Reliability Improvement Programme Results in £11m cost avoidance

The Situation

In 2018, a leading cargo and freight carrier invited VCI Consultancy to tender for a project to review and enhance their existing Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) programme.

The previous incumbent had been in place for a long period. However, performance levels were poor with a major failure experienced on every vessel within the fleet at least once per year. An upward trend in maintenance costs, repair costs and programme costs were reported. This meant the client was unable to realise the ongoing benefits of CBM and the existing programme was deemed to be unsustainable.  

VCI was selected to improve the client’s CBM programme due to our extensive experience in the maritime market – since 1982 we have delivered significant benefits and cost savings for leading shipping companies around the world..

The Challenge

Without the need for considerable capital expenditure, the challenge was to turn around a stagnant and underperforming CBM programme by utilising and optimising existing maintenance systems throughout the fleet.

The Solution

The starting point was to review areas for improvement in technology application within the client’s existing CBM online and offline tools. This ranged from the basics of calibrations to techniques application, and adjustment to re-align with industry, class and benchmarked standards. 

Our key approach was continuous improvement. With the correct technology, this gave vessel engineering personnel control over workload to ensure the data was collected at the right time, thus providing the best quality data possible with the available equipment.

Over the last three years, VCI has improved the existing CBM programme by:

  • Optimising and re-commissioning an online monitoring system
  • Significantly reducing failure rates
  • Implementing a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) mindset with all failure modes
  • Identification of areas where maintenance standards and quality improvements can be made.

One of the biggest areas where VCI made improvements was communications. Through focused operations and working remotely with vessel crews globally through multiple time zones, the VCI Remote Data Centre operations model enabled data analysis and feedback turnaround within one to two working days, with immediate responses to urgent requirements.

Assets are monitored around the clock. Over 4,500 assets are monitored on a quarterly basis using offline and online systems to ensure the operator and manager can satisfy notation requirements from class approval societies.

The Results

PCMS Eng Group engineers detected deterioration in the first support bearing on the input shaft to the thruster, which required consistent monitoring over a period of time to determine the rate of deterioration.

The rate of change detected indicated that the bearing needed to be replaced. The bearing replacement and general inspection  was completed during a port call with minimal interruption to the vessel’s operations and upon inspection, the poor condition of the input bearing was confirmed.

For more information about our CBM services, contact us on +44(0)151 909 4545 or email

Over the last three years, the client has reported the following cost avoidance figures:

  • Total cost avoidance currently over £11m with a rapid return of investment for the annual support costs
  • 99.99% of data processed within two days
  • CBM data operations now transferred to the PCMS Eng Group’s asset insight cloud platform, OMEGA
  • Automated data flows to CMMS systems to automatic reporting

The client is now operating a robust, managed and continuous improvement-led vibration programme. VCI is continuing to support the client with the introduction of new technologies to their fleet to provide increased optimisation.

To find out more about our reliability improvement services, visit or email

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Case Studies