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Upgraded chemical tanker management system improves maintenance

Upgraded chemical tanker management system improves maintenance
Tanker owner ChemContrans has upgraded a digital vessel management system to improve maintenance scheduling and lower operational costs

It has enhanced the integrated alarm and control system on its Switzerland-flagged chemical tanker Comus 2, which is currently operating in the northern Europe shortsea and inland waterway trade.

This was implemented by Dutch engineering company Bakker Sliedrecht. It renewed the Bakker Integrated Modular Alarm Control (BIMAC) system and installed computers and touchscreen displays on Comus 2. BIMAC collates and logs operational data on the chemical tanker, providing insight to crew of all onboard events and enabling them to control onboard power, propulsion and cargo systems.

This allows the owner to demonstrate to charterers and authorities the 2007-built tanker is properly maintained, said ChemContrans owner David Olislagers.

At 110 m in length, Comus 2 has a shallow draught of 2.4 m and 13 separate cargo tanks. It transports chemicals in the Netherlands and Belgium. The 4,000-dwt ship has been sailing for 13 years and is only stationary during loading and unloading.

“In all those years, our vessel management system has worked perfectly, therefore we chose BIMAC again, with an upgrade tailored to our vessel,” said Mr Olislagers.

“We are now able to collect and analyse more data and Bakker Sliedrecht’s service engineers can log in remotely to provide remote support.”

This updated system was deployed during a maintenance downtime period for Comus 2.

“During the entire upgrade, the ship was decommissioned for only three days,” said Mr Olislagers. “At that time, the system was upgraded and five new computers with touchscreens were installed and tested.”

Bakker Sliedrecht automation engineer Bart van Wijngaarden said operational data from BIMAC can be transferred to shore for analysis. “This allows companies to better manage their fleet and schedule maintenance more efficiently,” Mr van Wijngaarden said. “This reduces costs and improves the operational deployment of their vessels.”

BIMAC enables crew to control the entire tanker’s power and cargo management systems and propulsion via touchscreens and computers, on the bridge or in the engineroom.

It is customised with functions for controlling ballast pumps, displaying tank level measurements and for remote assistance and diagnostics.

Bakker Sliedrecht has developed and installed other BIMAC systems on dredgers and patrol vessels.

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