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BWMS makers see training as vital

Wed 12 Apr 2017

BWMS makers see training as vital
Alfa Laval’s training centre in Aalborg includes its PureBallast BWMS (credit: Alfa Laval)

Most BWMS makers offer training as part of their service, seeing it as an important part of supporting customers’ ballast treatment strategies

At Alfa Laval, “we believe training is key,” said its vice president, Anders Lindmark, who is head of its PureBallast activities. It was a view echoed by all the ballast water management system (BWMS) makers that responded to BWTT’s invitation to describe their approach to training.

Operational crew and superintendents benefit from training at Alfa Laval’s various training facilities or on board the vessels during installation, but it is not just they who need training, Mr Lindmark suggested. Its training extends to its global service organisations involved in retrofit projects and the engineering companies conducting the 3D scanning and engineering that lies behind those contracts. “Our experience is that the knowledge level of the specific system for all involved parties is key to a successfully executed project,” he said. More than 100 engineers from external companies have benefited over the past year, he said in February.

Wärtsilä also has training centres in important shipping locations – 10 in all, making up the Wärtsilä Land & Sea Academy (WLSA) – where training engineers and specialists deliver courses, including ballast treatment-related training, tailored to the individual needs of shipowners. Joe Thomas, managing director of Wärtsilä Water Systems, said this training is available in electronic format, but can also be done face-to-face at the customer’s site or in classrooms and purpose-built BWMS equipment training facilities.

US-based Hyde Marine also recognises that “on-site training during commissioning is not a long-term solution to the training needs of ships.” Its senior market manager, Mark Riggio, said the company provides both instructor-led and distance learning opportunities for shipowners, but it has also helped customers to set up their own training centres and conducted train-the-trainer sessions for long-term learning solutions. 

Other manufacturers provide training at their headquarters, such as the UK’s Coldharbour Marine. Its chief executive, Andrew Marshall, said that its programme is a combination of classroom-based theory and practical ‘hands-on’ style training, operating the equipment in a simulated shipboard environment. All its systems are commissioned by Coldharbour’s own engineers, rather than by subcontractors, he said.

Ecochlor also involves its experienced technicians in commissioning its systems, said its founder and president Tom Perlich. This extends into their early operation and includes crew training, which will soon be supplemented by video and web-based training.

Desmi Ocean Guard’s systems are “extremely simple, so a few hours of training is sufficient,” said Rasmus Folsø, the company’s chief executive. It offers on-site training as part of system commissioning and dedicated training courses that can take place at the customer’s offices or its own offices. So far, however, “it has been sufficient to conduct crew training when we commission the systems,” he said. Sunrui also focuses on onboard training for crews during commissioning but is now preparing its global service network to provide on-site training if customers ask for it.

Ian Stentiford, global vice president of Evoqua Water Technologies summed up its approach to training by saying “it really comes down to what the customer wants.” It can provide training within its own facilities, through its engineers on vessels during commissioning or during maintenance visits.

“We are trying to make our system as simple as possible so that training needs are minimised,” he said.