Following an update to LR’s ShipRight Machinery Planned Maintenance and Condition Monitoring procedures in September 2019, the newly published Guidance Notes for Machinery Survey Arrangements serve as a complementary document that offers advice to Chief Engineers and Superintendents about the operational requirements for all LR’s machinery survey arrangements. In this article, Andrew Bennett, Machinery Survey Policy Manager at LR, looks at how the Guidance Notes can support operators through the evolution of their maintenance journey.

LR’s ShipRight procedures provide a comprehensive framework to ensure the highest standards of safety, quality, and reliability. To ensure that ships continue to meet those standards across their lifetime, LR’s range of monitoring, surveying, and auditing services provide a range of options via which Owners and Operators can manage their fleet machinery within the classification context.

LR has simplified this into four pillars of machinery survey and maintenance. We view these as a technological and chronological progression – with Engine Survey being the simplest but most intrusive, all the way through to condition, risk and prediction based schemes, with the key turning point being an approved Machinery Planned Maintenance Scheme.

The further along this machinery survey and maintenance journey that an Operator progresses, the greater the gains are likely to be. That’s because, with more analytical approaches, there are greater insights into machinery condition and maintenance requirements and also more opportunities for condition data to support the crediting of machinery.

Today, around 85% of LR Class vessels are surveyed under a Continuous Survey Machinery (CSM) cycle. While CSM allows for more flexible timing compared to Engine Survey, it still requires machinery to be opened out for the survey, carrying with it the potential for regular downtime.

At present, only around 15% of LR Class vessels have an approved Machinery Planned Maintenance Scheme (MPMS), even though virtually all Operators are using computerised planned maintenance systems. This gives much greater flexibility, reduced survey scope and enables the Chief Engineer to credit applicable machinery items. But more importantly, this is the key turning point and the first step towards digitalisation and a data-driven future.

Even fewer have adopted Machinery Condition Monitoring (CM) which supports a condition based maintenance approach and the use of condition data for crediting machinery without opening out. But more importantly, over time, this data analysis can facilitate both risk-based and predictive maintenance opportunities through Risk Based Maintenance (RBM), Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM), and Predictive Techniques (PT).

With an update to the ShipRight procedures in late 2019, we saw a clear opportunity to provide additional clarity to Chief Engineers and Superintendents. While the ShipRight procedures offer insight into the approval and operational requirements for classification, they do not always provide guidance on the advantages that come with progressing to the next survey and maintenance pillar.

Our newly published Guidance Notes for Machinery Survey Arrangements – including The Examination of Surveyable Machinery Items by Chief Engineers – provide a strategic look at the various machinery survey arrangements and offer a chronological and technological roadmap that adheres to LR’s requirements. The Guidance Notes are specifically designed to help those responsible for vessel maintenance gain a better understanding of what is required with each of the four pillars and, perhaps more importantly, the advantages of progression from pillar to pillar.

As mentioned above, flexibility is one of the key advantages that come with progression in accordance with LR’s ShipRight Machinery Planned Maintenance and Condition Monitoring procedures. By implementing a data-based foundation as delivered by MPMS, Operators can begin to move away from the burden of intrusive surveys and opening out machinery. Instead, they can move towards a future with data from planned, condition-based and risk-based maintenance and predictive techniques that will allow Chief Engineers and Superintendents to take greater control over the maintenance and survey crediting of machinery.

Not only is this advantageous in terms of maintenance costs and downtime reduced, it also allows operators to gain a better and more detailed understanding of vessel performance and future maintenance requirements – all with the peace of mind that they continue to conform to LR’s robust classification framework.

As well as exploring the new Guidance Notes at your leisure, please look forward to further materials in the near future that will continue to simplify the path towards the adoption of successful, forward-thinking maintenance practices.

Click here to download Guidance Notes for Machinery Survey Arrangements.

Click here to download the four pilliars diagram.