The total cost of HVAC systems onboard NAVY applications is not only limited to the purchasing cost of the equipment, the installation and the setup cost. The HVAC systems cost also includes the energy the systems consume overtime, the maintenance (both preventive and repairs) the spares, the consumables (refrigerant, oil, filters, gaskets, etc.), and the cost of disposal. Considering that the service life of HVAC systems and their equipment often extends past 30 years of service; it becomes clear that it is very important to optimize all activities throughout the system’s lifetime to minimize costs.
BRONSWERK Marine, a leading Naval HVAC&R company, is always seeking opportunities to reduce the total cost of ownership for the systems they supply.
Shipbuilding 4.0 – Predictive maintenance & energy efficiency
With the through life cost of the equipment in mind, BRONSWERK has developed smart controls that are featured on many equipment platforms, from chilled water plants, condensing units and air handling units to even smaller equipment such as fan coils. These improvements not only enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the HVAC&R systems and offer perpetual communication with Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), they also allow the collection of performance data.
It is with this trended data that BRONSWERK can identify the areas of concern within the equipment, can predict upcoming failures or inefficiencies and can recommend preventive maintenance activities that are progressively replacing the classic scheduled ones. Vessels owners no longer need to clean condenser tubes every 6 months or change the air filters at fixed intervals. BRONSWERK’s automation will only tell them to do it when it is necessary or worth the effort. This shipbuilding 4.0 principle is a first for the Naval HVAC industry and is possible because BRONSWERK is both, the system integrator and the equipment and controls designer and manufacturer.
Avoiding user mistakes
Modern Navies are intended to sail around the globe with fewer personnel and with sailors that are often required to rotate through different ships, so it becomes more challenging to stay on top of the latest technological innovation. Given this scenario, sailors could be unfamiliar with the equipment that they are required to operate. One of the best ways to avoid the cost of repairs is by avoiding damage to the equipment in the first place. BRONSWERK identified early on, that the main cause of equipment damage was the lack of understating by the users. From maintainers to sailors, making mistakes during operation and routine activities would lead to equipment damage and unnecessary alarms that render equipment unavailable.
With the advent of automation and modern HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces), BRONSWERK has introduced training videos on the screens of the equipment itself. Sailors can be reminded of the procedures for simple maintenance activities before performing them. BRONSWERK now includes audio jacks for headphones so users can take advantage of these training reminders on chillers, control panels and other equipment platforms.
Modern Navies are looking into incorporating new technologies to improve the maintenance processes for systems that grow in complexity every year. They need to partner with companies capable and willing to develop these technologies with them. BRONSWERK produces detailed 3D models for every design they develop as well as training videos captured both during equipment production and testing. These models and videos can be combined and integrated, with the technical documentation, into virtual and augmented reality packages that speed up and enhance training.
BRONSWERK contributes via several strategies to reduce through life cost on HVAC systems enabling equipment longevity and providing knowledge and confidence to sailors and maintainers to operate HVAC systems while having information at hand