With the November 2009 opening of new service station facilities in Oslo, Norway, ABB Turbocharging took the latest step in its strategy to extend its global aftermarket presence.
Within this strategy the Baden, Switzerland-based turbocharger specialist is selectively strengthening its geographic coverage, and by expanding its presence and offering in the Baltic and connected seaways, has taken account of the region’s growing economic significance and consequent rise in maritime traffic. In the same vein, when equipping and qualifying both individual service stations and regions as a whole, ABB Turbocharging takes full account of
the special needs of the specific ship types operating in a given region.
In the case of the Baltic, at any time an estimated 2000 vessels of all types are under way there and in the Skagerrak and Kattegat seaways leading to the Baltic. These include ships as diverse as ferries, icebreakers, bulk carriers, tankers, containerships, offshore vessels and, not least, a growing number of cruise ships.
“Cruise ships are a case in point,” noted Matti Nuuttila, regional manager at ABB Turbocharging’s service center in Baden. “According to industry statistics, Europe is second in the rankings of cruise ship destinations after the Caribbean, and the fastest-growing segment is cruises in the Baltic. Thus, within our regional expansion, it was important to have service stations in all the most popular destinations for vessels entering, cruising and exiting the Baltic and to equip and staff them for the service needs of the multi-engine, diesel-electric propulsion
and onboard power supply configurations typical of modern cruisers.”
Putting the new Oslo service station facilities into their context emphasizes Nuuttila’s point they complement further service stations with OEM capability in Copenhagen and Fredericia, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Gdansk,
Poland; plus the activities at the ABB Hamburg service station at Germany’s Baltic ports and servicing ships using the Kiel Canal. In all, some 120 personnel are involved in turbocharger service and parts supply in the region, including more than 50 fully qualified service technicians and engineers.
With this presence and these levels of equipment, manning and qualification, ABB Turbocharging is confident it can offer cruise ships well-coordinated, wellplanned maintenance and repair on a fast-track basis. “With our infrastructure, we can be extremely flexible,” Nuuttila said. “For example, cruise ships aim to allow their passengers a tourist day (or days) at one destination and sail to the next overnight.
In the Baltic, distances between the ports-of-call are relatively short, and with our stations at these ports and our integrated OEM standard parts logistics, we need only short lead times to have parts awaiting a vessel. This can follow inspection and diagnosis of necessary service parts and work at a previous port, and depending on the scope of the work, the parts could be installed by our technicians or under their supervision during the passengers’ shore time.”
The fact that engine configurations of modern cruise vessels are specifically designed to allow onboard servicing with the vessel under way opens further potentials. “Modern cruise ships
feature an onboard power station consisting of a number of diesel generator sets feeding both the propulsion motors and the other electrical consumers onboard, including the considerable
‘hotel load,’” Nuuttila observed. “This floating power station is intentionally dimensioned to allow one engine to be out of service for maintenance, repair or overhaul without affecting vessel speed or the needs of the other consumers.”
According to Arne Brand, manager of end user sales at ABB Turbocharging, “A special emphasis of service station equipment is rotor balancing since tight balance tolerances are one of the main guarantors of safe, reliable and efficient turbocharger operation. All ABB service
stations have well-maintained and calibrated state-of-the-art balancing equipment and staff are trained in its use at our Baden training center.” Further benefits available are ABB’s “ATURB” system for e-business and information interchange. “ATURB allows every ABB Turbocharging service station access to the comprehensive product documentation system at the Baden service center and the global spare parts inventories at Baden and other service stations,” said Brand.
ABB Turbocharging also points out that its innovative service offerings like its OPAC and CPEX programs are both well suited to cruise sector service needs and an ideal complement to its organizational and logistical arrangements in the Baltic and elsewhere.
Under the CPEX customer part exchange scheme, ABB Turbocharging is committed to carrying extensive stocks of frequently ordered components in the form of cost-effective reconditioned parts and remanufactured assemblies. With OPAC packages, ABB offers turbocharger end users the opportunity to delegate maintenance, repair and planned overhaul of turbochargers
against a fixed price.