Parker Kittiwake Developments acquired by Parker Hannifin

 

 

 

CLEVELAND, July 16, 2012 — Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH), the global leader in motion and control technologies, today announced that it has acquired Kittiwake Developments Limited based in Littlehampton, United Kingdom. Kittiwake Developments is a leading manufacturer of condition monitoring technology including wear debris sensors, oil testing and analysis instrumentation and acoustic, vibration and gas emissions monitoring sensors. These products are used alongside filtration technology in the commercial marine, oil and gas, power generation and defence markets.

The acquired business has annual sales of approximately $20 million and employs 95 people. Kittiwake Developments will be integrated into Parker’s Filtration Group and the sales will be reported as part of the International Industrial Segment.

“Kittiwake Developments will allow us to extend our position in diagnostic products and reinforce our ability to offer our customers complete health monitoring solution for their filtration systems,” said Peter Popoff, President of Parker’s Filtration Group. “We welcome the employees of Kittiwake to Parker and are excited about the growth opportunities this combination creates.”

With annual sales exceeding $12 billion in fiscal year 2011, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 58,000 people in 47 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 56 consecutive fiscal years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.parker.com, or its investor information web site at www.phstock.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Forward-looking statements contained in this and other written and oral reports are made based on known events and circumstances at the time of release, and as such, are subject in the future to unforeseen uncertainties and risks. All statements regarding future performance, earnings projections, events or developments are forward-looking statements. It is possible that the future performance and earnings projections of the company, including its individual segments, may differ materially from current expectations, depending on economic conditions within its mobile, industrial and aerospace markets, and the company’s ability to maintain and achieve anticipated benefits associated with announced realignment activities, strategic initiatives to improve operating margins, actions taken to combat the effects of the current economic environment, and growth, innovation and global diversification initiatives. A change in the economic conditions in individual markets may have a particularly volatile effect on segment performance. Among other factors which may affect future performance are: changes in business relationships with and purchases by or from major customers, suppliers or distributors, including delays or cancellations in shipments, disputes regarding contract terms or significant changes in financial condition, changes in contract cost and revenue estimates for new development programs and changes in product mix; ability to identify acceptable strategic acquisition targets; uncertainties surrounding timing, successful completion or integration of acquisitions; ability to realize anticipated cost savings from business realignment activities; threats associated with and efforts to combat terrorism; uncertainties surrounding the ultimate resolution of outstanding legal proceedings, including the outcome of any appeals; competitive market conditions and resulting effects on sales and pricing; increases in raw material costs that cannot be recovered in product pricing; the company’s ability to manage costs related to insurance and employee retirement and health care benefits; and global economic factors, including manufacturing activity, air travel trends, currency exchange rates, difficulties entering new markets and general economic conditions such as inflation, deflation, interest rates and credit availability. The company makes these statements as of the date of this disclosure, and undertakes no obligation to update them unless otherwise required by law.

Offshore Technology Conference, Houston 2012 – Visit Kittiwake on Booth 2241-D

On 30th April – 3rd May, Kittiwake will be exhibiting at OTC 2012.

Come and see us on Booth 2241-D to see how our on-line and on-board condition monitoring solutions can help maximize up-time. Find out how we can help you make informed decisions about asset operation, lubricant changes, emissions levels, and service intervals, on the spot.

  • Reduce Risk
  • Increase Up-Time
  • Monitor Emissions
  • Implement Predictive Service Intervals
  • Full Critical Asset Coverage
  • Simple to Use
  • Rapid Integration
For more information visit us on Booth 2241-D or www.kittiwake.com.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Kittiwake launches ATEX certified Metallic Wear Debris Sensor

Kittiwake has launched its ATEX and IECEx certified metallic wear debris sensor. Continuously checking the health of an asset and providing alerts to changing wear patterns, the sensor provides the user with instantaneous condition information and can now be used in hazardous zone 1 and 2 applications.

ATEX & IECEx certified metallic wear debris sensor

Traditionally used with critical gearboxes, the addition of ATEX and IECEx certification allows the sensor to be used in environments where explosive gases are likely to be present; such as around top drives, draw works, mud pumps and also in chemical plants, refineries and other oil and gas areas.

