Hansford Sensors

Marine Monitoring to Maximise the Performance of Marine Machinery


Courtesy of Hansford Sensors

Considering the cost of putting to sea, it is well worth investing in vibration monitoring equipment that can help engineers to protect and maximise the performance of marine machinery.

Here, we discuss the challenges facing engineers and offers advice on how to successfully install and use vibration sensing equipment on marine vessels.

As machinery has become more complex and mankind has demanded greater productivity from each mechanical system, there has been a corresponding growth in the need for sophisticated vibration sensors that can help maximise the performance of many engineering processes. This is especially true at sea, where vibration monitoring is a key tool used by marine engineers to manage the availability and maintenance of a wide range of equipment with rotating shafts, including pumps, motors, fans, gearboxes and engine systems.

The cost of putting an oil tanker or a cruise ship to sea has always justified the cost of monitoring it but in recent times pressure has grown on ship owners to ensure that they meet deadlines. Add to this the fact that much bad publicity can be generated by severe failures, whether caused by the unscheduled docking for repairs of a container ship or the malfunction of ventilation fans in hotels on cruise ships, and the need to apply reliable preventative maintenance techniques becomes ever-more pressing.

Thankfully, today’s designers and engineers have succeeded in developing a range of tools and practices to prevent vibration and its consequences, such as alignment tools and automatic lubricators that can be applied during system construction, while components themselves are continually being refined and upgraded to offer greater resistance to vibration.

However, vibration can never be entirely banished from rotating machinery and so there has been much development in vibration monitoring technology; in particular, vibration sensors increasingly offer exceptional reliability packaged in a variety of resilient enclosures to enable their use within a wide rangeof applications.

The adoption of vibration monitoring equipment is vital in marine applications because vibration is one of the main causes of failure in marine propulsion systems and auxiliary equipment. The development of vibration monitoring equipment has naturally involved examining the key causes of vibration, such as poor alignment of rotating shafts in, for example, propulsion systems and turbochargers for main or auxiliary engines.

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