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Smart lubrication in a salty environment

The marine environment is demanding. Therefore, the technical expertise of this sea-salted environment needs to add that little extra. FUCHS has long experience in marine engineering. We know what is required to lubricate smartly, so that customers keep both course and speed.

Few environments are as demanding as the marine one, where both strong winds, salt water and low temperatures can challenge the technique to the utmost. And it's just lubrication of vessels that are at the center of a specialist such as Kjell Sverre Bordvik. He is an application engineer at FUCHS Lubricants Norway and has worked for 20 years in the marine sector, including as a chief machinist. 

"The chief machinist and machinists are key people and are the ones we help with technical support and other lubrication questions," says Kjell Sverre Bordvik. But of course, we also have close dialogue with the shipping companies to present our lubricant expertise.

Focus on oil analyzes
When a chief machinist contacts us, they might seek help with oil analysis, to ensure that product recommendations are met, or more or less acute problems. Oil analysis is the diagnosis that shows the state of the oil and. The problem may be a marine engine that uses a lot of oil or a viscosity problem that needs to be solved.

"We help interpret the results and come up with suggestions for technical solutions that ensures quality assure operations. Here it is important that we know the prerequisites and speak the same language, "emphasizes Kjell Sverre Bordvik.

The most common applications at ships are; engines, gear, hydraulics and compressors. Also deck machines like winches and cranes are lubricated, and these are really exposed to wind and weather. Questions that appear along the way may be important when it comes to reducing wear and tear or preventing accidents and unexpected events. Kjell Sverre Bordvik gives a few examples.

"It can be an oil that is suddenly skimming and where you need to add foam-damping chemicals, or bacterial growth in the oil where the solution is filtration or a chemical that dampens growth.

Regardless of questions, the customer wants to feel confident that everything is working properly and that problems can be solved in a short period of time. This means that we need to be nearby, but also that we know how the everyday life of the ship looks like to be able to find the right solution in a fast and accurate way.

Marine customers of FUCHS Lubricants Norway can be divided into four groups. The most significant are service and supply vessels that supply oil platforms along the Norwegian coast with goods and services. Passenger ferries operating in coastal traffic are another large group, followed by the fishing fleet and various types of cargo vessels.

Lubrication schedule
In addition to oil analysis and acute problem solving, Kjell Sverre Bordvik and his colleagues do lubricant reviews, primarily on new vessels. The result is a detailed lubrication schedule that sets the course for the lubricant maintenance team.

"We also conduct lubricant reviews on older vessels," he emphasizes. Then there is more room for rationalization. For example, we can help slim the range of lubricants or suggest products that increase efficiency or reduce costs.

Strong product range
OEM approvals play an important role in the marine sector. It points out the framework for lubricant maintenance, which ensures equipment quality, performance and warranty obligations.

"FUCHS has a strong product program with the right approvals and can meet customer demands, not only in terms of different oils, but also in terms of grease, chemical products and much more.

"We also cooperate directly with OEMs in tests to find the right marine lubricants," continues Kjell Sverre Bordvik. For example, we had an OEM test, where we tested a lubricating oil for a gas engine in over two years and 10,000 operating hours.

In addition to the right knowledge and products, logistics is important for the marine customers. Fast, simple deliveries are a must, otherwise there may be financial consequences in the transport and logistics chains on which the vessels are a part.

"Customers should feel that we always contribute to the quality assurance of their business. And we do that by being close and offer technical support that is both fast and flexible”, sums up Kjell Sverre Bordvik.

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