Follow This Engine Room UMS Checklist And Forget Alarms

UMS class vessels are a boon to the marine industry and especially for Marine Engineers.

With UMS class vessels, engineers get more time both for planned maintenance of the machinery and for themselves.

Till the day of writing this article, I have done four vessels, and all of them were UMS class vessels, which is why I know the work culture onboard an unmanned ship.

If you are a marine engineer, you must be aware of an Engine room UMS checklist, which has to be complied with during the UMS rounds.

This UMS checklist differs from company to company and from ship to ship, depending on the machinery installed on board the ship.

I recommend taking a print out of the Engine Room UMS checklist for the initial 3-4 days while going for UMS rounds in the engine room.

After 3-4 days, we normally get familiarized with the points mentioned in the checklist and were able to manage the rounds without any hard copy of the checklist.

Many companies also have procedures to fill the Engine room UMS checklist in the PMS system after completion of UMS rounds.

In spite of so many procedures and checklist, people forget to check many things in the engine room while taking UMS rounds, which results in the sleepless nights for the duty engineer.

In this article, I would like to share some essential points to be taken care of while conducting UMS rounds on a Bulk Carrier.

Typical Layout of an Engine Room in a Bulk Carrier

Generally, Bulk Carriers have five floors or five engine room decks, out of them,

  • The topmost deck has the HT Expansion tank and incinerator installed in some ships,
  • Then the second deck has Auxiliary boiler, Purifier room, Engine Control room, Oil tanks, AC and Refer compressors, and related Pumps and motors. This deck also has access to Steering gear room where steering gear and Emergency fire pump is installed,
  • The third deck has Main engine top, Generators, Air compressors, Freshwater generator, Hot well, LT and HT coolers, and related pumps,
  • The 4th deck is the Engine local Manoeuvring station deck; Here we have the main engine attached fuel pumps, Local maneuvering platform, solenoid valves, Oil Mist Detector sensors, cylinder oil lubricator, and other related parts,
  • The bottom platform has all the seawater pumps, ballast pumps, stern tube tanks, Bilge wells, Sludge pump, Bilge pump, Oily Water Separator, double bottom tanks, and related pumps.

NOTE: That was just a typical layout of an Engine room in a bulk carrier; it might differ from ship to ship.

Engine Room UMS checklist for Bulk Carriers

The best practice to start your UMS round is by entering the engine room from the topmost platform, i.e., the Incinerator or HT tank platform.

The main reason for entering from the top is that, before entering the engine room, you can check the color of smoke from the Main Engine and Generators.

Many of us miss this crucial step while taking UMS rounds, which is not a good practice.

On the topmost deck, quickly check the water level in the HT Expansion tank and fill it up if required, also take a close round of incinerator checking for any oil leakages.

Then come to the second deck and go to the engine control room, put the controls to engine room manned position and inform the duty officer on the Bridge about your presence for UMS rounds.

Now, let’s divide the further part of our UMS round according to decks.

Things to check on the 2nd deck

There are several checks to be made in the Engine control room, which are

  • Check all the parameters related to the main engine like T/C rpm, JCW inlet/outlet temperatures, PCO inlet/outlet temperatures, FO pressure, Scavenge air pressure, LO pressure, and other related parameters.
  • Main engine Auxiliary blowers should be on AUTO,
  • Check the amperage of all the motors from ammeters in the main switchboard,
  • Tea kettle plug should be removed before leaving the engine room,
  • Standby Auxiliary engine, Fuel oil transfer pump, Main air compressor should be on AUTO,
  • Check the Boiler water level and boiler steam pressure in the remote gauge present in the engine control room,

Now come out of the engine control room and start taking a round of other machinery on the 2nd deck.

Starting with the auxiliary boiler, check the local water level gauge for any leakages, check steam pressure locally, and nearby area for any leakages.

Check the water level of LT expansion tank and fill it up if required,

Now go to the steering gear room, check the freshwater level in tanks, check for grease in grease pump of steering gear, check for any leakages near steering gear, check for the oil level in the steering gear oil tanks, check emergency fire pump area for any leakages, etc.

Then go to the purifier room and carefully check the correct operation of all the running purifiers. Check for backpressure, flow rate, check overflow port for any leakage, and amperage of purifier motors.

Check the FO sludge tank level and transfer the oil to the dedicated sludge tank or incinerator waste oil tank as required.

Check the FO booster pump module, which consists of FO supply and circulating pumps for main engine and Auxiliary engines, Auto backwash filters, and other related machinery.

Check the level of FO service and settling tanks, cylinder oil service tank, and don’t forget to drain them.

Check the oil level, suction, discharge, and oil pressure of AC and refer compressors, check the temperature of Meat, Fish, and vegetable room from the panel.

Take a round of sewage treatment plant and check the flow of sewage, running of air blower, chemical level in the dosing tank, etc.

Things to check on the 3rd deck

Check the water level in hot well and fill it up if required,

In case of Auxiliary engines; check all the parameters like FO pressure, FO temperature, LO pressure, boost air pressure, Cooling water pressure and other parameters, check sump oil level, carefully listen for any abnormal noise from tappet or other parts of auxiliary engine, thoroughly check for any leakages, check LO filter and turbocharger filters, backwash them if required.

Take a thorough round of the main engine and check for any leakages, FO drain lines, T/C oil flow from the sight glass, and other related parameters.

Check sump oil level of Main air compressor, pressure of all the stages, cooling water inlet and outlet temperature, and other related parameters.

Drain Air bottles.

Check Seawater in/out, freshwater in/out temperature, and pressures of the LT cooler.

Check HT cooler for all the temperatures and pressures.

Take a complete round of freshwater generator and other pumps located on the third deck.

In the Engine room workshop; make sure there isn’t any lose items kept, unplug all the electrical appliances, especially welding machine, and switch off the workshop blower if running.

Things to check on the bottom platform

Check all the bilge wells, and empty them before leaving the engine room.

Thoroughly check the tank top area for any leakages in the seawater pipelines.

Check the oil level in the stern tube forward header tank and fill it up if required.

Check area near oily water separator for any leakages,

Check oil flow in intermediate shaft bearing.

Check the temperature of all the crankcase doors of the main engine by an IR temperature gun for any abnormality.

Wrapping Up

If you abide by all the above-mentioned points, you will never get any alarms during your duty time.

Please note that the above-mentioned points may vary from vessel to vessel, so you can modify them according to the layout of your engine room.

Please share this post with your friends and do let me know in the comment section below if I have missed some other important points.

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