The metallic wear debris sensor can be mounted within any lubrication system on any type of asset. The sensor measures ferrous and non-ferrous metals within the lubricant, using a combination of proven inductive coil technology, combined with smart algorithms to provide a particle size distribution count.

Martin Lucas, managing director, Kittiwake Group said: “While temperature, pressure, vibration and acoustic emission sensors all have their part to play in a condition monitoring package, early detection of changes in oil and lubricant condition and regular, consistent monitoring of wear metal debris in rotating plant provide greater insight into the actual condition of vital machinery and equipment.

“With both ATEX and IECEx certification, this new product is now suitable for hazardous environments where potentially explosive gas, vapour or mist is present. This is an industry first as there is no similar device certified for use in Zone 1.”

To learn more about the metallic wear debris sensor click here.

Follow this link to visit the Kittiwake Information Centre, a comprehensive condition monitoring resource.

For more information email: marketing@kittiwake.com

Which came first, the green chicken or the green egg? And does it really matter?

The environment is no longer the elephant in the room; it’s now inescapable and pervades almost every aspect of our lives. And now that the green spotlight has turned to focus unrelentingly on shipping, pressure is mounting to demonstrate that, as an industry, we are capable of recalibrating to meet environmental obligations.

While everyone is in agreement that we must work collaboratively to identify ways in which to reduce environmental impact, common sense dictates that this must be balanced with satisfying commercial demands; indeed economic viability and demonstrating an increase in profitability will be the key drivers for ensuring environmental success in shipping. Whether operating, owning or managing a ship, the key to achieving this, and successfully navigating today’s turbulent economic seas, is realising efficiencies in every area of your vessel’s operation. Using time, energy and resource without waste and making assets work harder will directly impact the bottom line and therefore must be given priority – let’s be realistic. However, if efficiency were a colour, it would sparkle a vibrant shade of green. Because it stands to reason that if you operate more efficiently, fuel and lube oil consumption is minimised, not only saving money but also improving environmental credentials.

The direct correlation between uptime and revenue is indisputable even when shipping rates are low, and therefore the importance of preventing costly downtime is equally as plain. Increasing operational profitability through preventative maintenance of critical equipment and machinery in order to minimise equipment downtime is hardly a revelation to anyone in the shipping industry. With the spectre of downtime ever present in engineer’s minds, monitoring and alarm systems are the first means of defence in diagnosing problems with the ship. Sending samples off to the laboratory for analysis is an effective means of condition monitoring, if you are graced with the blessing of time – something a modern ship owner / operator does not have.

Thankfully, increasing demand has driven significant advancement in oil analysis over the past few years, both within and outside of the laboratory environment. The condition monitoring market has been influenced by a number of innovations which today allow marine engineers to enjoy the benefits of onboard and lab testing working in unison. More detailed, but potentially delayed sample results from a laboratory supplement the real time information delivered by onsite testing.

There is a clear benefit in knowing what is going on at an exact point in time – not just when the engineer can get to a machine for a routine, scheduled sample and analysis. Onsite kits enable rapid testing and action, and online sensors remove sampling errors, which are often responsible for un-representative samples. Online, of course, refers to sensor technology, which is advancing at a furious pace. Dependable sensors mounted in the oil circuit provide an early warning system designed to monitor remotely and in real time, the bearing and gear wear debris, lubricant moisture content, as well as lubricant health and remaining life.

Effective maintenance translates into obvious cost savings, but this on and offline condition monitoring equipment also helps to optimise lubricant feed rate. Even electronic lubrication systems do not offer an exact science, which often necessitates the application of a safety buffer. As one of the engine’s largest overheads, an average container ship can spend $12 million on cylinder lubrication over the course of its lifetime. Dependent upon trade, load, running hours and other factors, real-time monitoring is a vital tool in optimising cylinder lube oil feed rate and, as a result, improving efficiency, decreasing lubricant costs, avoiding issues related with over and under lubrication, and of course reducing environmental impact. Existing users, including German shipping company, Reederei Hermann Buss GMBH, are reducing cylinder oil consumption by up to 50%, representing annual savings of over $100,000.

