Condition-Based Maintenance: New Opportunities for Shipping



Matthieu Dessaux, Technical Manager for Shore Connection and Marine Automation, Schneider Electric, Grenoble, France


Due to the increasing complexity of electrical and control systems onboard ships, maintenance of ship electrical installations has become a major issue. Reactive maintenance, i.e. repairing after a failure, is even more critical on ships as maintenance teams onboard are limited in number and at the same time need to be trained and competent on many different systems, products and technologies. In order to ensure correct operation of these systems, it is necessary to follow manufacturer recommendations regarding regular verification, testing and replacement of critical parts when needed. Preventive maintenance is the common strategy in the shipping industry: according to manufacturer recommendations and classification society requirements, maintenance plans are scheduled in advance so as to reduce downtime. It makes it easier to anticipate and plan resource availability (material, dock, human resources, and so forth).
However this preventive approach is not perfect and cannot guarantee zero failure when shipping. In addition, due to the increasing pressure on costs in a competitive environment, maintenance operations are under scrutiny and reducing the downtime they cause has become a major challenge…
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