake has over 20 years’ experience developing online and on-site oil analysis solutions, which give operators the quick information they need to keep machinery running smoothly for longer.  If you would like more information on the iPD Water Glycol or the iBS Water Glycol, contact us on 01903 731470.  A detailed product description can be found here:

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.

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

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.

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.

What are Cappuccino Bunkers?

In 2012 Singapore became the centre of a bunkering dispute which resulted in a full investigation into what is known in the marine industry as the ‘cappuccino effect’.

What is the cappuccino effect?

Cappuccino bunkers are caused by compressed air being blown into the fuel oil during the transfer process. The blown air increases the apparent volume of fuel oil, but once the process is completed air rises to the surface resulting in froth and foam sitting on the surface of the fuel in a cappuccino effect.

As a result of this malpractice the shortfall for vessels can be significant, the vessel in Singapore ended up with 46 tonnes less fuel.

How is it caused?

The cappuccino effect occurs when air is injected into fuel oil, which can be done in a couple of different ways during transfer

  • Compressed air can be blown into tanks before it’s transferred to increase the apparent volume of the fuel oil.
  • Air can be injected into the fuel oil during transfer via the discharge pump or into the discharge line. Compressed air equipment, usually used to blow through pipelines after discharge, may be used in this process or a separate system can be used.

What are the signs?

Whilst the resulting ‘cappuccino effect’ is one of the most visual alerts to this problem, there are other tell-tale signs that something isn’t right throughout the transfer process.

  • Foam or frothing on the surface of the fuel oil prior to bunkering and on a vessel whilst transfer is taking place. Also look for bubbles and frothing on sounding tape or brass bob throughout the transfer process.
  • Check the pipework for suspect connections before the transfer begins. Look out for suspect connections on the supply pump and pipework where air injection lines can be used to blow air into fuel oil. Make time to inspect the line blowing arrangements before transfer begins.
  • Unusual noises heard by the crew of the vessel in Singapore were the first indication that something was wrong. If compressed air has been injected you’ll hear gurgling noises coming from the supply line or at the manifold. The fuel tank vent head and ball or float valves may also vibrate or rattle if there is an excessive amount of air present. You may also notice the supply hose moving around in a jolting or shuddering motion.

Bunker fuel sampling ensures a representative sample is captured for testing and analysis, it forms the basis of all discussion, debate or dispute resolution relating to bunkering. The Parker Kittiwake bunker fuel samplers are lightweight and easy to install and come complete with bunker fuel sampler joint rings.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470

How to make savings on bunker costs

Marine fuel, on average, accounts for more than half of the total cost of operating a marine vessel. Not only this but ship owners and operators are coming under increasing pressure as the deadline for changes to emission control areas (ECAs) in 2015 draws ever closer.

Optimising value where possible in the marine industry is becoming increasingly important. As a sign of the times ExxonMobil this year released their top five tips on how to save money on bunker costs, which the company claim can save owners and operators up to $3 per tonne of fuel purchased.

Read on to see what the top five tips are and how to achieve them.

Minimise Water Content
The ISO 8217:2012 water content compliance level is set at 0.5%. Marine fuels supplied at this cost can potentially cost $6,000 per purchase for a 2,000-tonne bunkering. The water needs to be removed before burning, adding further costs to the purchase of up to $3,000. On top of this, removal of the sludge (a by-product of this process) may also incur additional costs. Opting for a lower water content fuel will result in savings in the long-term. Fuel can be tested on site at time of bunkering for water content using a Parker Kittiwake digi kit.

Stay Clear of High Metal Content
Aluminium and Silicon are commonly found in marine fuels. Known as catalytic fines they have the potential to cause significant damage to vessel engines which can lead to delays, losses and repair costs.

Despite some of the world’s leading engine builders recommending catalytic fines levels of 15 mg/kg, under the ISO 8217:2012 catalytic fines of up to 60mg/kg and 80 mg/kg under the ISO 8217:2005 are allowed for.

All major oil suppliers aim to keep catalytic fines levels in their marine fuel low, at an average of 10mg/kg, helping to limit the removal of catalytic fines, reduce abrasive wear on engine components and avoid the cost of additional maintenance and possible breakdowns.

Marine Fuel Stability
A trend for blending marine fuels from different sources has emerged in an attempt to meet the lower sulphur levels specified in the changing marine industry regulations. The resulting blended fuel can be unstable and has the potential to cause sludge or a build up of heavy deposits which can result in high repair costs and impact vessel performance. The compatibility of different fuels can be tested using a compatibility oven.

Calculated Carbon Aromaticity Index (CCAI) Level
CCAI indicates the level of marine fuel combustion quality. It’s important for these levels to not be too high or too low – low or high level marine fuel can cause poor combustion and has the potential to impact vessel performance. ISO 8217:2012 sets the maximum limit of 870 for most common residual marine fuel grades, choosing marine fuels within these limits will help protect against poor performance. CCAI can be calculated by knowing the density and viscosity of the HFO.

Laboratory analysis
As well as the above points ExxonMobil, and other major oil suppliers, also recommend to send fuel samples to an approved laboratory for bunker fuel testing, allowing operators to understand the quality of the marine fuel received and how to manage the marine fuel system on board their vessels. Ensuring the fuel quality at the time of delivery and calculating the density is an integral part of good bunkering practices.

The importance of a suitably drawn and witnessed representative bunker fuel oil sample cannot be over-emphasised. It forms the basis of all discussion, debate or dispute resolution relating to the bunkering. The most common and economic means of obtaining a representative bunker fuel sample is by using a drip sampler, such as the Parker Kittiwake drip / line bunker fuel samplers found on thousands of ships worldwide. The representative sample is then decanted into approve bottles for analysis and storage.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470