The liner is one of the most crucial and costly components of a ship’s engine and monitoring wear not only extends its life but also protects against considerable financial pain, as the average insurance claim for an unexpected liner loss is over $250,000. It also has the potential to provide valuable data that offers insight into related issues.

Today’s challenging economic climate has fuelled the scrutiny of every operational area for potential cost savings – some which involve stripping out costs and others that focus on investment to realise efficiencies and fundamentally improve performance. Focus on the bottom line is unwavering, so return on any investment must be quickly evident and notably pronounced. The impact of successful troubleshooting using condition monitoring tools and technology can equate to millions of dollars in savings, negate the considerable danger posed by engine failure, while also helping to meet environmental responsibilities.

So, happily, we can look at the effects of efficiency through jade-tinted glasses. Those most adept at generating more from less, prolonging the life of assets and eliminating waste are the ones who will not only become leaner, stronger and more profitable, but will also improve their environmental standing within the shipping community.

Ultimately it’s all about perspective. Is being green a by-product of saving money through efficiency? Or is it the other way around? Arguably, it doesn’t really matter where the emphasis is placed, the outcomes are favourable whichever way you look at it.

Martin Lucas, Managing Director, Kittiwake Developments

Seatrade Asia, November 2011

Global sales conference takes place at Kittiwake

On the 31st October Kittiwake sales representatives from across the globe arrived at the Kittiwake head office for a week of presentations, discussions and workshops. The conference was overseen by Dr Steve Dye, Business Development Manger at Kittiwake, and was attended by the sales teams from the UK, America, Malaysia, India, & Germany. Delegates from Kittiwake’s recently acquired group companies, Kittiwake Procal & Kittiwake Holroyd were also present and shared their knowledge into the fields of Gas Emissions monitoring & Acoustic Vibration analysis. The agenda covered the current product range including hands-on training, Kittiwake’s target markets, R&D projects as well as future directions.

Transocean place order for Kittiwake ThrusterSCAN

ThrusterSCAN marks a new era in online condition monitoring for azimuthing thrusters, helping to predict failure, enabling preventative maintenance and ultimately reducing costly downtime.

Kittiwake’s ThrusterSCAN will be installed on Transocean’s eight-thruster Development Driller III rig. ThrusterSCAN delivers early warning of thruster component damage, lubricant degradation and seal leaks / failures; providing critical information to help optimise thruster operating parameters and effectively manage overhaul schedules. Real time feedback ensures that any changes are highlighted as they start to occur, rather than at scheduled inspections when it may be too late to heed the warning and implement preventative measures.

Peter Pilon, CEO, Kittiwake Americas, commented: “We are delighted by today’s announcement, which is a culmination of Kittiwake’s development of online solutions for monitoring lube oil over the past decade. We have been fine-tunng our offshore application-specific ThrusterSCAN product for the last two years with detailed technical input and support from Transocean. Developed and tailored for particular requirements of the oil and gas industry, ThrusterSCAN provides essential condition monitoring information that enables rig operators to make confident decisions that optimize operations.”

Martin Lucas, Managing Director, Kittiwake Group commented: “The appointment of Peter Pilon as Kittiwake Americas CEO last year and the opening of an office in Houston has provided a spring board to growth within the oil and gas market. This relationship with Transocean is testimony to the value delivered by our asset protection technology. Kittiwake continues to research and develop market-leading products that anable maintenance engineers to make fast and informed decisions in an industry where there is an increasing onus on operational efficiency and performance. To further demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the US’ marine and offshore market, we are seconding our sensor specialist, Mike Dines, to Houston.”

Click here to read more about the ThrusterSCAN system.

ThrusterSCAN Monitoring System

The evolution of condition monitoring

The move towards ‘deskilled’ technology

Where critical plant machinery and equipment is concerned, there is a clear benefit in knowing what is going on at an exact point in time – not just when the engineer can get to a machine for a routine, scheduled test and analysis. The condition monitoring (CM) arena has been influenced by a number of innovations which today allow engineers to enjoy the benefits of onsite and online testing working in unison with offsite, laboratory analysis.

