Hamburg-based MACS Maritime Carrier GmbH & Co is involved in shipping and transport activities worldwide and the operation is spearheaded by a fleet of eight multipurpose vessels. Since 2009 the fuel and lube oil treatment systems onboard four MACS ships have been covered by an Alfa Laval Performance Agreement and the company has noticed a considerable difference.
MACS Technical Director Mr. Jeromin relates that operating costs have stabilized at a lower level than in 2008.
Harbour support visits
MACS Shipping’s first contact with Alfa Laval was at the end of 2008 regarding a piece of damaged equipment. The ensuing discussion about the fuel and lube oil treatment systems resulted in MACS signing an Alfa Laval Performance Agreement for Separators in February 2009.
The Performance Agreement covers major services on the centrifugal separators with a harbour support visit each year. A major service includes changing the separator bearings and regasketing the bowls, technical inspection of the system, giving technical advice to the crew while doing the service, and a price agreement for genuine Alfa Laval spare parts.
Maintenance budgets can be planned
Fleet Management Director Mr. Jeromin: “During the first year our costs actually went up significantly, but this was due to major repairs which had accumulated and needed to be done.
“The costs are now stable at a level well below the 2008 figures. We can plan our maintenance budgets more accurately since the equipment is now working reliably and no unplanned repairs or maintenance are needed. We also have less capital and storage space tied up in the ships’ spare parts inventories. All we need to keep onboard are the Alfa Laval Service Kits.”
Crew soon realized the benefits
The crew had previously performed maintenance on the oil treatment systems themselves. How did they react to the presence of the Alfa Laval service engineers onboard?
Agnes Drzymala, Marine Superintendent, MACS: “At first they were slightly sceptical and perceived the Alfa Laval presence onboard as some kind of check on their work. But they received a lot of useful tips and realized how much they could benefit from the knowledge and competence of the Alfa Laval technicians. Also, emergency repairs are no longer needed, which has made life onboard much easier for them.”
Recommendations for improvements
During harbour support visits, Alfa Laval systems specialists make recommendations for improvements to the systems. These recommendations have led to several equipment upgrades on the MACS ships.
Klaus Maak, Manager, Alfa Laval Marine & Diesel, Mid-Europe Region: “As a supplier it is essential that customers can rely on and are satisfied with our products, as this will lead to new orders.
“The strongest confirmation of our equipment’s performance on the MACS vessels has been the fact that MACS newbuildings currently under construction at Nanjing Shenghua shipyard in China will be equipped with a wide range of Alfa Laval products.
“The products include fuel and lube oil cleaning systems, fuel conditioning modules and fresh water generation systems. When the vessels go into service, we will also offer similar Performance Agreements for them as well in order to maintain optimal performance.”
Source: Alfa Laval, September 19, 2012