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Monday, October 18, 2021 

Dutch company Bakker Sliedrecht says it has been one the first in the industry to switch partly from time-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance.

The company's system monitors the actual status and condition of electrical drive systems and components, which it says provides a cost-effective method to ensure that maintenance, repair and replacement are only planned and carried out when necessary. In the case of motors, drive systems, transformers, and several other components, these parts can last much longer than the manufacturer's prescribed term, especially in the offshore and dredging sector, where vessels are not always in continuous operation.

On the other hand, motors or parts can wear out faster due to experiencing heavier loads than previously expected. Collected data from monitoring instruments gives clear insights whether maintenance, overhaul or replacement is necessary, and allows the required maintenance to be executed at a more convenient time. The monitoring equipment helps to predict the occurrence of likely failures.

Arend van der Velde, head of technology and innovation, Bakker Sliedrecht, said: “We see that many systems and parts wear much less quickly and last out longer than expected. With time-based maintenance, we replaced everything after a certain number of years, while our condition measurements now show that this is often not yet necessary. These are essential parts of the whole power plant. The measurements give us a much better insight into the status and condition. That is why you see that condition-based maintenance is increasing in the market.”

For some dredgers, for example, the bearings of generators and electric motors are monitored thus. Currently, service technicians use laptops to collect and analyse data when performing condition measurements. The deviations and the fail values are immediately visible on the screen. Bakker Sliedrecht wants to be able to read this data remotely and further automate it in the future.

Van der Velde said: “That depends on the method of data storage and the accessibility of vessels. To utilise the full potential of condition-based maintenance, solid cooperation with the client is very important. Based on the observations from analysed data, we can make recommendations to the client. For example, about a submersible pump that often runs up against the cavitation limit. We can then advise changing the drive speed. In this way, we hope to advise in more areas in the future to make ships operate more efficiently.”

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