For both acoustic emission and oil analysis, onsite instruments enable rapid testing and action, and online sensors reduce the risk of human error. Online, of course, refers to sensor technology, which is advancing at a furious pace. Dependable sensors designed to monitor remotely and in real time provide an early warning system, alerting engineers to problems at the earliest possible stage.

Acoustic emission
Traditional vibration analysis has provided a trusted approach to condition monitoring for the past thirty years, but it is a complex science and requires sophisticated knowledge and understanding. Acoustic emission technology, however, places the power of condition monitoring directly into the hands of every engineer. Kittiwake Holroyd’s acoustic emission approach to vibration and stress offers a viable alternative, extending and simplifying the science, making it accessible to anyone.

Providing real time information with early sensitivity to faults and applicability to a wide range of rotational speeds, the acoustic emission technique is based on the detection of the high frequency component of naturally occurring stress waves. Suitable for continuously running machinery as well as machinery operating intermittently or for short durations, acoustic emission allows the user to diagnose problems with machinery at an early stage, carry out maintenance procedures and then monitor the improvement.

As awareness of the unique capabilities of acoustic emission increases, so too does the number of applications that it is suited to – many of which have proven difficult for other forms of condition monitoring to address. For example the analysis of signals, whether from acoustic emission sensors or accelerometers, requires a sufficiently long period of machine running at constant speed so that a statistically meaningful signal characterisation can be made. This is easily achieved on machinery that is continuously running but is on the impossible side of difficult when it comes to machinery that operates only intermittently and for short durations. For example the algorithm used to derive the widely used acoustic emission parameters of Distress® & dB Level in the MHC range of products from Kittiwake Holroyd requires a 10 second period of running at an approximately constant speed. Similarly it would not be unusual for Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) based vibration analysis to require comparable or even longer measurement periods and tighter tolerances on speed variation.

In those cases where a hand-held instrument is used to carry out periodic CM it may be possible to interrupt normal machine operation and put it into a special continuously running mode for the duration of CM measurements. However such disruption is not always possible and never convenient. Furthermore it is not compatible with the current trend towards CM automation, which requires continuous online monitoring with permanently installed sensors inputting CM data or status into SCADA systems or PLC’s.

Kittiwake Holroyd’s MHC-Sigma is an ultra smart sensor that addresses the two key challenges of coping with short signal durations and the rejection of run-up and slow-down periods. It forms just part of a full product range that includes portable instruments, permanently installed remote sensors for areas of difficult access, as well as stand-alone programmable smart sensors for continuous surveillance.

Oil Analysis
Another weapon in the CM armoury, oil analysis is usually conceded to be the most revealing form of non-destructive testing. On-site test kits and wear debris monitors can provide accurate information in minutes. For example the ANALEX fdMplus accurately measures total ferrous wear in samples of any oil or grease, from gearbox lubricants through to hydraulics. It is widely accepted that in systems containing ferrous based, moving equipment, the ferrous levels are the first to increase as the equipment wears.

However the real value comes from continuous monitoring of critical plant systems. Trending of vital lubricant test parameters including viscosity, water in oil, total base number (TBN), insolubles, wear debris and particle content is extremely important and the more regular the information the better; even with the best sampling practices, occasional laboratory results can be unrepresentative and sometimes cause false alarms. While temperature, pressure and vibration sensors all have their part to play in a CM package, early detection of changes in oil and lubricant condition provide far greater insight.

In conclusion, downtime costs money and impacts profitability, which must be steadfastly avoided, especially in today’s financial climate. Successful troubleshooting using a combination of the state-of-the-art CM technology available provides the first means of diagnosing problems with essential machinery and equipment. By ‘deskilling’ technology, all maintenance professionals are empowered to make informed decisions quickly and with confidence, ultimately enabling them to positively and significantly impact a company’s bottom line.

