Auxiliary engine damage is mostly caused by human error says Swedish Club

Auxiliary engine damage is mostly caused by human error says Swedish Club
Auxiliary engine damage is mostly caused by human error says Swedish Club

The majority of all auxiliary engine damage takes place immediately after maintenance work according to an investigation by The Swedish Club. A key finding in their investigation is that 55% of casualties occur within only 10% of the time between overhaul corresponding to the first 1,000 hours or so of operation after overhaul. In most cases, the damage occurs only a few hours after start up, the Club noted.

The report, Auxiliary Engine Damage, also finds that container vessels have a significantly higher claims frequency due to the larger number of installed engines on these vessels. In addition, these engines have considerable output, leading to higher repair costs compared with other vessels.

Investigation findings
– Auxiliary engine claims account for 13% of the total machinery claim costs and 16% of the volume, with an average claim cost of USD 345,000.
– The frequency for auxiliary engine claims is approximately 1.2% and has been relatively steady for the last few years.
– Container ships have a higher claim frequency and cost in relation to fleet entry.
– Approximately 50% of all auxiliary engine damage occurs immediately after maintenance work.
– Incorrect maintenance and wrongful repair are the most common causes of damage.
– Poor lubrication oil management is also a major contributing factor to auxiliary engine break downs.

Auxiliary engine claims and trends, 2010-2016
Auxiliary engine claims and trends, 2010-2016

Peter Stålberg, Senior Technical Adviser at The Swedish Club explains: “Auxiliary engines run at high revolutions and have a common lubrication system for both cylinder and crank case lubrication. They are not under the same strict regime from the classification society as the main engine, and maintenance is often carried out by the vessel crew. We see incorrect maintenance and wrongful repair in all too many cases, and poor lubrication management is also a major contributing factor to auxiliary engine break downs. With an average repair cost of more than USD 345,000, we cannot emphasise enough the principle that prevention is better than cure.”

Swedish Club provides recommendations on how to avoid auxiliary engine damage:
– Ensure you have the necessary knowledge and experience before commencing any overhaul work.
– If you have not received training on the specific engine model, consider engaging an expert from the manufacturer.
– Always strictly follow manufacturer’s instructions.
– During overhaul, check and double check that stud bolts for connection rods and bearing keeps are tightened 100% in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
– Ensure that required tools are available and calibrated as necessary.
– Regularly monitor the quality of your lubrication oil and take prompt action when irregularities are detected.

Click to read the investigation findings in more detail: Swedish-Club-Auxiliary-Engine-Damage

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