Cleaning error halts operation

A mysterious malfunction stopped a job in its tracks before it had even begun. With no indication of what had gone wrong, the crew was at a loss. Thanks to MacGregor OnWatch and strategic spare parts, the unexpected culprit was identified and several days of downtime were avoided.

November 2009, Tuesday, 18:00 (CET): Gulf of Mexico

A vessel began a tricky operation at sea using its large MacGregor AHC crane. But before they could really get started, the operator reported that the main winch would only pull – no matter how much he tried to lower or raise the hook.

The situation soon became critical as the operation was losing valuable time. Further tests were hindered because the hook was close to the sheaves. The crew’s troubleshooting proved unsuccessful and since the system showed no alerts, they decided to contact MacGregor OnWatch.

Within 30 minutes, a MacGregor OnWatch engineer in Norway had downloaded and started analysing the logs. As there were no obvious signs of malfunction, the engineer cross-compared signals with certain tests. They concluded that one by-pass valve seemed to be inactive. The crew was instructed to physically examine it.

It quickly became apparent that during a routine cleaning a few days earlier, someone had torn off the signal cable and broken the connector.

20:00 Since the ship carried strategic spare parts, MacGregor could confirm that the valve was on board. The replacement valve was soon located and installed. With the cable repaired, the operation was back on track.

This particular problem would have been very difficult for the crew to track down themselves. Without MacGregor OnWatch and strategic spare parts on board, the ship would likely have been forced to abort the mission and go to a service port to rendezvous with an engineer from Norway. That would have resulted in at least 4-6 days of delay, not to mention the problems it would have caused the other parties involved and the lost goodwill.

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