Shell Lube Monitor for Marine Lubricants

Shell Marine

Published May 29, 2023 8:43 AM by The Maritime Executive

[By: Shell Marine]

The marine industry is growing more complex by the day, and from conversations with our customers, we know they need support with navigating their route through it. So, we leverage our expertise to provide integrated solutions, helping our customers optimise their reliability and efficiency, as well as preparing for the future.

This includes lubrication oils like Shell Alexia 40 XC, which is compatible with all two-stroke engines using <0.5% sulphur fuels; and further complemented with innovative oil condition monitoring tools, such as Shell LubeMonitor.

Shell Alexia 40 XC

Since the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.5% sulphur limit came into effect on January 1, 2020, MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) has defined two performance categories for the lubricants used in its two-stroke engines. Existing lubricants, such as Shell Alexia 40 are known as Category I and are available for use on the MAN ES Mark (Mk) 8 and earlier engines. Meanwhile, a higher Category II standard has been set for Mk 9 and later engines.

The development of Shell Alexia 40 XC – which has received a full No Objection Letter (NOL) from MAN ES, confirming the successful completion of the full approval process – is the product of close collaboration between Shell and MAN ES in light of these changes, as well as engine technology developments.

The latest engine designs operate with challenging conditions in terms of pressure and temperature, demanding higher performing lubrication, particularly in terms of engine cleanliness – making the development of a CAT II 40BN cylinder oil essential. Having used a proprietary and unique formulation developed by Shell Marine’s in-house Research & Development (R&D) team, Shell Alexia 40 XC provides operators with an oil that is approved for use in all low-speed, two-stroke engines designed by MAN ES and highly recommended for MAN ES B&W two-stroke engines that are Mk 9 and above. It is also compatible with all two-stroke engines using <0.5% sulphur fuels, including VLSFO, ULSFO, distillates, LNG and biofuels.

For customers, this means only needing to use one lubricant instead of switching back and forth between 40BN and 100BN lubricating products, while providing them with an oil that is both miscible and compatible with cylinder lubricants across the Shell portfolio.

Significantly, Shell Alexia 40 XC is more than 30% cleaner than Category I BN40 cylinder oils, with equal cleanliness to Category II BN100 oils – a notable upgrade on previous generation (Category I) low-base number products that did not perform well in terms of keeping the engine clean. The result for operators is less frequent overhauls and lower maintenance costs. Furthermore, acid-neutralising properties help support prolonged component life by dealing with deposit formation and control wear on critical components.

Finally, due to the introduction of high-quality, effective lubrication, the crew should have greater capacity to optimise their lubrication feed rate. A lower feed rate often means lower lubricant costs, though there is a fine balance to be struck between cost reduction and reliability – which Shell Alexia 40 XC can help operators to find.

Shell LubeMonitor

Additionally, reducing costs and improving efficiencies can be further gained from leveraging solutions such as Shell LubeMonitor. This digital platform surpasses traditional cylinder monitoring methods by combining on-board testing with lab analysis to strike and maintain an acceptable balance between cylinder oil costs and wear-related cylinder maintenance expenses.

By providing a wider range of technical and operational insights, Shell LubeMonitor empowers users to better understand their ship's engine performance, ensuring that it operates in line with OEM recommendations, and ultimately, reducing maintenance costs.

The platform offers several features that include enhanced fleet and vessel insights, a step- by-step guide for on-board engineers to standardise the inspection process, and a comprehensive engine inspection feature that allows for the inclusion of recorded measurements of piston ring clearance, piston ring coating, liner wear, and more.

One of the standout features of Shell LubeMonitor is its integration with the Shell LubeAnalyst oil condition monitoring tool, making it a one-stop platform to easily compare all oil analysis results for your engine. The platform is available via the internet, iOS and Android operating systems, and as an offline logbook regardless of connectivity at sea.

Additionally, the platform provides technical advice and recommendations from Shell experts. With Shell LubeMonitor, users can access a wealth of information that goes beyond traditional reporting, allowing them to compare vessels from fleet level all the way down to its cylinders – all organized in an easy-to-read manner, benefiting both on- and off-shore users.

Overall, Shell LubeMonitor is a tool that empowers users to take control of their vessel's engine performance, reduce maintenance costs, and increase operational efficiency.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.