MobilGard data shows many vessels not operating at optimal lube feed rates

(OSLO, Norway) — In-depth data analysis of more than 400,000 oil samples from ExxonMobil’s MobilGard Cylinder Condition Monitoring (CCM) program has identified the wide range of potentially damaging engine issues facing vessel operators.

With operators challenged by continued economic pressures and changing regulations, the need to protect engines and drive operational efficiencies is more important than ever. MobilGard CCM is designed to help optimize engine protection and minimize operating costs. Analysis from the advanced cylinder condition monitoring shows that operators have many opportunities to optimize their engine efficiency and also potentially mitigate catastrophic engine failures.

As many as 50 percent of marine vessels have an opportunity to optimize feed rates. In the most common scenario of over-lubrication, the result is wasted oil consumption and unnecessary expense. But the effects can be far more serious, generating excessive piston and liner wear that can ultimately lead to even more significant costs to operators.

The analysis also demonstrated a growing issue with cat fines and continued cold corrosion challenges for many operators. Key findings included:

• 43 percent of vessels have an issue with cat fines, which can lead to catastrophic engine failure in severe cases.
• 15 percent are suffering from cold corrosion, which can reduce engine life dramatically if operators fail to address the problem quickly.
• 9 percent of vessels see high levels of iron in the scrape down oil. This is indicative of engine wear and can lead to reduced piston, liner and overall engine life.
• 25 percent are experiencing water washing problems. The presence of water in the engine removes the cylinder oil from the liners and can cause high wear.

“It is no secret that the marine industry is facing challenging times,” said Iain White, global marketing manager at ExxonMobil Marine. “Operators are constantly under pressure to save money, so efficiency continues to be front of mind. The data captured by our MobilGard CCM program has indicated that many are missing the opportunity to drive that efficiency, and some are even facing a real risk of catastrophic engine failure.”

ExxonMobil’s MobilGard CCM program, built on 15 years of experience in cylinder condition monitoring and analysis, is designed to provide protection for slow-speed engines. Operators on the program receive a tailored lubrication recommendation, based on extensive data samples that benchmark their specific engine and operating conditions. Regular MobilGard CCM analysis, coupled with support from ExxonMobil’s experienced engineers, helps customers to optimize their feed rates, maximize their engine life and ultimately reduce overall operating costs.

By Professional Mariner Staff