The Planned Maintenance System or PMS is now available on every ship. The software is beneficial in the sense that as you scroll down in the computer, it reminds you of what is due and what is overdue. A few years back a junior engineer taught me how to reschedule a job, and it was then that I realized the incredible power of PMS.
PMS is extremely beneficial to keep track of extremely crucial tasks. For e.g. these days a ship engineer needs to reschedule the Main Engine Cylinder de-carb job mainly because of the fast turnaround of the ships and, in some cases, ports not granting immobilisation of vessels. PMS comes very handy in such situations.
Properly following the PMS on ships helps the crew to easily select which job to be done and also avoiding breakdown of machinery.
Below are mentioned 20 of the most important tasks that one should keep a close eye on board ships using PMS are:
1) Flow Meter Filters: Cleaning of flow meter filters for generators and the main engine should be included in PMS. Some cases of blackout have been reported because generator flow meter filters were found blocked. These flow meters are covered with original lagging and are located close to the tank bulkhead.
2) Steam return line filter: The cleaning of filters fitted in the steam return line should be considered as these days it has become a neglected item because of various reasons are already known to us.
3) Viscotherm: Viscotherm is one single element that ensures correct combustion in marine engines. This equipment runs silently without requiring any maintenance. However, it might show erratic behavior because of some reason. These days cleanliness of exhaust is of prime importance, and that is why this equipment must find a prominent place in the PMS.
4) Funnel and Drains: With the reduction in the ship’s crew, the funnel top is one area which is often neglected. This area should, therefore, come under PMS to check the structural strength of various uptakes, cracks in the bottom, and clearing of drains at correct places.
5) Spares of Emergency Equipment: It is often noticed that while testing emergency equipment, we never check about essential spares of the emergency fire pump, emergency generator, lifeboat engine, etc. Besides merely testing of emergency equipment, a more detailed maintenance check (following the relevant Instruction Manuals) should find a place in PMS.
6) Calibration of Tools: Calibration of necessary working tools such as torque spanners and hydraulic equipment, including various electrical devices, should form a part of PMS. There should be a prominent file to include all test certificates and calibration records. This becomes very handy during audits.
7) Bow Thrusters: Bow Thrusters should never be neglected and must find a place in PMS, including testing of its bilge alarms.
8) Deck Air Line and Fog Horn: Deck airline is often neglected until some leakage aggravates or the line is broken. Moreover, the forward whistle air filter is hardly taken into consideration. It is important to get these tasks into PMS, including the fog horn solenoid.
9) Stern Light: How often does one pay attention to stern light on ships? There has been few incidences wherein deficiency found in stern light during the inspection.
10) Telephone System: Maintenance on Ship’s telephone system is extremely important
11) Bridge Equipment: It is to be checked if maintenance of bridge equipment, including Christmas tree fittings, scanners, and lifting table batteries is adequately covered
12) Evac sanitary system: On Car Ships, Evac sanitary system is often not covered. This system needs proper attention along with a place on PMS.
13) Mist Box: Mist box on the funnel should also be checked and if possible added in PMS
14) Valve Bodies: Valve bodies and filter box bodies under laggings often get neglected and fail (either the body or the joint) at critical moments.
15) Steering Fan of Exhaust Fan: Exhaust fan of steering room is often neglected. Add it to the PMS
16) HotWell: Hotwell structure on the bottom and its filters often do not find our attention. In earlier days we used to have “Loofah Sponges” to catch any oil leak from the heating coils. We used to put them in a bucket, clean them with steam and put back in the hotwell. Stub pieces (pipes) connecting hot well and feed pump suctions must also be checked.
17) Fridge: On the domestic fridge, the return line filter (liquid suction line) is often neglected and never cleaned. Same is the case with return line manifold (it eventually develops a pinhole which is hard to detect from under the moist lagging).
18) Hot Water Circulating Pump: The hot water circulating pump is also always neglected. It should be added to the PMS
19) Main Engine Air Cooler: Main Engine Air Cooler moisture drain system should find a place on PMS.
20) Spares Parts: Spare parts including solenoids and relays should also be given attention.
There can be much more such points which would attract our attention depending on the type of ship we are sailing on and the equipment we are handling.
At times, it has been noted that PMS is not filled honestly. On one ship our turbo generator (TG) was under repair, but the former crew reported on PMS that the vacuum pumps had been overhauled. However, when we started the pump both the casings developed holes. Later when opened, it was noticed that the pumps were never touched, except for external painting. It is essential that if you are not able to carry out a job, be honest with the relieving crew.
Note: It has also been noticed that some ship personnel waste a lot of time in the morning on ECR computer scanning the PMS. Morning is the time to commence work.