A cruise ship is very much like a floating town. It serves its population of around 2000 with hotels, bars, restaurants, retail outlets, gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and other leisure facilities. These are supported by utilities provided by a power station, drinking water supplies (from a desalination plant), sewage treatment, heating, ventilating and air conditioning plant. And, of course, the engines that power the ship. Keeping all this running smoothly needs a crew of around 1000 and a complex computer control system. The control system needs regular testing and updating of software and hardware to ensure that it is performing according to design. Cruises are booked far in advance, so the movements of a ship are fixed well into the future. This means that control system maintenance has to be carried out whilst the ship is in service and full of passengers – and, critically, it has to remain fully functional during this maintenance to ensure customer safety and satisfaction. This is where Te-Tech comes in.
Shipping out our Engineers across the World
Last year, our engineers travelled to cruise ships across Europe and the Caribbean to provide systems integration services including system analysis, asset optimisation, obsolescence and risk analysis, PLC updating and drawing revisions. The engineers will typically spend two weeks on board the ship and will look to maximise the performance of existing assets to provide an intelligent platform which will support real time control and remote decision making. This all helps to minimise the carbon footprint of utility systems whilst maintaining performance and compliance.
Our latest cruise ship project was to perform a series of electrical appraisals on the various control systems associated with the food waste disposal and incineration systems on board. This included certification of component ratings, wiring configurations and component identification. The results of these appraisals allowed the owners to produce an “as built” set of electrical schematics, which they had not possessed before. A gap analysis on the software was conducted to identify systems discrepancies and assist with the rationalising of PLC local and remote IO.
Control System Maintenance is Key
It has been estimated that in the region of 40% of critical asset failures are related to faults with control systems. Te-Tech is vendor-independent and well positioned to provide impartial advice and project management expertise for the replacement of deteriorating or obsolescent control and automation equipment and integration of new systems into existing assets.
Find out for by emailing our Technical Services Manager, Matt Head