In less than two years, MAN B&W Diesel developed the world's fastest-selling medium-weight marine engine, the L21/31, using PTC Mathcad calculation software. In the two years since the engine was completed, it has notched up over 10,000 hours on the "Princess of Scandinavia."
MAN B&W Diesel AG is the world's leading developer of diesel engines for ship propulsion units and stationary power supply systems, with specific outputs of up to 80 MW per motor. A 130,000 bhp MAN B&W engine powers the "Queen Elizabeth II" passenger ship, the fastest cruise ship in the world.
MAN B&W Diesel developed the new L21/31 motor engine in just two years. One of these engines has been running continuously for more than 10,000 hours on board the Princess of Scandinavia ferry, despite being subjected to the rigors of a daily ferry service.
The L21/31 is a medium-weight, four-stroke drive engine, and its successful performance depends on precise engineering. For this reason, engineers at MAN B&W Diesel have been using PTC Mathcad software at its engineering site in Augsburg since work began on the L21/31 in 2000. Staff in the company's MEDD/MEDD1 department use the PTC Mathcad software to provide reports on complex, design-related calculations.
Udo Peterson, a design engineer at MAN B&W Diesel, selected PTC Mathcad because he had worked with the software in previous jobs and been impressed with its performance. According to Peterson, "PTC Mathcad is very easy to use and has easy-to-understand documentation. In addition, the transparency of the individual calculation stages played a crucial role in the development and calculation of the L21/31. This ensured that the exchange of information and cooperation between individual departments and people involved in the project was both simpler and faster."
Hugh Summerton, Sales Manager for Germany, PTC, comments: "Our focus is to enable companies to record and interpret the underlying starting points and data of their calculations and technical analyses. We strive to increase efficiency, particularly in the development phase, as well as enhancing productivity and minimizing the risks and scope for error. This can only be achieved by structuring planning and design processes more transparently, and thereby allowing everyone involved in a project to continuously verify and evaluate the underlying calculations."
PTC is the only provider of calculation and documentation software that enables users to process mathematical calculations without translating them into a computer-based language. PTC Mathcad calculations are displayed as dynamic drawings in the SmartSketch graphics application. Calculations are coupled with sketches, allowing the engineer to easily see how changes in calculations affect the associated sketch. Using the sketches, engineers can quickly convey complex mathematical information to designers in an easy-to-understand format. This improved communication means that engineers and designers can detect errors at a far earlier stage in the design process.
In the case of the L21/31 engine, PTC Mathcad was used to verify virtually all the calculations involved in the design process of critical A-components, such as the connection between the crankshaft and coupling flange, and safety-related bolt connections. The software was also used to verify and document the underlying calculations used to design B-components including the valve train and pumps.
The bevel seat calculation shows the methods used by PTC Mathcad when performing calculations and displaying results. All design-related reports are stored on the company's own project drive where they can be used as the basis for future calculations, and viewed by anyone involved in the project.
Before introducing PTC Mathcad, the engineering design department at MAN B&W Diesel used a combination of FORTRAN software and Microsoft Excel worksheets to perform calculations. However, these systems didn't allow engineers to render calculation steps into abstract programming language or Excel formulas—making it difficult for those not directly involved in the project to understand the information.
"Using the PTC Mathcad application helps to integrate the heads of department more effectively into the project because the calculations are depicted in a pure mathematical form, rather than an abstract programming language. This makes it much easier for everyone to understand the individual steps," says Peterson.
The MEDD/MEDD1 department plans to extend its use of PTC Mathcad. In particular, the PTC Mathcad electronic books facility is to be used to generate an entire design library for large diesel engines.
Don't have PTC Mathcad yet? Download PTC Mathcad Express today.