Just as vehicles, HVAC units, and other types of mechanical equipment require regular upkeep, marine vessels also require ongoing maintenance to run efficiently. Planned or periodic maintenance might not be enough to keep ships, particularly those at sea, from experiencing equipment and machinery failures. For this reason, some operations add predictive maintenance to their repertoire of preventive measures. By understanding what predictive maintenance is and implementing it on your own vessels, you will further enhance their efficiency, extend their lifespan, and save on repairs.
Types of Ship Maintenance Programs
- Planned maintenance system: A common time-based monitoring system that includes periodic overhauling, inspections, and component replacements on machinery.
- Preventive maintenance: A crew inspects a ship and carries out preventive measures according to a conditional analysis and maintenance schedule to keep equipment in good working condition. Examples of preventive maintenance include periodically cleaning and lubricating components, as well as projects related to surface preparation and coatings using marine temporary climate solutions.
- Breakdown, or corrective, maintenance: Repairing shipboard machinery that fails.
- Predictive maintenance: Condition-based maintenance involves the proactive, non-intrusive analysis of equipment or machinery using monitoring systems with statistical processes that determine when components will need corrective maintenance. Technologies utilized include infrared, corona detection, vibration analysis, acoustic, oil analysis, and other tests.
Predictive Maintenance for Marine Vessels
The primary benefit of predictive maintenance for ships is the ability to schedule corrective maintenance before the vessels are on open waters, where it’s more difficult and costly to conduct repairs. Because the technologies are like surveillance systems that warn of looming failures, they help workers predict the maintenance cycle of equipment or machinery. Additional benefits include:
- Knowing what parts to stock in advance
- Reduced overhead costs
- Energy savings
- Overall efficiency improvements
- Reduced maintenance and repair costs
- Improved productivity
- Fewer component failures
While preventive maintenance is vital and some accidents are unavoidable, predictive maintenance fills in the gaps that preventive maintenance leaves. Preventive maintenance only occurs in accordance with a program’s schedule. Predictive maintenance technologies monitor in-service equipment, which workers cannot do throughout the day, and let crewmembers know when a component needs attention before it fails.
Predictive Maintenance for Surface Preparation and Coatings
Protective coating nondestructive testing, or PC/NDT, is a predictive maintenance tool used to evaluate a ship’s painting system. In general, it uses a special black light that detects particles added to paint or coatings that produce an enhanced visual signature. The results of the test help crewmembers determine the best time to schedule paint-related maintenance and repairs before a coating fails and irreversible corrosion occurs. The use of PC/NDT also reduces the number of coating operations and the materials required during a ship’s life.
While corroded sites only account for a small percentage of the ship’s total surface area, they are the greatest cause of premature coating failures. Surface preparation is the foundation for a PC/NDT predictive maintenance program. Crewmembers can achieve the ideal conditions by using marine temporary climate solutions that help protect the bare-metal substrate from under-film corrosion and contaminants before recoat operations. The same climate control systems will also create conditions that ensure that each protective coating dries and cures properly, regardless of the weather outside.
Predictive maintenance gives you the time you need to plan maintenance tasks efficiently while mitigating high costs associated with random failures on a ship. When used for a vessel’s surface coating, you no longer have to rely on visible corrosion or fixed maintenance schedules for recoating tasks, allowing you to maximize your resources and personnel. Get in touch with Polygon today to learn more about how its temporary marine climate solutions generate greater efficiencies when paired with predictive maintenance programs.