New tool uses combustion chamber images to predict engine failure

A new software tool developed by Japanese operator NYK and the Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI) expands on an earlier device developed by the partners and can be used to predict engine failures and prevent incidents.

NYK and MTI have jointly developed new original software that uses photo data to prevent accidents by quickly determining the causes of failures at an early stage. The images are provided by Kirari NINJA, an NYK Group–developed device that can photograph the interior of a vessel engine’s combustion chamber. The new diagnostic software allows NYK to prevent accidents by quickly determining the causes of failures at an early stage. The NYK Group has also developed a smaller version of Kirari NINJA that can take photos inside smaller cylinders and thus improve operability and convenience.

In the combustion chamber surrounded by the cylinder liner and piston, low temperature corrosion and abnormal abrasion can cause serious troubles. To address this issue, in 2015 NYK developed Kirari NINJA, which enables users to realise the precise condition of the combustion chamber interior and thus eliminate the need for the long, hard process of disassembling the chamber to examine the interior condition.

In the latest development, the NYK Group has combined this photo data with operational data collected by the ship information management system (SIMS) and engine data collected by an electronic checklist to developed software that can diagnose internal chamber conditions. Moreover, the NYK Group now has a smaller version of Kirari NINJA — named “Kirari NINJA-DS" — to improve the use and convenience of the device.

Using this software, the NYK Group can take appropriate precautionary measures before the development of major trouble, as well as perform maintenance that is based on the actual condition of the chamber (condition-based maintenance), thereby reducing maintenance cost and maintaining safe operations.

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