Engine Integration Issues

First reported in MFB1 as “Integration of Non-marine Specific Components” the correspondence on this topic continues, but just to show the problem has not gone away, here is another contribution from someone that conducts risk assessments and damage surveys:

“For too long the marine industry has had to make do with poorly designed ships and machinery. The company I work for exists and we make a living because engines break down and catch fire.

Recently I surveyed a new vessel.  Some engines are very good in that they have water jacketed exhaust systems, and it is almost impossible for a fire to start. Sadly, some have used ordinary unlagged exhaust pipes and rely on lagging and insulation to reduce surface temperatures. However, the lagging and insulation deteriorates over time, and hot spots emerge which can lead to fires.

Engine vibration levels were quite high and there had already been pipe fractures at the free end of the engine where the oil and fuel piping goes on/off the engine. Just as you mentioned recently, the on/off engine connections had not been well thought out and the owners are in the process of introducing flexible/resilient couplings.”

CHIRP is compiling a document which will seek to include all the contributions on this subject for evaluation by those with a responsibility for regulation and development of appropriate processes.

CHIRP recently presented these issues to EUROMOT (The European Association of Internal Combustion Engine Manufacturers) and is grateful for their interest in hearing the experiences of seafarers.

The evidence received suggests that the machinery installation process continues to be capable of delivering systems which are liable to fail in service with a significant risk of fire, even for new builds.

The Maritime Advisory Board believes that this situation should not be allowed to continue.