The maritime industry not only shares many of its equipment maintenance challenges with shore-based industries, but also adds a number unique to its own environment. With a small number of engineers taking responsibility for a wide range of equipment, remote from specialist support and with a limited range of spare parts, the industry has developed a pragmatic, self-reliant approach.
Although run to failure is a common strategy ashore, the high cost and risk of equipment breakdowns at sea are considered unacceptable in most circumstances. Planned maintenance is recognised as a more effective technique but often results in unnecessary maintenance interventions that can themselves introduce problems.
Predictive maintenance has become the preferred technique for critical assets in many situations, not only because it brings significant cost benefit advantages but also because it improves the level of control that engineers can exert over the future performance of their equipment. Breakdowns can be avoided, and routine maintenance restricted to the most essential tasks. Most major maintenance activities can be deferred to the next dry-docking, which can be optimised based on equipment condition.
The Artesis predictive maintenance system aims to provide all the benefits of traditional condition monitoring systems at a fraction of the complication and cost. Artesis MCM (Motor Condition Monitor) uses an intelligent, model-based approach to provide complete monitoring and diagnostic capabilities for most electric motor driven equipment.
Each MCM unit covers a complete motor and the equipment driven by it, and is typically installed in the motor control cabinet. Since connections are required only to the motor supply cables, installation costs are low with no need to access the driven equipment for any sensor installation. Once installed, the system trains itself to recognise normal performance, following which it continuously monitors the equipment for possible faults. When such a fault is detected, the system provides a diagnosis of one of a wide range of mechanical and electrical problems, and indicates severity so that the engineer can make decisions on the most appropriate intervention.
Because the Artesis system is simple to install and requires little user intervention in operation, it combines low start-up costs with the significant benefits of predictive maintenance. Since it doesn’t require any sensor installation on the equipment itself, Artesis MCM is a good solution for a wide range of equipment, including most types of pumps, fans, and compressors. It is also applicable to electric propulsion motors, thrusters, and azipods.
The Artesis PCM (Plant Condition Monitor) provides similar capabilities to the MCM for generators and alternators, allowing the Artesis system to cover the full range of engine-room machinery.
A wide range of communications options are available, allowing users to integrate the Artesis system with their existing watchkeeping or maintenance management architectures. The Artesis system is fully integrated with the James Fisher Mimic condition monitoring software now being used by many fleets.