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Safe Bulkers extends partnership with Alfa Laval



In June 2018, Greek dry bulk operator Safe Bulkers selected Alfa Laval to retrofit 20 of its vessels with Alfa Laval PureSOx scrubber systems for exhaust gas cleaning. The company has now gone on to sign a long-term Alfa Laval Service Agreement, which will safeguard compliance through connectivity and more.

Safe Bulkers ordered PureSOx retrofits for 12 Post-Panamax vessels, 6 Kamsarmax vessels and 2 Capesize vessels, with deliveries running until March 2020. Almost 15 of those systems, which comprise open-loop scrubbers configured for multiple inlet sources, have now been installed at COSCO retrofit yards with engineering design of Alpha Marine Consulting P.C. Throughout the process, Alfa Laval has partnered closely with the yards, providing support through locally based project managers with strong backing from PureSOx product centre in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

“Alfa Laval’s project management has really been first-rate,” says Dr. Loukas Barmparis, President of Safe Bulkers. “Not only was there no time difference or language barrier in working with our yards, there was never any question about scope or responsibilities. Alfa Laval’s team worked with us proactively to solve issues as quickly as possible, and they brought additional resources to the yard whenever time or flexibility became a concern.”

Taking the cooperation further

With the majority of the PureSOx retrofits completed, Safe Bulkers is now looking ahead to secure trouble-free operation. Recently, the company signed a tailored Alfa Laval Service Agreement that will deepen the partnership between the two companies. The agreement includes connectivity and lifecycle-oriented services selected from the Alfa Laval PureSOx 360° Service Portfolio, provided for a flat yearly fee.

“We feel very satisfied with the scrubber project execution, and we want to be equally successful in the operation of our PureSOx systems,” says Dr. Barmparis. “The Alfa Laval Service Agreement will help us safeguard long-term performance, for example by using data analysis to keep systems performing at their peak.”

Services to safeguard performance over time

Safe Bulkers’ forward-thinking ambitions are reflected in the scope of the Service Agreement. In addition to genuine Alfa Laval spare parts, service kits and sensor calibration by exchange, the agreement includes services that will make corrective maintenance more plannable and maintenance costs more predictable.

“Hands-on training will lay a foundation for safe, compliant and cost-effective PureSOx operation,” says Dr. Barmparis. Safe Bulkers crew members and superintendents will be trained at the recently opened Alfa Laval PureSOx Training Centre in Shanghai, China, where a full-size PureSOx system is installed. “On top of that foundation, we will use data-driven PureSOx Connect services for compliance and performance monitoring.”

PureSOx Connect services will let Safe Bulkers prove compliance easily, generating automatic reports for handover to local authorities. In addition, the scrubber data will be analysed with advanced algorithms, enabling health monitoring, root-cause identification and remote service support when needed.

“Scrubber connectivity will give us deeper insights and keep our systems optimized,” says Dr. Barmparis. “Alfa Laval will perform yearly Condition Audits of our PureSOx installations, but PureSOx Connect will help us take preventive actions and minimize the corrective needs they find.”

Partnership for long-term compliance

“We want to protect our uptime and eliminate any risk of non-compliance,” says Dr. Barmparis in summary. “Alfa Laval was the natural choice to help us do that, and their clear service offering made it easy to find the right services for our needs.”

René Diks, Director for Exhaust Gas Cleaning at Alfa Laval, is pleased to see the cooperation between Alfa Laval and Safe Bulkers being taken to the next level and further strengthened.

“As in all projects, we’ve worked hard to meet Safe Bulkers’ expectations during the sales and order execution phases,” Diks says. “Now that the orders are nearing completion, we will continue working hard to provide Safe Bulkers with support and services that will keep their PureSOx systems compliant and in top shape. More than scrubber deliveries, we see this as a long-term partnership.”


I manage the editorial affairs for MONETA Tanıtım, which produces specific publishing, specially for the sphere, Turkey industry. We work for content development through digital and print media, with a new generation, dynamic publishing intellection.


Cruise passangers stay cool with high tech HVAC control systems



Modern cruise ships are promoted as the epitome of comfort and luxury; hence, allowing passengers to adjust cabin temperatures to their liking is an essential part of the experience. With such a large number of rooms the HVAC control systems need to balance easy, responsive individual adjustment for hundreds of cabins with the main ship’s systems – in order to ensure an efficient, reliable and accurate service is maintained. Step forward Progea’s robust Movicon SCADA system, available in the UK and Ireland from Products4Automation (P4A).

Often described as a floating city, a typical 21st century cruise ship will weigh over 120,000 tonnes and offer its 3000-4000 guests everything from state-of-the-art spas and swimming pools to fitness centres, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and casinos.

Italian shipbuilders such as Fincantieri are leading the way in the development of cruise liners, with each new vessel offering tourists an astonishing array of facilities. Playing its part in this progress Progea Movicon control software is being used to automate and manage HVAC systems for three new cruise ships, including what is thought to be the biggest cruise ship ever built in Italy.

Looking at cruise ships from a systems integrator’s point of view, they consist of various passenger areas such as cabins, entertainment areas, food courts, sports and fitness facilities, lounges, bathrooms and circulation routes. Alongside these are crew quarters, kitchens, engine rooms and other technical spaces, offices and last, but not least – the bridge. The HVAC control solution must adapt to all of these environments and manage the extremes of climate a cruise ship may experience during its voyages.

Reliability and controllability are absolute essentials, especially when ships are at sea. To address these requirements, Movicon is used to develop a bespoke distributed control system architecture which permits detailed management of each individual zone and cabin. The system will also continuously collect and analyse environmental data so that the HVAC can be automatically optimised against changing conditions and requirements. Automatic alarm management allows quick and easy intervention to resolve potential issues before they occur.

“Movicon is a scalable, modular platform with dedicated HVAC functionality embedded, which makes it ideal not only for large-scale supervision management and multiple distributed HMI (human machine interface) functions, but also for data acquisition, storage and analysis,” explains Carl Nash of P4A.

“It is also futureproof to a large degree in that it can easily be reconfigured or expanded to incorporate new functions and services as requirements change. These could include predictive maintenance, OEE management, historian analysis, alarm analysis, Internet of Things connectivity and cybersecurity management.”

One of the cruise liners’ HVAC system consists of 130 individually programmed PLCs, connected to Progea Movicon software in a ring-network architecture that incorporates multiple redundant supervisory stations. Thirty-one of the PLCs are used to manage 2000 cabins and are networked to two redundant supervisory stations to ensure reliability with system contingency. Beyond the cabins, each local HVAC zone is managed with a PLC directly connected to Movicon supervisory system.

This complex architecture handles data flows amounting to 9,000 inputs and outputs (I/O) for the public areas’ HVAC systems, plus, around 60,000 I/O in the cabin control system. Due to the scale of the system a Movicon Unlimited licence is being used with redundancy option, providing the most cost-effective way to deliver the scope of functionality required, including the number of connections and the network redundancy.

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