An engineering consultancy helping to understand, troubleshoot and resolve mechanical problems with rotating machinery.
Brabon Engineering Services was founded in 2019 to serve the marine and power generation industries.
- Failure investigations follow a systematic process that include an iterative critical review of intermediate conclusions as a key step. Formal reports are prepared for Client comment and approval. Projects have also involved metallurgical laboratory examinations.
Previous analysis cases have involved; diesel engines, propulsion shafting and high-speed turbo machinery. Machine failure modes encountered have included; bearing damage, fatigue fractures, fretting corrosion and vibration resonance.
- Measurements that make use of the best technology available with rigorously developed procedures for accurate and reliable results.
Advanced analysis techniques are applied using software tools or in-house developed scripts in Scilab/ Python. Propeller shaft alignment calculations go beyond modelling with an elastic shaft and include considerations of hull flexibility.
- Investigations may often be enhanced by a combination of on-site measurements and analysis with theoretical modelling. This approach can provide greater insight into the phenomenon as well as a validated basis for extrapolating modelling results. For example, cases of shaft torsional vibration problems typically benefit from a combination of modelling and measurements.
- Investigation conclusions and engineering solutions are pragmatic and practical. This is based on a career beginning with an engineering craft (fitting and machining) and sea-going operations (steam propulsion) before progressing to more senior engineering positions.
- Advocate of new technology and thinking in engineering design, condition monitoring and maintenance of mechanical machinery.
- Technical procedures are subject to continuous improvement in order to advance the standard of excellence, e.g. root cause analysis or measurement techniques. Total Quality Management provide the guiding principals to learn from mistakes and build on success.
- IMechE member since 1999.
- Independent of any shipyard or machinery/ equipment manufacturer.
- Investigations are thorough and involve consideration of the problem from every angle.
- For failure/ damage investigations, iterative review is the best means to identify the most likely cause. The prima facie scenario may not be correct and success is usually 99% perseverance with 1% inspiration.
- No unnecessary overheads in costing. Fees are focused on working time, not waiting or travel.
- Client satisfaction with a thorough service takes precedence over any utilisation/ budget consideration. Brabon Engineering Services can deliver better value for money than a large company.
- An engineering history spanning 30+ years and 20 years as a consultant. Working as a consulting engineer with BAE Systems (1999 to 2007) and Lloyd’s Register – Technical Investigation Department (2007 to 2018) was a great technical stimulus.
- Extensive shaft alignment experience with on-board measurements and calculations involving shipyard dry-docking repairs and new ship constructions. Typically includes measurements of; shaftline bearing loads, optical sterntube bore alignment as well as calculation of offsets/ slope for replacement bearing.
Ship types included; cruise vessels, ferries, large yachts, warships, LNG carriers, tankers and bulk carriers up to 300,000 DWT with shaft diameters up to 850mm. On occasion design modifications to bearings and lubrication arrangements have been suggested, designed and implemented.
- Failure investigations of ship propulsion shaftline bearings. Including; sterntube aft, sterntube forward, intermediate/ plummer and main thrust bearings as well as stern seals.
- Diesel engine failures. Cases have included; crankshaft fatigue fractures, large end bearing failures, piston ring/ cylinder liner scuffing, valve gear failures, premature wear of crankpin journals, exhaust valve stem (‘cold’) corrosion damage and coupling damage as well as lube oil system problems.
- Fatigue fracture failures of propeller shafts and rudder stock.
- Shaftline dynamics/ vibration investigations. Cases have included measurements of torsional and lateral vibration. This has typically involved; design and installation of an instrumentation system as well as conducting sea trials measurements, followed by analysis of data and modelling of theoretical characteristics. Sensors included strain gauges (affixed to the shafting with data transmission via radio telemetry), proximity probes (in water/ oil) as well as accelerometers.
- Failures and problems with high-speed LNG turbo-machinery (bearings and seals).
- Structural vibration and transmitted noise within accommodation areas. Cases included passenger and cargo vessels. Problems have involved response generated by main engine firing rate, main gearing and propeller cavitation.
- Strain gauge installations for static and dynamic measurements. Arrangements have included; shaft bending, (transverse) shear, torsional shear, axial strain due to thrust (notably, this is a small strain) and cylindrical pattern (centreline) bolt gauges.
Case studies available on request.
Brett Weintz started his career with an apprenticeship in Fitting and Machining before completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the NSW Institute of Technology, Sydney in 1988. He served with the Royal Australian Navy at sea and in the ship refit organization. He moved to Scotland in 1995 and was employed in Yarrow Shipbuilders then BAE Systems CS&S Naval Design Services from 1999 to 2007. Brett Weintz then worked as a Senior Machinery Engineer to Lloyd’s Register Technical Investigation Department (TID) from 2007 to 2018.