The Swedish club has published a report on Aux Engine damages, basis data from 2295 vessels between 2010 to 2016. Approximately 55% failure occurs just after overhaul or within 1000 hours of overhaul, which is 10% of Time Between overhaul. Container vessels are top in the list and have a significantly higher claims frequency due to the larger number of installed engines on these vessels. A large container carrier, 8000-10000 TEU vessel carries 1000- 1500 reefers, for which they has high powered auxiliary engines installed. 3000-4500 KW engine is usual power installed on high reefer capacity container vessels, hence in case of breakdown the repair cost is considerably higher than other vessels.
Reason of damages are as below;
- Connecting rod bolts failure
- Contaminated lub oil
- Incorrect maintenance procedure
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.”
Hence to reduce the breakdown, down time and repair cost there are recommended good practices;
- Do it right or don’t do it.
- Don’t start engine remotely, as far as possible start it locally and be present for some time after start.
- Maintain quality and quantity of lubricating oil.
- Use the right tool, hydraulic equipment etc. Read the manual, understand and discuss the procedure before start work.
- Crew should be competent and as far as possible trained on specific type of engine.
- Special care is required for connecting rod assembly as it is most stressed joint in the running engine. A small deviation in procedure of assembly will be a catastrophe.