VADEMEKUM - Image brochure Schaller Automation, Überblick

ölnebel detektor, visatron, #schaller automation, oil mist detector

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Maximum security for your

crew and your systems.

With the oil mist detection systems from the global market leader Schaller.

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“Safety first!” is not just an empty phrase

or an advertising slogan at Schaller. It has

been a key component of our company

culture for over 50 years - every single day.

Our primary aim has always been the

safety of those using our detectors: crews

on numerous ships, power station staff, and

the companies of our customers.

Since entering the business of oil mist

detection systems at the end of the 1960s,

Schaller has constantly been carrying out

important pioneering work in this field.

The focus on quality has made us the

global market leader. More than 55,000

systems have since been equipped with our

VISATRON systems. Of the approximately

48,000 merchant ships currently in service

around the world, at least half are sailing

with an oil mist detection system (OMD)

made by Schaller. This makes sailing the

seas of the world as safe as technically

possible, and reliably protects against

explosions in the engine room!

This is something we are, of course, proud

of. But we also see it as an incentive and

obligation to continuously invest in the

further development of our products and

therefore in the safety of our customers.

Here, the main issue is early detection, i.e.

Condition Monitoring, to combat oil mist and

its potentially dangerous consequences

before it occurs.

Another extremely important aspect is the

new engines that can be operated with gas

(LNG) and need entirely new approaches to

detection. As an innovation leader, Schaller

can already offer suitable solutions for

these important future issues regarding oil

mist detection. This is where decades of

experience and our eventful history come

into play. In our new brochure for the SMM

2018, I would like to invite you to find out

more about the most interesting features of

Schaller’s past, present and future oil mist

detection systems.

Our motto, now and in the future,

is and always will be: “Safety first!”

Safety for you and your engine.

You can rely on us.

Stephan Schaller,

Managing Director of

Schaller Automation GmbH & Co. KG


ear readers,

customers, and all

those interested,

Editorial | 3

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Schaller Automation Industrielle Auto-

mationstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, based

in Blieskastel (Saarland in Southwest

Germany), has been successfully active

in the sector of automation technology

for over 60 years.

Schaller has been developing, producing

and selling safety systems for large diesel,

gas and dual-fuel engines for the past 50

years. These safety systems, so-called oil

mist detection systems (OMD), have been

successfully deployed in ships and power

stations around the world.

Our daily mission at Schaller is the detec-

tion of hazardous operating conditions in

which damage to bearings can lead to the

escape of hazardous oil mist. This oil mist

contains minute oil particles and can, in

extreme cases, lead to an explosion in the

engine crankcase. Schaller oil mist de-

tection systems represent the last reliable

safeguard against such accidents.

At the same time, we are also developing

highly sensitive, intelligent monitoring

systems for early detection of damage in

order to prevent any formation of oil mist

before it starts.

Safety with system – 50 years and counting

Schaller at a glance | 5

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New Rules for safety at sea:

OMD becomes mandatory

As a result of this tragedy, the intergovernmental International

Maritime Consultancy Organization (IMCO) was founded in 1948

and started its work on January 13, 1959. As a specialized agency

of the United Nations, it was renamed International Maritime

Organization (IMO) in 1982. 173 states are full members of the

IMO, and another three are associated members. The motto of

the IMO is:

Safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean seas.

To implement this policy, the IMO has drawn up numerous interna-

tional conventions that are constantly being updated. These include

the fifth version of the International Convention for the Safety of Life

at Sea (SOLAS), which came into effect on July 1, 2014. Chapter

II-1 of this Convention regulates oil mist detection. It specifies “the

use of oil mist detection systems, bearing temperature sensors, or

similar equipment for combustion engines with an output of more

than 2,250 kW or cylinder diameters greater than 300 mm”. SOLAS

is in turn monitored by national classification societies, the majority

of which are part of the International Association of Classification

Societies (IACS).

The first oil mist detection systems in the 1960s

Companies working in the fire-alarms sector launched the first

oil mist detection systems in the early 1960s. These worked on the

principle of light absorption and used the only light sources that

were practically available at the time: filament lamps which had

very inconsistent light emissions. The measurement principle works

in a similar way to the temperature monitoring of exhaust-gas

average values: Oil mist is sucked out from between two main

bearings of the crankcase compartments. If the oil mist concentra-

tion in one compartment increases in comparison to the average

value of the oil mist concentration in the other compartments, the

alarm is sounded.

