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Helping you to achieve the optimum balance between cost and reliability

graphic showing the optimum balance between cost and reliability

In the past few years, low-speed, two-stroke engine operators have focused on reducing cylinder lubrication feed rates to minimise lubricant costs. But there is a fine balance to be struck between cost reduction and reliability, a balance that depends on

  • the lubricant
  • the fuel
  • engine severity, maintenance and operation.

The cost and reliability of a vessel’s operation can be affected by changes in any of these three factors, including

  • fuel sulphur content
  • climatic changes and high humidity
  • liner wall temperatures
  • factors affecting engine load (hull fouling and propeller efficiency)
  • changes in engine settings and operating conditions.

Although modern, electronically controlled cylinder lubrication systems have taken much of the uncertainty out of optimising cylinder oil consumption, direct monitoring of the oil and cylinder condition is a valuable complement.

Shell Lube Monitor offers the right tools to help enable you to monitor cylinder condition and maintain the right balance between cost and reliability. The service also includes the use of our on-board and shore-based oil condition monitoring services:

  1. Shell Rapid Lubricants Onboard Alert: measurement and monitoring of the elemental iron content in cylinder drain oil
  2. Shell Lubricants Onboard Plus: measurement of total base number (TBN) and water content
  3. Shell Rapid Lubricants Analysis: send airmail samples to one of five Shell laboratories for analysis. Detailed analytical reports and recommendations for corrective action are returned by email.

What makes up Shell Lube Monitor?

lube monitor

The lowest lifetime running cost for a low-speed two-stroke engine can be achieved by balancing the overall expenditure on lubricant with the overall expenditure on spare parts, labour costs and downtime.

Shell has developed a range of products and tools that help to enable forward-thinking ship owners to plan and manage these costs over a vessel’s anticipated ownership period.

Shell Lube Monitor includes a feed-rate optimisation and wear-monitoring service that can help you to implement a strategy that can help to deliver the lowest overall cost of operation. It includes

  • cylinder drain oil analysis consisting of Shell Rapid Lubricants Analysis, Shell Rapid Lubricants Onboard Alert and Shell Rapid Lubricants Onboard Plus
  • expert advice, support and implementation tools
  • an annual report to quantify the benefits and a review to confirm or adapt the planned strategy

What sets Shell Lube Monitor apart?

Shell’s dedication to the marine sector and engineering excellence is reflected in all aspects of our offering, from product development and formulation, through to application know-how and global technical support.

We possess industry and technology knowledge and experience to serve all types of low-speed, two-stroke engines.

Our integrated systems open up new possibilities for

  • more uptime, i.e., more time during which the engine is operating
  • higher productivity
  • non-intrusive corrosion and wear monitoring of the engine
  • safer and more reliable engines.

More Acid in New Engine Designs

Continuing cost and environmental pressures make investing in new and modified engine designs an attractive option. These changes, combined with slow-steaming practices, can increase acid in the cylinders by up to 300%, thereby exposing your new and modified engine to increased risk of corrosive wear and high maintenance costs.

Conventional cylinder oils that focus only on neutralising acids can lead to deposit build-up, dirty engines and high maintenance costs.

We have used our insight into oil stress to develop an approach that helps to protect against acid stress and deposit build-up in three ways. This breakthrough Triple-Action Technology is at the core of the Shell Alexia range of oils, and helps to protect your new and/or modified engines from corrosive wear.

Services that reduce feed rates

Two scientists in a laboratory assess a new product

Two scientists in a laboratory assess a new product

Some customers may have an opportunity to further optimise their lubricant feed rates and thereby reduce their expenditure on cylinder oil with minimal impact on maintenance costs. Because Shell Alexia S4 is underpinned by rigorous scientific understanding, we have the confidence to work with our customers to help them optimise their feed rates, thereby helping them to move towards the minimum engine manufacturer’s guidelines for oil feed rates.

Each reduction in oil feed rate can translate into significant cylinder oil consumption savings. For example, reducing the feed rate by 0.1 g/kWh could save up to 14 t/y of lubricant for a very large crude carrier with a MAN B&W engine and up to 37 t/y for container ship with a Wärtsilä-Sulzer engine.

Ask us how we can work with you on a feed rate optimisation programme today.