By Rajiv Malhotra, Technical Manager
Planning is the first and vital step of maintenance of equipment and systems on board a vessel. A good Planned Maintenance System (PMS) is an essential software tool for the ship’s staff and the vessel managers for scheduling and tracking maintenance routines for hundreds of machinery and structural components on a ship, with each component having multiple jobs with different frequencies.
The PMS database needs to be carefully constructed to comprehensively cover all the items, and be continually maintained. In Thome, this responsibility lies with the PMS Department, a section of the Technical Support & Innovation Department, under the Fleet Support & Innovation Division. The department comprises a production team in Manila, and a planning and managing team in Singapore.
It is endeavoured that the PMS is implemented on the vessel, as soon as possible upon take over. When the induction of a vessel into the management is confirmed, the team schedules the PMS construction with consideration to the ongoing production activities, and initiates the process of collecting all the documents, drawings and manuals required for building the database.
A detailed framework is prepared for the production team to follow. Along with makers’ guidelines, the framework also incorporates standard requirements based on the company’s policies and procedures. Besides that, it also addresses the essential requirements to maintain consistency of component and job structures in the PMS across the fleet.
To ensure that the framework is well transported to the software, encoders are closely guided by the managers who have extensive experience in the marine domain. Quality checking and verification is built into the process to ensure accuracy and consistency.
On completion of the construction, the database is handed over to the PMS IT Support, which forms a very vital link for deployment on board, integration with other systems, replication or data exchange between the office and the vessels, license management, user access control etc.
The PMS team is also involved in continually reviewing the database and incorporating changes identified from users’ feedback, investigations into incidents, regulatory changes, and experience shared by vessels, equipment makers and other industry sources.
For improvements in the database, the team is very closely supported by other colleagues in the Technical Support & Innovation Department, who also conduct PMS audits to enhance PMS quality and compliance to company’s maintenance procedures.
The team has been catering to the PMS construction requirements not only for all types of tankers and bulkers, but also for the ‘Thome Offshore and Oil & Gas’ division, with database built for diverse units like FPSO, MOPU, Research Vessel, PSV etc.