Frederick 's BLOG


When Standard Procedure Falls Short: How Combined Experience and Advanced Testing Equipment Lead to Innovative Solutions

Few things are more frustrating than facing an issue with a vessel that “known” standard procedures cannot diagnose or fix. What do you do when confronted with this daunting scenario? Call AME! Our arsenal of experience and advanced testing equipment is uniquely suited for these predicaments. Listening to our customers allows us to identify potential diagnoses, and subsequent technologies and testing needed to confirm. We then proceed to create customized testing procedures and parts leading to innovative solutions. In this blog post, we will discuss an example of this process in action and showcase the power of motion amplification.

This aforementioned example took place on a sportfish vessel. We were called in to perform a standard running gear service - Remove, inspect, and repair shafts and propellers, check alignments, replace cutless bearings, etc. Upon completion of the work, we performed a standard vibration analysis survey to assess any improvements and establish a baseline for future trending purposes. Unfortunately, the issue being experienced persisted. Our deep passion to help solve problems led us to pursue the root cause. Instead of shrugging our shoulders and walking away, we turned to our extensive experience and advance diagnostic technologies to develop a custom testing procedure utilizing multi-channel data acquisition and motion amplification. Lo and behold, we were able to identify a structurally weak engine mount support bracket was providing insufficient support to the dynamic forces of the engine.

In this case, motion amplification was the technology that best allowed us to identify and communicate the problem. What makes the motion amplification so special? It's high speed, high-definition camera is able to convert each pixel into a vibration sensor. From these multiple “sensors” the powerful software can rapidly analyze the deviation in light intensity and plot the change over time. From here, it creates known vibration parameters such as waveforms, spectra, orbits, and even phase. The real transformational feature, however, is its ability to amplify the recorded video and physically show how the areas of interest are moving when in real time, it’s beyond perception by the human eye. This allows us to visualize, and more importantly, communicate the weak support bracket issue. Standard procedures would never have been able to identify this.

After identifying the problem, we got to work on the solution by fabricating a new mounting bracket capable of supporting the large forces exerted by the engine. The new support brackets lowered the engine's center of gravity, which effectively stopped movements caused by the weak bracket. Not only did this solve the issue; it also provided a long-term solution preventing future problems.

What's important to note is that our process isn't just about relying on advanced technology. Our experience and expertise are also critical components to identify which technology will yield the best results. As we gather data and create solutions, we draw on our extensive knowledge of vessel mechanics, machinery, and materials compositions allowing us to fine-tune innovative, practical, and effective solutions.

When it comes to vessel maintenance and machinery operations, there will always be issues that standard procedures cannot fix. That's where our team's vast experience and arsenal of advanced testing equipment comes in. By effectively combining technology and expertise, we are able to create customized solutions to complex problems. Whether it's using motion amplification to diagnose weak brackets, designing new mounting arrangements, or 3D-Scanning an obsolete part, our process is designed to deliver innovative solutions that work in the long run. So, next time you encounter an issue that persists after standard procedures are performed - Trust our team to help you find an innovative and effective solution.

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