machinery maintenance

Machinery Maintenance

Machinery maintenance at a glance

Modern ships can have more than 300 pieces of machinery equipment and components onboard – all of which need to undergo regular maintenance surveys. Ship owners are required to have a machinery maintenance system in place that defines how and when equipment and systems will undergo survey. This is governed by the International Safety Management (ISM) code which specifies rules for maintenance systems and operations with which owners must comply.

The challenge for ship owners and operators is to manage and schedule inspections in a timely and efficient manner. To help owners meet ISM requirements, there are several classification-approved survey systems, each with different options for inspection scope, timing and equipment monitoring.

The three main machinery maintenance survey types are:

  • Normal Survey Systems: all machinery is surveyed during the classification renewal survey which takes place every five years
  • Continuous Survey Systems: all machinery is surveyed every five years, but the survey is delegated to the chief engineer before the classification surveyor performs the confirmatory survey
  • Planned Maintenance Survey System: a customized maintenance system is implemented for each item of machinery 
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Vice President Digital Solutions and Transformation

Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore

“At Bureau Veritas, we are at the forefront of digitalization. We are committed to supporting ship owners and operators to best leverage new machinery maintenance systems to maximize efficiency. Our Machinery Maintenance tool helps simplify maintenance plans and save on time and costs.”

How is machinery maintenance being optimized?

Normal Survey (NS) and Continuous Survey (CS) Systems remain the most widely used in shipping. Planned Maintenance Survey (PMS) Systems, however, offer greater flexibility and opportunities to optimize maintenance planning, costs and reliability. 

Implementing a PMS system can lead the way to developing a Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) approach. This involves determining machinery maintenance by monitoring its condition. Diagnosis and prognosis of the machinery’s current state are performed using thresholds and standards.

PMS systems are also supported by a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). With this system, chief engineers can initiate the PMS and oversee maintenance tasks using an onboard software solution. 

The advantage of a PMS system is that owners can tailor and optimize the maintenance of their machinery according to their ship’s specific needs. Rather than a standardized survey, each item of machinery has its own maintenance schedule and scope which can be determined based on manufacturer recommendations, running hours or running cycles. This targeted approach for each vessel saves time and reduces costs.

Bureau Veritas’ services for machinery maintenance

To support the communication between ship owners and surveyors, Bureau Veritas has developed its Machinery Maintenance tool. The platform connects ship operators’ maintenance system with the Bureau Veritas system, leveraging digitalization to optimize maintenance.

Machinery Maintenance

From planning initialization to in-service operations, the tool gathers data on the maintenance status of each piece of machinery. It helps operators manage modifications to onboard equipment and offers access to manufacturer manuals. 

With an overview of onboard maintenance needs, owners and operators can optimize survey preparations and assess machinery maintenance conditions. PMS systems can also be implemented with online guided booking. Bureau Veritas is currently developing the platform further to support Condition Based Maintenance.

Bureau Veritas is also a trusted partner in inspection. For ships in service, a qualified Bureau Veritas surveyor inspects all machinery during the renewal survey every five years. We also conduct confirmatory surveys for CS. For PMS, Bureau Veritas approves ship owners’ CMMS and conducts the initial survey of the system, as well as subsequent installation surveys of condition monitoring systems.

Machinery maintenance FAQs

  • Do new machinery maintenance systems mean more remote surveys?

    There is certainly the option of remote surveys, but new systems do not require all confirmatory surveys to be performed remotely. Remote surveys nevertheless present many benefits including reduced risk, greater flexibility and convenience, and a lower environmental impact.

  • How do I decide on the right machinery maintenance system for my ship?

    The first step is to analyze your vessel’s needs and evaluate to what extent you are willing to integrate digitalization and complex systems. Bureau Veritas has extensive experience in machinery maintenance and the digital expertise to guide new system implementation. Our team of experts provide support and advice to help you select the right machinery maintenance system for your needs and make best use of digital tools to optimize processes.

  • What are the benefits of using advanced machinery maintenance systems?

    Implementing a machinery maintenance system adapted to your vessel enables you to limit delays in operations caused by maintenance repairs. A PMS or CBM system helps you carry out machinery inspection at the most appropriate times and adapt maintenance repairs accordingly. This type of advanced system optimizes costs, time and efficiency.

  • What is the future of machinery maintenance?

    As digitalization continues to advance, new methods of predictive maintenance are being developed. Unlike CBM which is based on manufacturer recommendations or international standards, predictive maintenance involves diagnosis and prognosis based on data analysis of the machinery’s actual and past condition. Data analytics used rely on complex algorithms that can be driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

    To make it even easier for the Ship Managers Bureau Veritas has together with Kongsberg developed a connector making it possible for the user to push their Planned Maintenance Survey System data directly to BV’s MMA with just a click