Martin Lucas, managing director, Kittiwake Developments

Industrial Plant & Equipment, September 2011

The move to online CBM

Making faster decisions with confidence

Equipment durability and reliability are the cornerstones of a successful shipping operation. The condition monitoring arena has been influenced by a number of innovations which today allow engineers to enjoy the benefits of onboard and lab testing working in unison. More detailed, but potentially delayed results from a laboratory supplement the real time information delivered by onsite testing.

Sending samples off to the laboratory for analysis is an effective means of condition monitoring, if you are graced with the blessing of time. However relying solely on men in white coats to analyse and interpret test results is no longer necessary – onsite diagnostic equipment, including oil analysis and acoustic emission techniques provide laboratory grade results and empower engineers to make fast and informed decisions with confidence.

Oil analysis
We expect lubricants to reduce frictional resistance, reduce wear, protect against corrosion, assist with sealing, contribute to cooling, remove contaminants and debris and provide a cushion on start up. Any other component of the equipment that was so relied upon would be periodically, if not continuously, monitored for condition.

There is a clear benefit in knowing what is going on at an exact point in time – not just when the engineer can get to a machine for a routine, scheduled sample and analysis. Onsite kits enable rapid testing and action, and online sensors remove sampling errors, which are often responsible for un-representative samples. Online, of course, refers to sensor technology, which is advancing at a furious pace. Dependable sensors mounted in the oil circuit provide an early warning system designed to monitor remotely and in real time, the bearing and gear wear debris, lubricant health and remaining life, as well as lubricant moisture content.

On-site test kits and wear debris monitors can provide accurate information in minutes, but the real value comes from continuous monitoring of these critical systems. On-line sensors for monitoring the health of equipment, such as vibration sensors, have been in use for many years and are well trusted. However, only in the past few years have lubricant condition sensors become widely accepted. Now, the condition of the lubricant, the presence of contaminants (including water leaks from seal failures) and even the amount of wear debris and the wear mechanism occurring can be monitored on-line. Sensors and modern interface methods provide simple to understand results through a multitude of communication channels and are undoubtedly the future of lubricant condition monitoring.

Trending of critical lubricant test parameters including viscosity, water in oil, total base number (TBN), insolubles, wear debris and particle content is extremely important and the more regular the information the better; even with the best sampling practices, occasional laboratory results can be unrepresentative and sometimes cause false alarms. The collection and analysis of intelligent data to monitor the condition of critical machinery and facilitate proactive rather than reactive maintenance is vital for productivity and therefore key to revenue generation.

Acoustic emission
Traditional vibration analysis has provided a trusted approach to condition monitoring for the past thirty years, but it is a complex science and requires sophisticated knowledge and understanding. Acoustic emission technology, however, places the power of condition monitoring directly into the hands of every engineer. Kittiwake Holroyd’s acoustic emission approach to vibration and stress offers a viable alternative, extending and simplifying the science, making it accessible to anyone.

Providing real time information with early sensitivity to faults and applicability to a wide range of rotational speeds, the acoustic emission technique is based on the detection of the high frequency component of naturally occurring stress waves. Suitable for continuously running machinery as well as machinery operating intermittently or for short durations, acoustic emission allows the user to diagnose problems with machinery at an early stage, carry out maintenance procedures and then monitor the improvement.

Kittiwake Holroyd’s product range includes portable instruments, permanently installed remote sensors for areas of difficult access, as well as stand-alone programmable smart sensors for continuous surveillance. The company has pioneered autonomous signal processing algorithms – for example its Distress® parameter – which remove the need for machine specific interpretations.

Downtime costs money and impacts profitability, which must be steadfastly avoided, especially in today’s financial climate. So with the spectre of downtime ever present, condition monitoring systems and oil analysis programmes are the first means of defence in diagnosing problems with critical machinery and equipment. And by ‘deskilling’ technology, all maintenance professionals are empowered to make informed decisions quickly and with confidence.

The impact of successful troubleshooting using a combination of the state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment available can equate to millions of dollars in savings. Which is why condition monitoring innovation will continue to develop into the 21st century and beyond.

