What is mechanical & equipment engineering?
Mechanical engineering can be divided into two parts. The first involves the specifying and laying out of the systems onboard a vessel – along with their associated cabling and pipework – that allow it to function as a ship. These include those associated directly with the vessel itself, such as propulsion, energy, fuel, lubrication, control, navigation, and communications; as well as the systems that manage the needs of the personnel on board, including freshwater, ventilation, heating, catering, and laundry. The role of the mechanical engineer is to specify the components and systems that the vessel requires to function effectively, efficiently, and safely, and then determine the arrangement of both the equipment itself and the connecting pipes and cables within the vessel to achieve the same objectives.
The second aspect relates to the equipment required by each vessel to fulfill its purpose, which is referred to as equipment engineering. This focuses on the mission-specific equipment required by the customer to be fitted onboard the vessel and integrated into the support systems required for its operation. Customers want equipment that achieves their objectives, and this needs to be worked into a detailed design that will lead to the fulfillment of their requirements. Specializations in certain sectors can be useful to clients.
CSD equipment engineering
The complexity of equipment engineering varies greatly across vessel classes, depending on their design and function. At C-Job we work on a wide range of vessel types, including focusing on the particular needs of cutter suction dredgers. These continue to grow in size, bringing with them new challenges related to the installation and control of the cutting equipment.
R&D in mechanical engineering
The role of research and development is growing in mechanical engineering. In an era where sustainability is a priority throughout the life of a vessel, reducing its weight through innovative design and by using advanced materials can deliver appreciable savings in both fuel costs and emissions. At C-Job, our mechanical designers work closely with our R&D to minimize the weight where possible of the machinery that goes on board. Initiating this process as early as possible accelerates the design process and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Refits and retrofits
The challenge for the mechanical engineers with refits and retrofits is that most of the time the systems that they have to add always seem larger than the ones they first remove. One of the current major challenges for vessel owners is the statutory requirement for the reduction in exhaust emissions. However, the ‘scrubbers’ that many install to achieve this involve removing and replacing existing equipment with some large components which take up a lot of space. This has to be found or created.