The partnership between DEUTZ Italy and the historic NIIGATA brand, owned by the IHI group which is the main contractor for the construction of the Bridge over the Strait of Messina, continues. This collaboration made it possible to perform a double overhaul which has become a source of pride.
Rudi Alborghetti, Director of the After Sales and Service Business Unit of Deutz Italy, tells us about it. During the summer period, DEUTZ Italy participated in the overhaul phase of 2 NIIGATA engines on board the ship, directly in the shipyards on the Island of Malta. 2 separate work teams were sent to the site (3 technicians for each team) supervised by superintendents.
The chosen group and the intense work pace made it possible to complete this double review process in a very short time.
If we consider that an overhaul of this type takes 30-35 working days for each engine, it will be surprising to find that work on both NIIGATA engines started on August 6th and ended last September 11th.
Savings on ship detention times and costs
Reducing ship downtime to a minimum has always been a DEUTZ prerogative and could not be less important in this case. During the entire processing period, the time was optimized to cut the period of ship downtime which, for a shipowner of this type, is equivalent to loss of earnings.
Within a month, the ship was ready, comprising an overhaul process which also included the repair of a clutch that was damaged.
The objective now is to work to implement a similar scheme to optimize processing times, both on board and at the shipyard, including the optimization of logistics.
Since we are talking about costs, it should also be remembered that to date, the biggest challenge (or one of the biggest ones for the naval sector) is to reduce them, as well as avoiding expensive costs which are often anticipated in advance of the works. This is why we often hear about remote naval inspections. But with respect to this constantly growing digital service, one thing should be clarified: these inspections concern new generation, full electronic engines. This means that for older and not-completely digitalized engines, it’s impossible to opt for this type of intervention, except through few external control systems.
Is engine overhaul still so cost-effective?
This is the question customers often ask themselves, comparing the possibility of overhauling versus completely replacing an engine.
It must be said that on this type of engine and application, the overhaul is absolutely convenient. Replacing an engine of this size, apart from the very high costs for the new product, involves a whole series of activities and high associated costs. Without forgetting that, to replace the engine, it is necessary to cut the ship to create the space necessary for the intervention.
In this specific case it was therefore a necessary choice, which led the customer to maximum satisfaction in every aspect, both practical and in terms of expectations.