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Swedish Club: Human error biggest cause of auxiliary engine damage

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JANUARY 8, 2018 — The majority of all damage to marine auxiliary engines takes place immediately after maintenance work with incorrect maintenance and wrongful repair the most common causes of damage.

Poor lubrication oil management is also a major contributing factor to auxiliary engine break downs.

A key finding of an investigation by mutual insurer the Swedish Club is that 55% of auxiliary engines casualties occur within only 10% of the time between overhaul (TBO), corresponding to the first 1,000 hours or so of operation after overhaul. In most cases the damage occurs only a few hours after start up.

The report, Auxiliary Engine Damage, also finds that container vessels have a significantly higher claims frequency due to the larger number of auxiliary engines installed on these vessels. In addition these engines have considerable output, leading to higher repair costs compared to other vessels.

The report has been created in response to Swedish Club members’ concerns over damage to auxiliary engines – a significant segment of machinery claims, both in number and in cost.

Peter Stålberg, Senior Technical Adviser at the Swedish Club explains: “Auxiliary engines run at high revolutions and have a common lubrication system for both cylinder and crank case lubrication. They are not under the same strict regime from the classification society as the main engine, and maintenance is often carried out by the vessel crew.

“We see incorrect maintenance and wrongful repair in all too many cases, and poor lubrication management is also a major contributing factor to auxiliary engine break downs. With an average repair cost of more than $345,000, we cannot emphasize enough the principle that prevention is better than cure.”

Download the Swedish Club’s Auxiliary Engine Damage report HERE

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