A new Internet-of-Things solution will monitor the health of vessels in real time, predicting equipment failures, reducing downtime and extending the lifecycle of lube oil
Offshore marine logistics company Topaz Energy and Marine will deploy an Internet-of-Things (IoT)-based lubricant condition-monitoring system from Baker Hughes across its fleet of 20 module-carrying vessels (MCVs). The project’s goal is to improve uptime and optimise maintenance.
Topaz Energy and Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), signed a long-term agreement to deploy the system, called VitalyX, in May at OTC 2019 in Houston.
The system is described as a ‘health monitor’ for your vessel, using the IoT, in combination with monitoring software and sensors, to collect and analyse data from key equipment onboard. Dashboards onboard the vessel and ashore display real-time technical information on the vessel’s condition and the maintenance required to achieve optimal performance. Specifically, sensors are deployed on engines, thrusters and gensets that monitor the lube oil for contaminants, such as metal particles and soot.
VitalyX also tracks the presence of water, salt water, glycol, fuel dilution, TBN and TAN index, assisting in predicting equipment failures and improving the lifecycle of the lube oil.
Topaz Energy chief operating officer Martin Helwig expects VitalyX will improve the company’s ability to predict and prevent failures, reduce costs, improve vessel utilisation and allow for condition-based maintenance for more efficient dry-docking. “We try to find the best technologies that provide value for our clients [and] this will help us bring more tangible benefits to our customers,” says Mr Helwig.
VitalyX has already been tested on two of Topaz Energy’s specially designed 123 m MCVs, which operate in the Caspian on a marine logistics project with TengizChevroil (TCO) in to Kazakhstan.
BHGE global commercial VP for measurement and controls Ed J. Boufarah, says: “By embracing digital-driven, real-time condition monitoring for lube oil, we are helping the marine industry move from solely time-based maintenance to a more performance-based maintenance plan, and the benefits can be game-changing.”
IoT technology will be presented at Riviera’s Optimised Ship Forum in Hamburg, Germany, on 1 October 2019