Swedish Club says most auxiliary engine damage a result of human error

Swedish Club has said that an investigation into auxiliary engine damage had revealed that the majority of all damage takes place immediately after maintenance work. It found that 55% of casualties occurred within only 10% of the time between overhaul (TBO), corresponding to the first 1,000 hours or so of operation after overhaul. In most cases, the Club said, the damage occurs only a few hours after start up.

A new report, Auxiliary Engine Damage, also found that container vessels had a significantly higher claims frequency due to the larger number of installed engines. These engines also had considerable output, leading to higher repair costs compared with other vessels.

The Club said that the report had been created in response to the Club’s members’ concerns over damage to auxiliary engines – a significant segment of machinery claims, both in number and in cost.

Peter Stålberg, Senior Technical Adviser at The Swedish Club said that “auxiliary engines run at high revolutions and have a common lubrication system for both cylinder and crank case lubrication. They are not under the same strict regime from the classification society as the main engine, and maintenance is often carried out by the vessel crew. We see incorrect maintenance and wrongful repair in all too many cases, and poor lubrication management is also a major contributing factor to auxiliary engine break downs. With an average repair cost of more than $345,000, we cannot emphasize enough the principle that prevention is better than cure.”