Increasing OMD requirements

However, the demands on these oil mist monitoring systems

increased rapidly. Both the low-speed crosshead engines and the

medium-speed diesel engines continued to develop ever better

power-to-weight ratios. This, in turn, led to higher levels of material

stress and stricter requirements regarding the lubrication of moving

engine parts. From the 1960s, the OMDs could no longer be restricted

to the warning of crankcase explosions due to the increased risk

of overheating. Instead, they had to detect the start of overheating

damage as early as possible.

Small particles, great danger:

Engine room explosions due to oil mist

The history of oil mist detection began with the growing success of

low-speed two-stroke engines and medium-speed four-stroke engines

with sealed crankcases. For a long time, the developers and users of

this drive technology - which was novel at the time - failed to recognize

a major hazard: the possibility of oil mist explosions due to lubrication

defects. This changed in 1947 when 28 sailors on board the ship Reina

del Pacifico dramatically lost their lives due to explosions in the crankcase

of their ship’s engine.

The history of oil mist detection | 7

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Pioneers of sensor technology

First Steps at Schaller: Sensor technology | 9

From the engineering office to

the successful mass production

of sensors

Schaller Automation can look back at over

60 years of company history. It was founded

by the graduate engineer Werner Schaller in

1956 as an engineering office for automation

and rapidly grew into a successful medium-

sized company. Initially based in the port

region of Mannheim, the company changed

its location in 1969 and moved to Blieskastel

in the Saarland region. Only one year later,

the company had grown to 60 employees.

In the early years, Schaller developed and

supplied controllers in small and medium-

sized series for the relatively new relay

technology field, which offered technical

and economic advantages compared to

established contactor technology. Typical

customer projects were production and

process-control systems designed with

contactless electronic technology. Electronic,

contactless logic-systems based on the

brand-new semiconductor technology (tran-

sistors) were already on the market in 1960.

In addition to the process-control systems

that Schaller mass-produced as a subcon-

tractor for companies such as Freudenberg,

Eichenauer and Siemens, the company

recognized the potential for its own products

at an early stage. In 1965, the strong demand

for digital sensors, urgently needed as input

devices for the intelligent automated control

of process-control systems, gave the company

the opportunity to establish its own product

line with capacitive and inductive proximity

sensors. Immediately after they were presented

at the leading trade fair INTERKAMA in 1965,

incoming orders increased so rapidly that

production was running at full capacity by 1969.

Key technology in mass

production for industry

Our new mass-production program sensors

and analyzers paved the way to opening the

doors of industry for Schaller. These sensors

became a key technology (for example, for

filling systems and plastic processing) in

every process in which production could be

automated. The demand for special solutions

regarding shape, color, and switching

technology increased, too: Schaller therefore

developed flexible circuit boards (Flextechnik,

Flexifoam) that made it possible to create

the circular design of the sensors which is

standard today – another pioneering bench-

mark. Business was so good that employee

numbers had risen to 120 by the 1970s.

Strategy change:

Production focus on OMD

From the middle of the 1970s onwards, the

sensor sector became a mass market due to

increasing use and competition. At the same

time, the niche market that was destined to

become today’s core market continued to

prosper at Schaller: oil mist detection. As a

result, a decision was made in the 1990s to

reduce the sensor business to just a few

special sensors and to switch production

entirely to oil mist detection systems

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Sensor expertise plus LED technology:

A new quality of oil mist detection

The route to oil mist detection was essentially laid out for Schaller by its customer

Motorenwerke Mannheim (MWM), formerly Daimler Stationärer Motorenbau. MWM was

using a device from a different manufacturer which was highly prone to malfunctions,

as it used a filament lamp as a light source. Schaller immediately became involved in the

optimization and new development of an oil mist detection device. This was possible

because Schaller was already focusing on the applicable future technologies which were

state-of-the-art at the time: semiconductor elements such as transistors, light-emitting

diodes (LED) that provided a constant light source less prone to malfunctions, and their

counterpart, the photodiodes. This transfer of sensor expertise combined with state-of-

the-art electronic components to the oil mist detection application scenario – with MWM

as a first-class reference customer – quickly smoothed the way for Schaller to enter the

market of large-engine monitoring.

