MTU 396 genset surveys
Two of our engineers returned to the workshop having just surveyed four MTU 396 gensets, & the advice they’ve given the client has saved them hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The engines are in the basement of a building, which has been vacant for the last few years.
With the building soon to be renovated & brought back into use, the owners needed to be sure they could rely on these critical diesel engines, hence the survey.
We were tasked with carrying out health checks on the gensets, reporting back what was needed in order to get them dependable & ready for use.
All four engines were built in 2001 & installed later that year. During the last 19 years, they have an average of 62 hours running, & with genset 1 having been started 267 times, that equates to less than 14 minutes running for each start!
With these type of short running periods, the engines won’t reach normal operating temperatures & as we all know this is not good for the engine.
During the surveys our engineers saw little evidence of any maintenance being carried out on any of the sets; in fact, most of the bolt heads were still covered in paint.
You may think that due to low hours, no maintenance was required, but MTU specifies maintenance intervals are by hours run or by time, whichever occurs first.
To give complete confidence with these engines, one approach would be a full overhaul, but considering such low hours, the conditions the engines are kept in & being able to carry out a full inspection with borescope examinations, we were able to identify the high-risk situations for the client & recommend what action needs to be taken.
Infrequent running & accumulating very little running hours does not negate the need for servicing tasks, & most manufacturers will specify a time limit for maintenance & without a full and thorough survey, we’d still recommend this.
These are only guidelines and each engine maintenance plan will need to be adapted depending on your application, location & the environment.