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Wartsila launches new tail shaft monitoring system

Written by Nick Blenkey
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SEPTEMBER 5, 2016— The newly launched Wärtsilä Sea-Master system for monitoring the condition of tail shaft equipment uses digital technology to monitor shaft bearings and seals to help customers maximize uptime and lower lifecycle costs of vessel shaft lines.

The Sea-Master system collects real-time data from the tail shaft of the vessel, providing valuable information about the operational health of the tail shaft equipment. It can be applied to open and closed loop water-lubricated stern tubes as well as closed loop oil-lubricated stern tubes.

The solution uses digital technology coupled with composite components and existing seals, resulting in a combination that helps customers manage their assets, maximize uptime and lower lifecycle costs.

Wärtsilä Sea-Master also provides early warning for the detection of rising failure issues with system alarms for critical path components, including bearing temperatures and lubrication rates. The system is approved by classification societies and is available for all vessel segments and ship types as well as for new build and retrofit applications.

“We used our existing condition monitoring technology to develop this new system and service, which applies proven data analysis methodology to deliver not only information but careful expert analysis and performance-enhancing recommendations as well,” says Matthew Bignell, Sales Development Manager, Wärtsilä Seals & Bearings.”Our customers get a window into the operational health of their tail shaft and gain knowledge about, for instance, the wear rates of the equipment. This allows for more accurate maintenance planning and reduces unforeseen risks

For water-lubricated systems, the tail shaft of a vessel is typically removed in dry dock and inspected by a classification society in every five years. By capturing real-time data with trending, Wärtsilä Sea-Master allows vessel operators to provide reliable information about the condition of the tail shaft for classification society surveyors without having to withdraw the tail shaft extending the interval between removals and thereby reducing unnecessary downtime.

Pilot vessels that feature Wärtsilä Sea-Master are already in operation, and a number of retrofit programs will begin this month.

“Our goal is to help our customers optimize their operations by providing safe, reliable and environmentally sound solutions that ensure the health of their equipment,” says Mr. Bignell. “This goal also steers our product development and digital initiatives. Wärtsilä Sea-Master is a good example of the advances offered by digitalization to the maintenance of propulsion technology.”

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