Mission: Damage prevention

Safety becomes the core of the company’s philosophy

The first oil mist detector was delivered to MWM in 1967. The new product sector of optical

detectors for oil mist was also immortalized in the product’s names: VISATRON (VIS derived

from “visual”) has ever since stood for Schaller’s optoelectronic sensor technology.

The former niche market of oil mist detection systems slowly became one of the main

pillars of the company – and both the management and the employees continued to focus

increasingly on the task of preventing accidents, and

keeping humans and machines safe.

Oil mist in our sights - with VISATRON

First Steps at Schaller: Becoming the OMD Market Leader | 11

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Safety for you

and your engine

Schaller Today: Market and Innovation Leader | 13

The name Schaller Automation has been

a synonym for oil mist detection systems

around the world since the 1970s. Most

renowned manufacturers of large engines

trust in Schaller systems. The company is

now the leading OMD supplier in the world


For this, there are good reasons: Firstly,

consistent implementation of the maxim

“Safety for humans and machines” at all

company levels. Secondly, continuous

investment in innovation at the highest

possible level:

Schaller is the main innovator on the


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Exceptional expertise

in innovation

Research and development (R&D) plays

a special role at Schaller. Around 15% of its

turnover is invested in R&D – this is more

than double the average invested by German

electronics companies. We collaborate

closely in the field of oil mist research with

various renowned universities and research

institutes such as the RWTH Aachen,

University of Rostock, University of Saarland,

HTW Saarbrücken, FH Flensburg and HS

Bremerhaven. Some of these partnerships

have been running for years.

An example: Innovative protec-

tion against explosions during

gas operations – with ATEX

Schaller is the first supplier to have explosion-

protected detectors in its portfolio that comply

with the ATEX guidelines: VN115/87plus Ex

and VN301plus Ex. With these products, the

company has reacted rapidly to the modern

dual-fuel engines that can also be operated

with liquefied natural gas (LNG). An innovative

zone separation system was implemented

in the measurement area in order to prevent

methane explosions in the detector and sub-

sequently in the crankcase. This means that

critical components can no longer come into

contact with the ignitable atmosphere.

Schaller Today: Market and Innovation Leader | 15

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The Future of Schaller and OMD | 17

The following equipment and measures are available for such tests:

•   Test  Vessel:

A test unit in which an approx. 1m


crankcase is installed and

actual operating conditions can be simulated: for instance,

where lubricating oil has been splashed around (splash oil) or

the pitching movements of a ship of +/- 22.5° in both directions.

•   Shaker:

This electrodynamic fatigue-testing machine simulates

acceleration in three spatial directions.

•   Climatic  chamber:

All products are subject to a final test in the climatic chamber.

Functionality is tested under unfavorable conditions at temperatures

between 5 °C and 70 °C.

•   Hatz:

Two Hatz single-cylinder diesel engines are purposely damaged

in the new test laboratory in order to record damage signals and

thus validate reliable detection algorithms.

•   Testing on customer premises (OMDEA):

On request, detectors are tested on real engines at the customer

premises. Massive production of oil mist is simulated, and the

trigger time of the sensors is tested. Schaller is the only supplier

to provide this service.

•   Training for customer employees:

Installation and operation of the OMD requires experience and

expertise. Schaller therefore offers training for the employees of

their customers, from engine manufacturers to end users.

Testing under real conditions –

in the laboratory and on customer premises

Schaller also differentiates itself from the competition through its significantly comprehensive investment in its own

testing technology. Each product is subject to a complete one-hundred-percent testing procedure before being delivered.

This guarantees the highest possible reliability during operation – which from Schaller’s point of view is absolutely


Commitment to safety: Setting standards

Schaller has not only set the standards with regard to quality and

reliability of OMDs, it is also actively involved in expert bodies on

the formation and definition of official guidelines, for example IACS

UR M10 and IACS UR M67. Schaller sees this as an immensely

important contribution to the safety of humans and machines at

sea, because these guidelines ensure that the detectors are

correctly mounted and functional under all operating conditions.

