ZF, a global specialist for marine propulsion systems, has introduced an intelligent Condition Monitoring System (CMS) for thrusters. ZF said its new CMS technology monitors the status of the thruster system and helps shipyards, shipping companies and fleet operators maintain the safety and efficiency of their vessels as well as extend the service life of the propulsion system.
The new system is equipped with a range of sensors that communicate with an electronic evaluation unit. The system measures vibrations which indicate the condition of the bearings and gears in the thruster’s upper and lower gearbox. The measurement results help the operators identify early on which components need to be replaced or maintained. This, ZF said, means repairs can be planned in advance and potential damage to components can be avoided, all of which prevents downtime and shortens maintenance cycles. It can also extend the service life of the monitored systems and components, allowing the operator to focus on the job at hand.
ZF also launched a new oil cleaning system designed to ensure oil quality and longer oil service life. By heating up the oil, entrained water is evaporated and a cotton element filters out particulates down to 1 μm. Clean oil is pumped back into the system which ZF said extends the service life of the oil by 10 to 15 times and results in fewer oil changes.
“Particularly with biodegradable oil, it is important to keep contaminants, such as water, out of the system so as to prevent downtime caused by mechanical failure,” said Drew Orvieto, senior manager, Commercial Fast Craft Product Line and Engineering North America.