Prevention is better than cure for marine boilers

Marine boilers can be an expensive item of machinery, and of course, fundamental to keeping vessels operational. Given these facts, it’s clear that ensuring that their lifespan is extended as much as possible and that unplanned outages are minimised is essential.

Green’s has been designing and manufacturing marine boilers and waste heat recovery systems in the UK since 1845 and is well known around the world for its superlative engineering and manufacturing skills resulting in what we believe are arguably the world’s best economisers.

However, while our products leave Yorkshire in perfect condition, they are used to generate steam for a whole range of processes day after day. The sometimes highly corrosive environments, varying quality of feed water and rigorous operating patterns can result, over time, in reduction in efficiency or even total machine failure.

To avoid this, it is vital to commission a proactive inspection service to identify potential problems with boilers and ancillary equipment so that they can be addressed in order to maintain optimum efficiency and before they become unnecessarily costly or result in avoidable outages.

Professional companies that provide this sort of service will usually provide comprehensive reports on their findings to highlight potential problems, make recommendations and offer practical advice so that plans can be put in place and unnecessary cost and downtime is kept to a minimum.  Many will work with vessel operators to arrange boiler inspections, servicing and repairs during docking, anchorage, bunkering, loading or discharging so that they can get back to sea with their boilers at peak performance with minimal disruption to normal operations. Indeed, our own inspection teams are on call 24/7 and available for worldwide mobilisation 365 days of the year at very short notice.

However, purchasing managers looking for help in this area should check that the company they choose is familiar with the specific challenges that working in the marine sector brings and also that they are competent to deal with a wide range of products and parts which may have been brought together over time.

It is also highly valuable if the chosen supplier can provide other complementary services such as asset integrity assessment, failure analysis, chemical cleaning and repairs tailored to customers’ needs. If this can be supported by a spares supply and commissioning service it means that any problems can not only be identified and action plans agreed, remedial action can be taken quickly and efficiently to ensure fast return to optimum boiler performance.

This article appeared in the Spring Issue of SHIP Supplier, the magazine of the International Shipsuppliers and Services Association. You can see it here.TSS Issue 72 P25 Ship Supplier April 2017