With an eye towards environmental compliance, operational efficiencies and the bottom line, the Marine News top propulsion providers touch all bases.
Sitting down to select the best engine and propulsion manufacturers in the workboat marine space isn’t necessarily the easiest task in the world. Nor is it a linear exercise. On the other hand, these Marine News featured firms – Caterpillar Marine, Volvo Penta and Yanmar – all have more in common than you might think. With a laser focus on their collective customer’s bottom lines and addressing that concern through technology, environmental compliance and economical but powerful performance, each satisfies the niche in its own particular fashion. See if you don’t agree.
Caterpillar Marine Power Systems brings together all the sales and service activities for Cat and MaK branded marine products within Caterpillar Inc. This organization provides premier marine power solutions and customer service from a single source for commercial and pleasure craft markets. Caterpillar offers a comprehensive marine diesel power range and a complete, continuously evolving product line. The result is one source for total power solutions on board, providing electronic marine engines, gensets, and vessel controls.
Caterpillar research and development efforts represent the commitment to affirming its position as a global leader in the marine power market. The Caterpillar network is comprised of 182 locally owned businesses, 1700+ dealer branches, and leverages more than 100,000 employees. The worldwide dealer organization has the local expertise, specialists, and extensive spare parts inventory for every customer, no matter where the vessel travels.
The Caterpillar line includes Cat and MaK Marine Engines, High Performance Propulsion Engines, Marine Generator Sets, and auxiliary power. From tugs and container vessels to yachts and sport fishers, Cat and MaK engines have demonstrated their efficiency countless times. Cat marine engines include innovations such as ACERTTM Technology and Caterpillar Common Rail. Additionally, they are MIL-E Qualified (NVR) and MIL-S-901 Shock Qualified. Continual advancements in electronic engine technology mean Cat marine engines satisfy worldwide emissions regulations and still deliver a surge of adrenaline whenever and wherever required.
Closer to home, long time U.S. workboat stalwart (and Marine News 2016 MN100 honoree) Crowley Maritime is now testing Caterpillar Technology for Vessel Monitoring & Diagnostics. Calling it “the next logical step in marine technology,” Crowley Maritime Corporation is installing Cat Asset Intelligence software on one of its vessels.
The tugboat Guide, a ship-assist vessel operating out of Seattle, has been fitted with a custom vessel monitoring and diagnostics solution, which will keep watch over its main engines, generators, thrusters and critical systems 24/7. While completely automated from data capture through analysis and advisory recommendations for each piece of equipment, the Caterpillar Marine Asset Intelligence team will provide advisory and management reports including recommendations for individual equipment, as well as additional ways Crowley can save money and incrementally improve operations.
“It’s a robust system that does all the key monitoring and analysis we need,” said Bill Metcalf, Vice President of Strategic Engineering for Crowley Maritime. “We’re looking at it as the next level of management and optimization, and we want to see how it can help us increase reliability, safety and efficiency onboard our vessels.”
But, this application goes far beyond simple collection of data. Unlike technologies that only monitor engine performance, Cat Asset Intelligence services provide monitoring and diagnostics for an entire vessel, including many of its critical operating systems. Dedicated Fleet Advisors then use the aggregated data and automated analytics to provide customers, such as Crowley, with actionable advisories to increase vessel productivity and improve equipment management.
The scalable and customizable technology will monitor and analyze anything, and not just Cat products. With the software monitoring and analyzing Guide’s key systems, Crowley Maritime ultimately expects to see value in a number of areas. For example, on smaller vessels like Guide, which operate with a limited crew, Cat Asset Intelligence software’s remote monitoring capabilities play a critical role. Assuming that the technology proves its mettle, Crowley could expand vessel monitoring and diagnostics to other ships in its fleet.
Volvo Penta of the Americas
Offering a full range of Tier 3 compliant diesel engines designed to power profits in the inland and coastal North American commercial market, Volvo Penta’s successful push into the commercial markets gained considerable momentum in the past 12 months. Leveraging 3,500 dealers in more than 130 countries, the firm manufactures IACS type approved engines for commercial vessels, leisure boats and industrial markets. Volvo Penta’s product line includes 3-16 liter diesel engines, gensets, sterndrives and IPS pod drives, developed for a broad range of commercial marine applications, including Coast Guard and patrol boats, short-sea and river transport, supply vessels, passenger transport and sightseeing vessels, workboats and tugs.
The past year brought much in the way of good news for Volvo Penta. For example, in June of 2016, the firm hosted a preview of its latest lineup of engines, drives and controls at its headquarters in Sweden in June 2016. Products introduced at the event included the new D8 diesel engine, designed to fit in the product offering between the D6 and D11 models for applications that require low weight with high power, and a new IPS15 which mates with the D8 engine. In addition, Volvo Penta highlighted its comprehensive integrated solutions, including heavy-duty controls, docking mode, dynamic positioning, glass cockpit and the interceptor trim tab systems from Humphree, a marine company recently acquired by Volvo Penta.
