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As technology advances fuel savings can be achieved through upgrading existing fleets to the latest equipment.  One such area of study is in vessel propellers with newer more efficient designs providing substantial savings in operational fuel costs.  However, changes such as these are very likely to change the dynamics of the system and in some cases can lead to unexpected interactions and unwanted vibration.

Xi work with various operators in the marine sector and one manufacturer had just such an issue with a newly upgraded propeller.  With the vessel in question due for servicing in dry docks there was a limited window to investigate. Where companies operate internationally, it can be logistically complex and expensive to get a team of engineers to the scene of a problem, as the dry docks used for the servicing were geographically removed from the clients head quarters Xi were asked to act as technical advisor or “engineer on the ground”.

Once on site Xi were able to provide technical understanding and the measurement hardware to investigate the problem.  Xi’s expertise and understanding of vibration dynamics means Xi can reliably and autonomously investigate a problem, fully considering the dynamics of the vessel and investigating as appropriate.  Xi go beyond typical vibration surveys which may simply leave the client with the basic results and no explanation, Xi will attempt to quantify and translate the vibration to provide understanding as to the vibration dynamics.  In the case of the vessel, Xi engineers measured in and around the problem extending the measurements to areas of interest, during the measurement Xi liaised with the client updating them on the findings and ensuring that despite not being in attendance all the required data would be captured for a solution to be progressed.

Following the survey of the vessel Xi undertook more detailed analysis of the data and presented and discussed the findings with the client.  By indentifying the key driving frequency behind the system and establishing potential problematic dynamics the client was given a reliable understanding of the issues allowing a focused solution strategy to be developed.

Xi are regularly used by clients to provide local support where it is not possible for the client’s in-house engineers to be present or there’s a lack of experience or access to specialised noise or vibration equipment.  Xi’s clients can then be assured of the technical expertise investigating their systems. Following measurements, Xi can recommend mitigation approaches and areas for study, or where more advice is required, Xi are capable of continuing the study to develop, design and provide complete solutions as required.