Martin Lucas, managing director, Kittiwake Developments

Marine Propulsion, August 2011

Information proliferation: why it’s so important to cut through the noise on sampling and monitoring.

In 2010, more information was circulated globally than all the accumulated information passed in all previous years. The expediential expansion of the internet, particularly social media sites, has meant that the average internet user visits 59 domains and views 1,050 internet pages each month.

A shipping industry that is increasingly fast-moving – driven by new regulations, security issues, health and safety, the environment and increasingly public scrutiny – has not escaped this trend for greater proliferation and requirement for information. Shipowners and operators could be excused for feeling barraged by information. Nevertheless, finding information is important. Filtering through to the right information is even more important.

Take regulation, for example: whether it is the revised ISO 8217 (2010) on fuel content and quality, MARPOL Annex VI (sulphur emissions), ballast water, maritime security, health and safety, the list is endless. When ships take onboard bunker fuel, regulation is of paramount importance; otherwise the amount of bunker fuel piped onboard could not be assessed, nor contents and quality of the fuel fairly and accurately tested, for example. Moreover, as emissions are increasingly scrutinised by regulators, so an owner / operator needs to understand in detail what the compliance parameters are. Where can testing can take place? What testing facilities and equipment are available? What are the current emissions level requirements? What are the risks in procuring poor quality bunker fuel?

Bunker sampling and monitoring is an example of why it is not only essential to monitor the quality of fuels and protect critical equipment and machinery, but it is also imperative for regulatory compliance and dispute resolution purposes. Along with the monitoring of lubricants and emissions, regulation has meant the risks and rewards of accurate and reliable monitoring data can make a significant dent or improvement upon a ship owner or operator’s bottom line.

Given the increasing relevancy of condition monitoring to the shipping industry, Kittiwake has launched the world’s first marine-focused condition monitoring information portal: https://www.machinerycondition.com. This resource is designed to provide stakeholders with detailed technical information and practical guidance across every aspect of marine condition monitoring, with information continually updated as international rules, regulations, technology and working practices change.

Cutting through the myriad of regulations and compliance issues can be complex. In May 2011, DNV Petroleum Services (DNVPS), the bunker fuel testing company, characterised “off-specification” bunker fuels as the “biggest challenge” in terms of the technical aspect of ship operators’ business during 2010. A DNV report concluded that 94% of 96 respondents coming from the technical, operations and management departments of shipping firms said they encountered problems with bunker fuel deliveries.

Around 50% of the shipping representatives said the “fuel quality cases they encountered were resolved in a satisfactory manner,” although 18% of them did not report a positive outcome. The 18% said the availability of an industry standard on fuel contaminants, technical advice guiding the ship on how to use problematic fuels and de-bunkering, would have been useful.

Additionally, over 90% of the representatives involved in purchasing, listed fuel performance indicators, which include off-specification delivery records and delivery quantities, as the most important considerations when buying bunkers.

Some 14% of the total respondents, meanwhile, said they had to debunker the seriously off-specification fuels they received, while 9% did not have to offload but managed to use the problematic fuels based on advice from fuel management companies.

Much of the challenge for ship-owners and operators procuring bunker fuel is that as the shipping industry moves to cleaner fuels, so the source of that fuel and the resulting content become more fragmented and, in some cases, incompatible. How many owner / operators, know, for example that when the purchase 1.0% Low Sulphur fuel that this fuel has been blended with “cutter stocks” such as marine diesel oil (MDO) that is diluted with Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). As fuel sources alter and there is increasing demand for multiple emission level bunker fuel, so the cutter stock is less likely to be sourced from the same refinery or region as the HFO it is being blended with, for example.

Global bunker player O.W. Bunker last year urged fuel suppliers to take “greater responsibility” in helping ship-owners overcome the technical difficulties associated with using lower sulphur fuels. It warned some ship-owners and operators had been experiencing problems including loss of propulsion, engine failure, filter blockages and damage to auxiliary pumps. “Switching to low sulphur fuel oils and distillates is complex and there needs to be a deep understanding of the technical process,” Steffen Kortegaard, Technical Director, O.W. Bunker, was reported saying.

