Kongsberg Maritime has launched a new bearing wear monitoring equipment at the Kormarine 2005 exhibition. The new system provides improved engine damage risk detection over traditional detection methods. MAN B&W has accepted the PS-10 sensor to an existing product approval/collaboration agreement with Kongsberg Maritime, citing maintenance and regulation cost savings as a benefit, in addition to the excellent capabilities the system provides in preventing engine failure.
The new PS-10 sensor measures the distance to, and strength of the magnetic field from a signal magnet fixed to the X-head pin within an accuracy of 0.01mm. According to the company, PS-10 is superior in terms of both sensitivity and range capability compared to inductive (temperature monitoring) sensors. Classification societies require that engine bearings should be opened up every five years for the class surveyor to inspect all bearings. For a 14 cylinder, two stroke engine this means inspection of 42 bearings and with several hours per bearing needed, downtime and cost begin to make this a cumbersome process. By installing proximity based bearing wear detection system such as the PS-10 the period between inspections by class societies could be extended. If the system indicates that no bearing wear has taken place, then no inspection is needed, though this is a decision to be taken between the ship owner and class society.