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Mimic saves over $3,000,000

Challenge

  • A major cruise line operator had a population of around 150 large turbochargers. Of these, just under 100 were of a particular make and design and due to reasons unknown, an average of four of these failed catastrophically each year.
  • The financial cost to the company was approximately $1,000,000 per year but this did not take into account the hidden costs of dissatisfied passengers, or the very real risk of injury to crew and/or an increased fire risk that could endanger the whole vessel.

Solution

After conducting a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) James Fisher Mimic (JFM) designed and created a turbocharger monitoring unit (TCM).

Data collection involved vibration signatures, gas inlet and outlet temperatures, scavenge air pressure and rotor speed.

The units were made with the following capabilities:

  • Automated, self-contained and remotely accessible (both on-board and off the ship).
  • Able to identify rotor deterioration and to indicate this immediately to the vessel’s control room watchkeepers.
  • Indicate to nominated personnel ashore whenever a turbocharger alert was initiated.
  • Self-monitoring, such that any failed sensor, inaccurate speed signal, or loss of hard drive had to be flagged to both on-board and shore side users.

Results

  • JFM successfully designed, developed and commissioned the TCM units.
  • The units correctly identified the early onset of failure on six occasions within the first 12 months of operation. In following years, a further eight failures were prevented.
  • No failures, other than two due to foreign object damage went unreported and the success of the system resulted in an estimated savings in excess of $3,000,000.
  • The 22 units installed across the 100 turbochargers continue to operate and provide early warning, avoiding catastrophic failures.

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