This view was recently corroborated by Iain Butterworth, Associate Director of UK-based Myton Law, who reported a rapid increase in cases of main engine failures, citing the rapid increase in engine technology and the engine’s compatibility with a much wider scope of fuel types and quality for the emerging trend.

If the real and potential danger of engine failure and the resulting costs of de-bunkering, as well as the potential litigation claims between owner / operator and bunker supplier were not by now self-evidenced, then INTERTANKO’s recent intervention on the matter underlines its importance.

INTERTANKO’s Technical Director Dragos Rauta explained the thinking behind its latest joint submission with Norway to the IMO, which presents data collected from two testing agencies, indicating that approximately 1.4% of bunkering worldwide was the cause of machinery problems when the ship started using the fuel. Rauta said ship operators faced two categories of problems related to bunkers, namely sulphur content, which can breach MARPOL Annex VI limits, and chemical contamination. Of the two, Rauta said chemical contamination was the most serious issue as it could cause engines to stop, or make operations very difficult.

Bunker sampling is not only essential for monitoring the quality of fuels and protecting critical equipment and machinery; it is also imperative for regulatory compliance and dispute resolution purposes. Testing of bunker fuel can be undertaken on-site or off-site in a dedicated laboratory. The table below indicates the testing possibilities for fuels specified in ISO 8217. Where an off-site test is not specified then the parameter is not covered in ISO 8217 for that grade of fuel.

On-site testing, enabled through Kittiwake’s product range of sampling equipment, for example, allows for an immediate decision to be made in case of an off specification fuel but with a limited number of achievable test parameters.

  • Density
  • Viscosity
  • Water (inc salt / fresh)
  • Pour Point
  • Cloud Point (used by military but infrequently by merchant marine)
  • Compatibility (c.f. sediment)

Off-site testing in a laboratory allows for a much larger number of test parameters to reflect the complete range within the fuel specification ISO 8217.

Understanding the benefits of what both “on site” and “off site” fuel testing provide the ship-owner / operator with offers a good example of how what was once a tick box on a spread sheet for a bunker surveyor has become increasingly complex and vital to the safe and profitable operation of a vessel.

It’s not just bunker fuel content that needs to be monitored. Reducing shipping emissions will be the major driver of change in the maritime industry for decades to come. In the near term, the sulphur limit for fuels burnt in emission control areas (ECAs) will drop from 1.0% to 0.10% in 2015. And since 2010, vessels also need to comply with EC Regulation 2005/33/EC when in EU ports, which, apart from a few exceptions, requires the use of 0.1% sulphur fuel or equivalent emissions. Moreover, legislation pertaining to Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) has already been implemented and, whilst beyond the horizon, legislation around greenhouse gases from either the IMO or the European Union, or both, is imminent.

So ship owners and operators have serious decisions to make and data sets to provide; ultimately based on a complex set of circumstances and a fluid regulatory background. However, there are only two viable options enabling vessels to comply with SOx emissions regulations; use fuel within sulphur limits or fit exhaust after-treatment systems.

Continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) has an important role to play in both, and ‘ in situ’ tools are the most accurate yet. The IMO regulation allows for abatement technology to achieve sulphur emission reductions and, in line with this, Wärtsilä recently predicted a “rapid ramp-up and development of the scrubber market”. Systems capable of measuring down to the equivalent of 0.1% sulphur fuel are key for confirming compliance with SOx regulations when after treatment is used.

With the wide proliferation of ECAs, information on what parameters constitute complicity in what region have become a pre-requisite, as is finding the right information to unravel the complexities of fuel monitoring and testing.

Winston Churchill once said: “True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous and conflicting information.” If, in 2010, the world communicated more information than ever before, what might we expect from 2011 and years to come? The shipping industry needs information, which in turns leads to knowledge and success. However ensuring the right information is collated, processed and acted upon when so much misinformation abounds, represents just as much of a challenge for shipping as it does everyone else.