Ten years after the launch of its original D16 marine diesel engine, Volvo Penta also released an updated version during the past year. Available in power ratings from 368 to 551 kW, the D16 is the largest marine diesel engine in Volvo Penta’s product portfolio and is type-approved by DNV GL.
Before that, in November of 2015, Volvo Penta showcased a new range of custom barge pump systems based on its Tier 3 diesels. Allemand Industries, a Volvo Penta Power Center in Harvey, La., has built a barge pump using a Volvo Penta D13 auxiliary engine, and Pacific Power Group, a Volvo Penta Power Center in Seattle, has developed a barge pump system that includes two radiator-cooled 400 hp D13 MH engines, which drive vertical pumps to transfer cargo off the vessel.
Beyond the new product offerings, Volvo Penta also announced a new extended service interval for its commercial marine diesel engines. Owners can double the maximum oil change interval to 1,000 hours for many Volvo Penta marine engines by meeting certain requirements, including a Volvo Penta oil analysis. Volvo Penta maintains a history of all oil analysis reports for each engine to facilitate tracking the wear of the engine over its lifetime.
Over a wide range of workboat offerings, Volvo Penta stepped up its game over the past year. That said; the real winners are its many commercial customers who have benefited from the introduction of new technologies, programs and more efficient engines.
Yanmar America Corporation
Operating out of a corporate facility in Adairsville, GA, Yanmar boasts 500,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space, and employs over 200 professionals. In addition to its own branded products, Yanmar has been selected to be the power of choice for hundreds of industry-leading diesel powered brands sold throughout the globe. YANMAR manufactures marine transmissions and drives and commercial engines from 39 hp to 1,800 hp. YANMAR backs them up with a superior engine warranty and world class local support.
YANMAR has provided quality, purpose-built marine engines for more than 60 years. Notably, YANMAR in 1933 became the world’s first manufacturer to develop a practical small diesel engine. More recently, with the introduction of the fully mechanical 6AYA engine, with SmartAssist technology, YANMAR has combined mechanical reliability with electronic convenience. The 6AYA also meets EPA Tier III without any electronic control. More importantly, this longtime manufacture of marine engines also utilizes today’s technology to provide even more value to its growing list of marine customers.
Back in December 2014, YANMAR America introduced its first EPA Tier III compliant commercial marine diesel, the 6AYAM-ET. Rated at 755 mHP and 1900 RPM, the 20.38 liter engine uses a fully mechanical control system for easy servicing and reliable performance. The engine also offers low fuel consumption and a continuous rating suitable for river pushboats, tugboats, trawlers and other applications with uninterrupted operations or load cycles. To comply with emissions regulations, the 6AYAM-ET uses an internal exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. This design does not require any external control devices or significant engine structure changes, while producing more power and lowering exhaust emissions and fuel consumption.
Installed and on the water, Yanmar’s 6AYA-ET engines are already providing value on the U.S. Gulf Coast. This fully mechanical engine is anything but low-tech. The Sherry L, a twin screw, steel 61’ Pushboat owned by E Squared Marine Services, LLC from Texas and repowered by Laborde Products, now operates even more quietly and with better fuel consumption thanks to its new 6AYAM-ET engines. That’s only part of the story, however.
YANMAR’s unique SmartAssist (SA-R) technology allows the engine to be monitored remotely to ensure ideal operating conditions. And, when it’s time for maintenance, the system will send out a reminder, so that maintenance can be completed on the boat’s schedule to make sure it stays in operation the maximum amount of time possible. YANMAR tracks the engine’s operating condition using SA-R, as well as visiting the vessel periodically to confirm the engine and SA-R are working correctly. SA-R can track Location (GPS), Engine Speed, Boost Pressure, Exhaust Temperature, Cooling Water Temperature, and Lubrication Oil Temperature/Pressure. Collecting data based on the parameters every .01 seconds and sending the average for a two minute time period via cellular service to the YANMAR Remote Monitoring Center, YANMAR then analyzes the data, and if a defect or warning is found, YANMAR America is then alerted.
With an operating performance of 755 mhp at 1,900 rpm and 20.38 liters of displacement, this 6AYAM-ET 6 in-line cylinder mechanical engine is well positioned to become a familiar workhorse on the United States waterways for years to come. Key features of this engine include a 500-hour service interval, torque characteristics for stable cruising, a purpose built marine design and an internal exhaust gas recirculation system that doesn’t require any external control devices.
Competing, Together on the MN100 List
In a fiercely competitive commercial marine propulsion market, these three OEM’s provide a lot more than just engines. Beyond this; what sets each of them apart is also the same thing that finds all three – Caterpillar Marine, Volvo Penta and Yanmar – residing on the same list of excellence.
(As published in the August 2016 MN100
edition of Marine News