Remote control system showed “Abnormal Alarm” on the rpm pickup sensor, first time, the normal operation of the main engine was restored by a resetting operation.
Main engine fail astern
On sailing out from the port, the vessel attempted to put the engine astern but failed.
The control position of the main engine was shifted from BCC to ECC and to engine side but, regardless of the control position, it did not work on fuel oil though starting air was admitted.
The vessel left port, as she was pressed in time, without being able to identify the cause of the malfunction.
Unable to use astern engine, she arrived at next port and was engaged in berthing operations, employing more tugboats than usual.
When the engine was put astern on air, each data, as was shown on the digital display of the control console, was checked in the presence of service engineers of the maker. As a result, it was confirmed that in spite of the fact that the engine was actually rotating in the astern direction, the display of the rotation still showed “Ahead”.
Fail of control circuit board on ship main engine
The above situation was judged to be attributable to faulty control circuit boards (RDU-1, RDU-2) of the BMS-1500 remote console, and when the two boards were replaced, the situation was rectified.
The maker took back the faulty boards to its plant to investigate into the cause, which has yet to be identified.
The report given from the vessel says that even the changeover of the engine control position failed to produce the intended effect to work the engine astern. However, if the control position is changed over to local control, interlocks related to “emergency stop” will take effect but will not monitor the “wrong way”. It is, therefore, considered possible to start the engine in the reverse direction by engine side control.
Problem with print card on ship main engine
The failure to start the engine on this occasion is very probably ascribed to an insufficient fuel injection since the attempt to reverse the engine was made when the vessel still had headway of 7 knots. The engineers cannot be criticized one-sidedly for their failure to determine the cause when they were not
allowed to take extra time because the vessel was on tight schedule, but if they had been more familiar with the main engine control system, they could have reversed the engine by local control.
The incident in question was caused by faulty control boards as a result of some trouble, but it has shown that a malfunction of a part detecting control data or receiving/sending signals may easily make the engine uncontrollable.
It is required to request the maker to improve the reliability of the engine and study how to operate in emergency situations.
Engineers are required to familiarize themselves with the operation of the main engine control system at the earliest opportunity after boarding a vessel.
Now that shipboard devices have come to incorporate more and more electronic parts, trouble with the main engine console may easily occur. Engineers are required at any time to respond flexibly as the situation dictates