Chris Leigh-Jones, Director, Kittiwake 

 

Bunkerspot, July 2011

 

The power of on-site condition monitoring diagnostics

Making better decisions, faster

Equipment durability and reliability are the cornerstones of successful industrial process. The condition monitoring arena has been influenced by a number of innovations which today allow engineers to enjoy the benefits of on-site and lab testing working in unison. More detailed, but potentially delayed results from a laboratory supplement the real time information delivered by onsite testing.

Sending samples off to the laboratory for analysis is an effective means of condition monitoring, if you are graced with the blessing of time. However relying solely on men in white coats to analyse and interpret test results is no longer necessary – onsite diagnostic equipment, including oil analysis and acoustic emission techniques provide laboratory grade results and empower engineers to make fast and informed decisions with confidence.

Oil analysis
We expect lubricants to reduce frictional resistance, reduce wear, protect against corrosion, assist with sealing, contribute to cooling, remove contaminants and debris and provide a cushion on start up. Any other component of the equipment that was so relied upon would be periodically, if not continuously, monitored for condition.

There is a clear benefit in knowing what is going on at an exact point in time – not just when the engineer can get to a machine for a routine, scheduled sample and analysis. Onsite kits enable rapid testing and action, and online sensors remove sampling errors, which are often responsible for un-representative samples. Online, of course, refers to sensor technology, which is advancing at a furious pace. Dependable sensors mounted in the oil circuit provide an early warning system designed to monitor remotely and in real time, the bearing and gear wear debris, lubricant health and remaining life, as well as lubricant moisture content.

On-site test kits and wear debris monitors can provide accurate information in minutes, but the real value comes from continuous monitoring of these critical systems. On-line sensors for monitoring the health of equipment, such as vibration sensors, have been in use for many years and are well trusted. However, only in the past few years have lubricant condition sensors become widely accepted. Now, the condition of the lubricant, the presence of contaminants (including water leaks from seal failures) and even the amount of wear debris and the wear mechanism occurring can be monitored on-line. Sensors and modern interface methods provide simple to understand results through a multitude of communication channels and are undoubtedly the future of lubricant condition monitoring.

Trending of critical lubricant test parameters including viscosity, water in oil, total base number (TBN), insolubles, wear debris and particle content is extremely important and the more regular the information the better; even with the best sampling practices, occasional laboratory results can be unrepresentative and sometimes cause false alarms. The collection and analysis of intelligent data to monitor the condition of critical machinery and facilitate proactive rather than reactive maintenance is vital for productivity and therefore key to revenue generation.

Acoustic emission
Traditional vibration analysis has provided a trusted approach to condition monitoring for the past thirty years, but it is a complex science and requires sophisticated knowledge and understanding. Acoustic emission technology, however, places the power of condition monitoring directly into the hands of every engineer. Kittiwake Holroyd’s acoustic emission approach to vibration and stress offers a viable alternative, extending and simplifying the science, making it accessible to anyone.

Providing real time information with early sensitivity to faults and applicability to a wide range of rotational speeds, the acoustic emission technique is based on the detection of the high frequency component of naturally occurring stress waves. Suitable for continuously running machinery as well as machinery operating intermittently or for short durations, acoustic emission allows the user to diagnose problems with machinery at an early stage, carry out maintenance procedures and then monitor the improvement.

Kittiwake Holroyd’s product range includes portable instruments, permanently installed remote sensors for areas of difficult access, as well as stand-alone programmable smart sensors for continuous surveillance. The company has pioneered autonomous signal processing algorithms – for example its Distress® parameter – which remove the need for machine specific interpretations.

Downtime costs money and impacts profitability, which must be steadfastly avoided, especially in today’s financial climate. So with the spectre of downtime ever present, condition monitoring systems and oil analysis programmes are the first means of defence in diagnosing problems with critical plant machinery and equipment. And by ‘deskilling’ technology, all maintenance professionals are empowered to make informed decisions quickly and with confidence.

The impact of successful troubleshooting using a combination of the state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment available can equate to millions of dollars in savings. Which is why condition monitoring innovation will continue to develop into the 21st century and beyond.

Martin Lucas, managing director, Kittiwake Developments

Maintenance & Engineering, July 2011