Wärtsilä and ABB have signed a unique agreement that appoints Wärtsilä as an authorised service provider in 25 locations for ABB turbochargers installed in Wärtsilä’s 4-stroke engines. What does the agreement entail? We dissect it for you.
In the highly competitive world of maritime trade, shipping operators keep a close eye on the Return-on-Investment (ROI) of their vessels. They are willing to invest in high-performance and fuel-efficient ship engines and are particular about the operating efficiency of the engines. Turbochargers, an integral part of engines, directly affect the performance of an engine to the extent that engines are tuned based on turbocharger specifications.
“A modern engine without a functioning turbocharger would be limited to a fraction of its potential power output,” writes author and shipping industry journalist Malcolm Latarche in a recent article.
Wärtsilä has long recognised the importance of maintaining the turbochargers in optimal working condition. As a part of its strong overall service and maintenance strategy, Wärtsilä has developed the ability to service any turbocharger installed in its engines. Given that ABB, a pioneering technology leader, has the largest turbocharger population in the Wärtsilä-installed base (27000 ABB turbochargers in Wärtsilä 4-stroke engines), a close relationship between the two engineering giants was inevitable.
“We have a very long history together and have built a strong relationship over the years”, says Magnus Miemois, Director, Sales and Sales Support, Wärtsilä 4-stroke Engine Services.
This relationship has now been taken to the next level.
Late summer 2017, Wärtsilä and ABB signed a comprehensive six-year service agreement covering standard maintenance and performance optimisation of ABB turbochargers installed with Wärtsilä 4-stroke engines. The agreement represents a unique partnership between the two companies and has huge implications for their customers.
Björn Lindell, General Manager, Turbocharger Services, 4-stroke Engine Services at Wärtsilä concurs. “This agreement guides us to co-create together with ABB to make lifecycle improvements and upgrades that will ultimately make our customers more competitive,” he notes.
The holistic approach of the agreement reflects both Wärtsilä’s and ABB’s commitment to support customers through the entire lifecycle of their installations. “A customer might look at a lifecycle of 25 – 30 years for the installed equipment. Once any engine accumulates running hours, a certain deterioration in its condition occurs and the engine needs to be maintained. It means certain parts have to be cleaned or changed. Technological upgrades and new releases may also have to be implemented over the lifecycle. A long-term commitment to our customers therefore becomes quite natural,” says Miemois.
“As application owners and operating companies increasingly look to make their power installations more competitive, balanced with optimising their total cost of ownership over the lifecycle, we believe the combination of ABB and Wärtsilä joint upgrade offerings is a strong fit to meet market demand,” says Rolf Bosma, Head of Service Sales, ABB Turbocharging.
The agreement is multi-faceted allowing Wärtsilä to carry out standard service and, jointly with ABB’s upgrades team, to upgrade turbochargers for improved performance. It gives Wärtsilä access to the required specialised training from ABB, a steady supply of ABB original parts through Wärtsilä’s global distribution chain and creates 25 new ABB-authorised Wärtsilä turbocharger workshops with an expanded service and maintenance offering.
“Another important element of the agreement is the technological collaboration on the lifecycle upgrades. By combining Wärtsilä’s expertise as a designer and manufacturer of combustion engines and ABB’s expertise specifically in turbochargers, we can deliver better value to our customers. If a customer is competing with newer technology, then the upgrades we offer provide customers the ability to stay updated and competitive in the business. This is very important to our customers,” says Miemois.
“Together we continue to see real potential to add value for customers with upgrade packages, combining engine enhancements with turbocharger upgrades. The ultimate goal is to provide customers an attractive return on investment through exceeding the original performance level of their assets,” says Thorsten Bosse, Head of Product Line Upgrades, ABB Turbocharging.
Wärtsilä and ABB have brought their respective competencies to the table to form this seamless partnership that promises to deliver the maximum ROI and keep the customer competitive through the lifecycle of 4-stroke engines.
As an example of the two companies working together to offer customers upgrades, Bosse points to a recent project with a major cruise liner where the ABB turbocharger was upgraded on a Wärtsilä 9L46 engine, and in combination with Wärtsilä replacing the camshaft to introduce Miller timing, the overall resulting reduction in fuel consumption was 3%.