A new turbocharger maintenance service lets shipowners monitor the health of their turbochargers and predict spares supply and costs
Offered as a turnkey solution for maintenance at a fixed price, ABB’s Turbo MarineCare provides continuous cover for vessel owners, from drydock to drydock. Designed for customers with turbochargers for two-stroke engines, the plan covers standard overhaul parts, wear and tear components, unplanned events (including unexpected repairs), labour, waiting and overtime, and intermediate inspection.
Shipowners are traditionally covered by a limited warranty only in the first few years of a new vessel’s life. Turbo MarineCare can be applied from new or at any stage of the vessel’s or turbocharger’s life, subject to access to its service history and operating data.
"The financial risk and extra cost associated with a turbocharger service is removed”
“In challenging markets, it is even more important for companies to reduce and simplify day-to-day costs,” says ABB Turbocharging head of service Roland Schwarz. “Turbo MarineCare allows owners and operators to flatten the cost of turbocharger care over the span of an overhaul period, making their outgoings fully predictable, while safeguarding access to original parts, the latest technologies and authorised service teams.”
Turbo MarineCare allows operators to simplify maintenance regimes. Unanticipated replacement of parts and repairs during drydocks can cause delays, increase the administrative burden and add extra cost. Under the new service agreement, ABB takes on these risks rather than the shipowner or operator. ABB identifies which parts and services will be required at overhauls and takes responsibility for shipping of parts ahead of drydocking and carrying out the service.
Monitoring of operational turbocharger data is a precondition of Turbo MarineCare. This allows ABB to provide a complete health assessment of rotating components, as well as enabling early detection of abnormal data trends that can help to avoid potential turbocharger faults.
Embracing Lean Six Sigma
Underpinning ABB’s service offering is a global network of service stations. Here too the company has changed operations to make its turnaround of spare parts even faster. The company’s Singapore service station has embraced the Lean Six Sigma methodology of business improvement, leading to the introduction of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. This has the potential to save time for engineers and service teams.
Lean Six Sigma is a continuous improvement methodology based around discipline, statistics and data measurement to help make operational processes as efficient as possible.
In this instance, ABB Turbocharging used Six Sigma to work out how to change the way parts are tracked throughout the production line, making it a lot easier to manage workflow.
Spare parts availability is core to ABB’s service business. Turbocharger customers need a fast turnaround on parts to keep their engines running in optimal condition, and that means ABB needs to keep close tabs on its inventory. Much of the tracking used to be done manually.
The updated digital operations process revolves around RFID and barcode technology. When jobs arrive at ABB Turbocharging in Singapore, they can be instantly tagged to a specific location. During operations and as they move throughout a warehouse and assembly line, ABB engineers can quickly scan the part using a handheld scanner and assign its latest location. This offers the ability to see exactly where a part is in a warehouse or on an assembly line, in real time, increasing efficiency and making it possible to optimise storage.