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OSV owner implements IoT solution to increase fleet uptime

Fri 10 May 2019 by John Snyder

OSV owner implements IoT solution to increase fleet uptime
Topaz Energy signed a long-term agreement at OTC 2019 in Houston to deploy the BHGE's VitalyX condition monitoring system

Offshore marine logistics company Topaz Energy and Marine will deploy an internet of things-based lubricant condition monitoring system from Baker Hughes across its fleet of 20 module-carrying vessels (MCVs), with the goal of improving uptime and optimising maintenance.

Topaz Energy and Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), signed a long-term agreement to deploy the system, called VitalyX, at OTC 2019 in Houston.

The system is a 'health tracker' for vessels, using the internet of things in combination with monitoring software and sensors to collect and analyse data from key equipment on board a vessel. The dashboards on board the vessel and in the home office display real-time technical information on the condition of a vessel and the maintenance required to achieve optimal performance. Specifically, sensors are deployed on engines, thrusters and gensets that will monitor the lube oil for contaminants, such as metal particles and soot.

VitalyX also tracks the presence of water, salt water, glycol, fuel dilution, TBN and TAN index, assisting in predicting equipment failures and improving the life cycle of the lube oil.

Topaz Energy chief operating officer Martin Helwig expects VitalyX will improve the company’s ability to predict and prevent failures, minimise costs, improve vessel utilisation and allow for condition-based maintenance for more efficient drydocking. “We try to find the best technologies that provide value for our clients. This will help us bring more tangible benefits to our customers,” said Mr Helwig.

VitalyX has already been tested on two of Topaz Energy’s specially designed 123-m MCVs, which operate in the Caspian on a marine logistics project with TengizChevroil in Kazakhstan.

BHGE global commercial vice president for measurement and controls Ed J Boufarah said,“We believe VitalyX has a real value to the industry. By embracing digital-driven, real-time condition monitoring for lube oil, we are helping the marine industry move from solely time-based maintenance to a more performance-based maintenance plan, and the benefits can be truly game-changing.”

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