A marine separator is a really important part of a vessel, as it ensures the proper operation of the ship. However, in order to be effective, it needs to be properly maintained. In fact, proper maintenance has many benefits, like safe operation, increased efficiency, an extension of the separator’s lifespan, and meeting regulatory requirements. Proper servicing can help you achieve these goals.

Let’s see below in this article everything you need to know about proper marine separator maintenance and some best practices to achieve longevity and efficiency.

The main parts of a marine separator

Before we move to the maintenance tips, it is important to check the main parts of the separator. These parts include:

  • Vertical shaft: It is made of steel and it converts the electrical motor output to quickly rotate the bowl.
  • Main framework: The system’s internal components, including the bowl, water and feed lines, disc components, and others, are supported.
  • Clutch: To avoid overloading the electric motor, it is mounted on the horizontal shaft.
  • Bowls: The taken-in sewage is dumped into the bowls, and the marine separator’s bowls are where the separated sewage is kept.
  • Gear pump and belt drive: These crucial spare parts help transmit the rotational motion from the motor to the bowl.
  • Spur gear: Located between the shafts, it transmits rotational motion.

Also read: How To Properly Install Marine Separator Spare Parts For Optimal Performance

How can proper maintenance of your separator help you?

Proper service of your centrifugal separator on a regular basis can help you deal with many potential issues before they cause any damage or set the crew in trouble. This process can help you save, in the long run, a large amount of time and money. Although the advantages of regular service go beyond just preventing expensive breakdowns, this process can also help you:

  • Keeping the separator’s efficiency: A separator that gets proper maintenance can operate more efficiently.
  • Extension of the separator’s lifespan: Proper maintenance can contribute to the life extension of your separator. The result is saving costs for premature replacement.
  • Conform to regulations: Depending on the industry you work in, you might have to operate your separator more frequently to adhere to regulations.
  • Protecting the business you run: For any company, downtime may be expensive, especially if it results from a malfunction that could have been avoided with regular maintenance. Regular separator maintenance will shield your company from unforeseen setbacks.

Therefore, you don’t have to wait for any damage to appear in order to maintain the equipment of your vessel. This way, you can ensure that it keeps working at its peak level and supports your company for many years to come.

Also read: The Advantages Of Installing Separators On Ships And Vessels.

What does the separator service mostly include?

Preventive maintenance has a process that ensures optimum results. This process is different based on the time passed for maintenance. Standard procedures include:

  • Inspection of the system
  • Equipment disassembly and inspection
  • Replacing worn-out parts
  • Assembly
  • Review and possible adjustments
  • Check and report on the function

After 6 months, the process is quite different and includes:

  • Inspection of the separator bowl
  • Inspection of the inlet and outlet of the separator
  • Inspection of the operating water system
  • Replacement of seals and gaskets
  • Lubrication oil change
  • Replacement or repair of worn-out parts before they cause system failure

Maintenance tips you need to know

However, there are a few points that are critical in order to ensure the efficient performance of marine separators. These tips include:

Oil in bilge

Separators are necessary for segregating a small amount of oil in the bilge. If a small quantity of water is observed in oil, you need to take action immediately and transfer it to a waste oil tank for disposal onshore or for incineration.

Discharge Outside Separator

You need to avoid discharging the water-oil mixture from the separator out of the vessel, as this oil will adhere to coalescers. This way, the separator may stop working. Discharge the collected, separated oil outside the separator, and clean its internals by supplying water.

Install dust filter

While using the separator for bilge mixtures containing dust and sand, it will be difficult for the coalescer filter to pass these materials due to their sizes. This process can help you reduce the operating hours of the filter and, consequently, the efficiency of the separator. The service life of the filter is approximately 1-2 years.

Check on the heating device

In case there is a heating device, make sure that it is ON when the separator is in operation and OFF before the separator is stopped. If your separator runs for a long time, you often need to check the heater for overheating of the coils. If the separator is overheated, you may have inflammable gasses inside.

Protect the internal coating

The internal parts of the separator are coated with tar epoxy. This coating is inflammable. Don’t bring fire near the separator or perform welding over the surface or body. The generated heat will cause damage to the collating. This way, the separator can cause corrosion.

Check water level

The separator needs to be initially filled with seawater before the process begins. This way, the life of filters will be increased, as will their operational efficiency.

Prevent leakage

Make sure to use the tools provided to avoid water from leaking or flowing out due to the siphon effect. If this isn’t done, the oil will be permitted to enter the secondary chamber, greatly reducing the machine’s ability to process waste and clogging the second-stage filters.

Check Effluent

The effluent should be checked frequently to measure the separator’s performance. If the effluent is determined to be polluted, stop the separator right away and take precautions.

If you are interested in increasing the efficiency of your marine vessel, Zedmar’s separator spare parts that are suitable for ALFA LAVAL and WESTFALIA separators are for you. The high-quality operation of these significant vessels will be ensured by a large range of replacement parts that follow OEM specifications. Find a selection of useful and original ways to maximize the functionality of your onboard systems!

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