Since last June, 11 BWTS (plus one in 2014) have been installed in various shipyards worldwide, based on the class approved documentation and study performed by ARGO NAVIS.
Furthermore, supervision of retrofit works has been assigned by our clients and performed by an attending ARGO NAVIS engineer throughout the whole period of installation and commissioning of BWTS.
Two different BWTS systems of different technologies have been installed in 7 different vessel types (various types of tankers and LPGs), registered by 3 different classification societies.
Our experience so far can be summarized as follows:
- We are all still learning: designers, shipyards, classification societies, BWTS makers, technical managers & owners are still at the beginning of a long, complicated and new process
- The level of the effort required during engineering process has been underestimated by all involved parties
- The available resources for manufacturing, retrofit design and improvement as well as class review and approval are not enough to serve this emerging market
- The level of communication between all involved parties (owners, makers, retrofit designers, class) during design & approval stage and prior installation requires improvement
- It is not only the BWTS new equipment: a lot of additional equipment is necessary to be used in order to have a successfully completed and fully operational installation
- Prefabrications is a key factor to the successful completion of works within a tolerable timeframe
- The commissioning process and crew training, despite the emphasizing of experts on them, remain underestimated: completed installation does not automatically mean operational system.
- Ship’s crew involvement during the installation process can improve quality and reduce the total duration of the retrofit project
- The presence of a designer’s representative as a supervisor of BWTS retrofit works has been proven to be very important at this stage: integration of the project, familiarization of all involved parties, feedback for improvement are few of the reasons.
With the 13th retrofit installation currently in progress, 16 more installations already scheduled for 2017, 10 different retrofit engineering studies in progress and numerous 3D laser scanning surveys and feasibility studies already scheduled, ARGO NAVIS is working hard to improve the quality of provided services by investing in training of personnel, upgrading of software tools and retrofit project management.