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Wärtsilä optimised maintenance agreement to provide efficient service support for Brazilian river tugs despite challenging operating conditions

The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a seven-year long-term Optimised Maintenance Agreement to support the operations of two river pusher tugs operating in Northern Brazil. The vessels are owned by Hidrovias do Brasil, a leader in South American river transportation. This agreement, the second of its type with Hidrovias, was signed in April, 2021.

The vessels operate with Wärtsilä 20 engines, often in shallow waters and remote locations. These challenging operating conditions make the planning and execution of maintenance procedures difficult. This agreement, therefore, allows the customer to focus on its core business knowing that the service level is efficient and the long-term costs fully predictable.

Included in the agreement are Wärtsilä’s Data-Driven Dynamic Maintenance Planning and Expert Insight innovations to deliver remote operational and technical support. The service also includes other important benefits, such as an insight to fuel efficiency, maximised uptime with maintenance being carried out on an ‘as-needed’ basis rather than according to a set number of operating hours, spare parts planning and coordination, and personnel training.

“Long-term maintenance contracts guarantee the reliability and availability of the Wärtsilä engines installed in our main pushers. Under this contract we receive technical support from the manufacturer of the engines, parts for preventative maintenance, and remote monitoring of the engines’ performance. Because of the gains it provides when well managed, maintenance is a strategic area for us. Therefore, we identified the need to continue with a long-term contract in partnership with Wärtsilä,” says Ricardo Brandalise, Maintenance Manager, Hidrovias do Brasil

“Optimised Maintenance agreements are part of Wärtsilä’s Lifecycle Solutions offering, and are designed to improve our customers’ business performance and competitiveness. With these agreements, we are able to increase availability and ensure optimal efficiency. The addition of Expert Insight to our lifecycle offering takes predictive maintenance and optimisation to levels never seen before, thus enabling reduced unplanned maintenance and optimised fuel efficiency with a corresponding reduction in emissions. We are pleased to continue strengthening our partnership with Hidrovias do Brasil with this agreement,” says Marcelo Barthaburu, General Manager, Agreement Sales Americas, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

The earlier agreement with Hidrovias, signed in 2017, covers eight river pusher tugs operating in Paraguay.

Expert Insight is a digital service that has taken predictive maintenance to a new and higher level. It utilises artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced diagnostics to monitor equipment and systems in real-time.  When anomalous behaviour is detected, it is flagged to specialists at Wärtsilä Expertise Centres, allowing them to support the customer proactively with an appropriate resolution to the issue. In combination with Wärtsilä’s deep equipment expertise, the safety, reliability and efficiency of the equipment and/or systems installed are greatly enhanced.

Data-Driven Dynamic Maintenance Planning enables the fine-tuning of operating parameters and adjustments of maintenance intervals for main components. The service increases the uptime of assets and reduces lifecycle costs by optimising major overhaul intervals, without compromising operational reliability or engine efficiency.