The marine environment is demanding. Therefore, the technical expertise of a sea-salted environment is more demanding. FUCHS Lubricants has long experience in marine engineering.
Few environments are as demanding as the marine industry, where strong winds, saltwater and low temperatures can provide challenges.
When a head machinist, for example, contacts us, they might seek help with oil analysis to ensure that product recommendations are met. Oil analysis is the diagnosis that shows the state of the oil and addresses challenges such as a marine engine using excessive oil or a viscosity problem.
“We help interpret the results and come up with suggestions for technical solutions that ensure quality operations. It is important that we know the prerequisites and speaks the same language, “emphasises Kjell Sverre Bordvik of FUCHS Lubricants.
The most common applications with ships are engines, gears, hydraulics and compressors. This also covers deck machines such as winches and cranes which are exposed to excessive wind and weather. The correct lubricant can reduce wear and tear or prevent accidents and unexpected events.
This can be the case with an oil that is suddenly skimming and where a foam-damping chemical needs to be added or bacterial growth in the oil where the solution needs to be based on a chemical to dampen bacterial growth.
Marine customers can generally be divided into four groups. The most significant are service and supply vessels that supply oil platforms, passenger ferries operating in coastal traffic, fishing fleets and various types of cargo vessels.
In addition to oil analysis and problem-solving, lubricant reviews are needed, primarily on new vessels. They will provide a detailed lubrication schedule that sets the course for the lubricant maintenance team.
“We also conduct lubricant reviews on older vessels,” he says. “This gives more room for rationalisation. For example, we can help reduce the range of lubricants or suggest products that increase efficiency or reduce costs.”
OEM approvals play an important role in the marine sector. These set out the framework for lubricant maintenance, which ensures equipment quality, performance and warranty obligations.
“FUCHS has a strong product programme with the necessary approvals that can meet customer demands, not only in terms of the range of oils but also grease, chemical products and more.
“We also cooperate directly with OEMs in tests to find the best suited marine lubricants,” he continues.” For example, we had an OEM test, where we evaluated a lubricating oil for a gas engine over a two-year period and 10,000 operating hours.
“Logistics is also important for marine customers. Fast, simple deliveries are a must, otherwise, there may be financial consequences in the transport and logistics chains.”