Engine failures cost the shipping industry billions of dollars each year.
Over 80% of engine failures are due to tiny particles of aluminum and silicon, known as catfines, found in heavy fuel oil.
Purifiers are an essential part of the purification process. But this passive approach still leaves room for improvement.
As catfines cause so many failures, with heavy financial costs for repair, monitoring them and taking preventative action is key to preventing engine failures.
An in-line system using NMR technology to measure the catfines content in heavy fuel oil was created.
But to realize a fully online, constantly available system, a reliable computer was required.
What was needed?
Marine applications are particularly harsh on electronic equipment.
Firstly, there’s electronics great enemy, water. Add to this the salt-filled air and you have a recipe for corrosion and equipment failure.
The system is fully enclosed, so the panel PC needed to:
work well in high temperatures
have protection from water and dust
be panel mountable
What we chose?
The following fitted the requirements
AFL-12A-N270 panel PC
Engine rooms are ventilated, but the heat is still on the high side. Most computers require active cooling in even in normal conditions.
This model can handle temperatures up to 60 degrees. More than enough to handle the temperatures encountered in an engine room
The panel PC would be fitted on an enclosure.
The screen faces out for user interaction through the touch screen panel.
Connections and power are all on the rear, so they are offered the environmental protection of the cabinet they are placed in.
Splash and dust protection
Although engine rooms are not usually very dirty, taking some precaution against dirt or water damage is necessary.
When mounted to a cabinet only the front panel is exposed. The front panel is dust and water resistant and IP64 compliant.
Splashes will not harm the system, and dust cannot cause long term damage.
Mechanical hard drives are prone to failure.
For this application, reliability was key, so a solid state drive was chosen.
Windows embedded is a simpler and cheaper version of Windows often used in embedded systems. In this case, it was necessary that Windows 7 Pro could be installed.