Isolating the Root Causes of Noise and Vibration
As the 2019 Mediterranean charter season draws to a close, and thoughts move to the autumn and winter worklist, one of the more complex issues affecting yachts may arise. That is the comfort of owners, guest and crew. The term “Comfort”, in relation to yachts, is defined by ABS as “The acceptability of the conditions of a yacht as determined by its vibration and noise qualities according to prevailing research and standards for human comfort”.
Typically this has been treated in a subjective fashion with little or no empirical data, and not just by owners and guests. The International Martime Organisation (IMO) has set some noise standards for vessels, and Classification Societies have developed services to assist in the design stages of a new build to calculate predicted noise and vibration levels to help mitigate them, but what to do when the yacht is operational? A major issue for an active yacht has always been that most of the systems are interacting with each other in many different ways, but systems are analysed locally rather than globally. The manufacturers of certain equipment (i.e. Main Engines) are able to take a large amount of data from their own equipment, but they do not go beyond their very specific limits.
In 2008 Francisco Pelluz and Mónica del Toro launched ATLANTE MARINE SOLUTIONS SL, a Company geared to address this issue and also increase efficiency on-board yachts around the globe. Francisco and Mónica are qualified Naval Architects and Marine Engineers with more than 16 years in the yachting industry. Both of them have worked as Project Directors and Chief Naval Architects for large yacht new builds and refits. Since then, the team has continued to grow with dedicated professionals from a variety of disciplines closely linked to the yachting industry (for example, Electrical Engineers and ex-Operational Chief Engineers).
The drive of Atlante has been to provide objective data with scientific method to define not just the localised final consequence of system failure in relation to human comfort, but to dig deep and find the root cause(s) of the failure. In a yacht, ATLANTE technicians analyse ALL the equipment involved in the different systems (main engine, shaft line, propeller, etc.) to determine the cause of noise, vibration or failure. An annoying noise or vibration in one minor sub-system could lead to the exposure of a serious issue with a linked core system, or even safety issues due to impending failure. They use standardized procedures of how to find symptoms and configure specific diagnostics equipment for each vessel. The key point is to base results and recommendations on their vast experience, and the real data taken from the vessel itself; not make assessments based upon information taken from internet or by someone without real experience, knowledge or data.
To this end, portable diagnostic tools have been in continual development since 2013. The latest version of the Atlante Marine Inspection (AMI) unit is now in use with a large and ever growing database of the most common types of failure on-board. In fact, the third generation of diagnostics systems (AMI 3.0) is designed specifically to find the causes and consequences of the problems noted earlier.
AMI Units can be installed in yachts for three main purposes:
Improve performance and comfort.
Preventative Maintenance: through dedicated gauges and devices, parameters are taken to avoid potential failures that could lead to undesired stops/repairs, and by the way, extra costs.
Failure Analysis: Troubleshooting based on Telemetry.
This broad ability not only enables existing problems to be solved but, when performed regularly, gives a valuable predictive tool for the impending failure on any system on board. This results in better planned yard periods, with less down time and much reduced chance of in-season malfunction (and associated costs).
Since the beginning of 2016, ATLANTE has been Lloyd´s approved to ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Standard applicable to Marine Diagnostics and Consultancy. The company continues to drive for innovation in the yachting industry with various initiatives internally, and with other professional institutions. The result of which will be seen with further advances in diagnostic tools and the launch of exciting new products to help hard pressed crew to not just fix problems, but enable them to predict, prevent and plan their vessels maintenance with increased confidence.
We wish you a comfortable winter 2019/20