Full service and special expertise worldwide –

Thanks to a strong partner network

Schaller’s success rests on numerous shoulders – worldwide. Our

service partners in over 50 countries work every day to ensure that

our customers’ machines are optimally protected. 33 qualified and

specially trained partner companies stand for service “on board”

and in power stations, as well as for the availability of spare parts

around the globe. The maintenance, repair and replacement of all

Schaller products is implemented as rapidly as possible: Schaller is

always close to its customers.

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OMD: Networked, individualized,


Using regular customer surveys, Schaller

continuously works with the users to

improve its products. Our “Voice of Customer”

makes it all possible: whether you need

a customized design that is aligned with

installation requirements, optimized design

(re-design) - as is currently being imple-

mented on proven systems such as the

VN87plus - or the customized retrofitting

of redesigned systems. Customer requests

also resulted in the early expansion of

the product portfolio with systems for dual-

fuel engines.

Schaller: Ready for Maritime 4.0.

All new product developments offer the latest

interfaces and fieldbus systems for integration

of signals in a central control system.

Here, cybersecurity is the top priority: Schaller

devices only have one outgoing interface and

no incoming interfaces; vulnerable operating

systems are not present, as our systems work

entirely controller-based.

Schaller is ready for Maritime 4.0

The future of oil mist detection

Schaller always listens to its customers and keeps an eye on developments

in maritime shipping and the power station sector. Customers are currently

profiting from a whole series of innovative developments and technical

advances in the sector of OMD. They also profit from the second division

of our company, which is increasingly gaining importance at Schaller: the

early detection of oil mist via Condition Monitoring.

The Future of Schaller and OMD | 19

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The Future of Schaller and OMD

| 21

With regard to future maintenance of large

engines, two approaches appear to be

extremely promising and are increasingly

being requested by the customers and

classification societies. The first approach is

“Preventive Maintenance” with the targeted

monitoring of engine components.

The primary advantage here is that only

the parts that are actually worn down

need to be replaced. The second approach

is “Predictive Maintenance”, in which

recorded data is used to develop statistical

predictive models and the remaining

service life of components can be precisely

predicted. Both approaches significantly

minimize maintenance outlay and costs, and

increase economic viability. Fortunately,

Schaller has already developed innovative

technologies for early detection. Here are

two examples:

ACCOMOS: Vibrations as an early signal

One premiere at the SMM 2018 was the

3-axis acceleration transducer ACCOMOS,

which is used to detect anomalies. If you

look at the theory of the origin of mechanical

damage, changes in operating conditions

are initially heralded by vibrations. In our

new test laboratory, this scenario is simulated

and examined using Hatz single-cylinder

diesel engines.

Mixed-friction detection for early

identification of journal bearing damage

Mixed-friction detection provides the basis

for the early identification of damage in

journal bearings. This is not only of interest

for larger engines, but also for customers

in the wind-power sector, as the majority of

wind-power plants use journal bearings in

their transmissions.

Condition monitoring:

Detecting danger before damage occurs

In addition to preventing dangerous oil mist explosions, our focus over the

past few years has been on the early detection of oil mist. This means

gaining a better understanding of the causes of oil mist formation, improving

reliable detection, and preventing damage from the outset. New servicing

strategies are the target – research and development is the way forward.

Optimized maintenance for healthy engines:

Preventive and Predictive Maintenance

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SCHALLER Automation
Schaller Automation LP

Schaller Automation

Schaller Automation Pte Ltd.


SCHALLER Automation

Industrielle Automationstechnik GmbH & Co. KG

811 Shotgun Road Sunrise,
FL 33326
United States of America

Room 401,
Juyang Mansion No. 1200
Pudong Avenue,
Shanghai 200135, P.R.China

114 Lavender Street
#09-93 CT Hub 2
Singapore 338729

Industriering 14
D-66440 Blieskastel
Tel.:  +49 6842 508 0

Phone: +1 954 794 1950
Mobile: +1 561 289 1495
Fax:  +1 954 794 1951

Phone: +86 - 21 - 5093 - 7566
Mobile: +86 - 1390 - 1890 - 736
Fax:   +86 - 21 - 5093 - 7556

Phone: +65 6643 5151 (24/7)
Fax:   +65 6643 5150

Fax: +49 6842 508 260

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08/2018 EN

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