Today, marine engine suppliers recommend daily monitoring of the Base Number (BN) to optimize cylinder lubrication feed rate and determine the residual BN of the piston underside oil. Changes in vessel operation are driving innovation in engine monitoring .The shift to “slow steaming” and the resulting “cold corrosion” affects every vessel in operation. Increased instances of early failure due to cylinder scuffing & cylinder scaling are due to improper lubrication in constantly changing engine running conditions.

New sulfur emissions requirements are a secondary driver affecting some vessels. Running with multiple fuel types means major changes in lubrication BN to compensate for high fluctuations in acidic conditions in the cylinders.

The FluidScan is the one device that will ensure your engine is running efficiently. Daily control of the cylinder oil BN at the inlet and drain is the most effective way to prevent “cold corrosion.” (Note: Wärtsilä Services technical bulletin RT-161.)

Benefits Features
Reduce lubrication oil costs
  • Optimize feed rate to the cylinders, eliminating wasteful over-lubrication.
  • Allows ship engineers to quickly comply with manufacturer recommendation for BN in new and residual cylinder oils.
Increase component lifetime
  • Reduce “cold corrosion” due to the effects of slow steaming.
  • Reduce cylinder scuffing due to insufficient lubrication.
  • Prevent scaling which results from over-lubrication.
Innovative BN measurement and maintenance
  • Fast and easy to use – needs just one drop of oil and one minute to test.
  • Color coded alarm limits for easy interpretation of results.
  • Reduced testing costs – solvent-free and few consumables. No hazardous chemicals.
  • More accurate – avoid operator error of traditional onboard tests. Correlates with ASTM D2896.
Easily upgradeable to enable oil analysis for other shipboard equipment
  • The 1210 measures BN for marine cylinder oil.
  • The 1220 measures BN for marine cylinder oil plus additonal parameters in 2-stroke systems oil and other 4-stroke engine oils.
  • The 1230 includes all of the above plus oils used in machinery components such as gear boxes, compressors, hydraulic systems, turbines, and transmissions.


Large, two-stroke diesel engines are used in over 30,000 ships worldwide. Due to over lubrication, they waste in excess of US$2 billion of cylinder oil every year.  This creates more than 1.25 million tons of contaminated drain oil that needs proper disposal. This over-lubrication in slow speed, two-stroke marine diesel engines can cost ship managers and owners more than $100,000 per year per ship.

Cylinder under-lubrication leads to cold corrosion and early failure of expensive engine components like pistons, piston rings and cylinder liners. Careful monitoring of cylinder oil BN allows the operator to use enough oil to prevent cold corrosion without wasting valuable oil and additives.

Recommended by the engine designer

  • See Wärtsilä Services technical bulletin RT-161
  • Allows quick adjustment of cylinder oil lubrication rates when entering or leaving Sulfur Emission Control Areas.
  • Battery powered portable analyzer can be carried to the test site rather than having to send oil samples back to a central laboratory
  • FluidScan software can store up to 5000 measurement results and export these results by .csv file. This allows the operator to track and store measurements by cylinder for their records and enables trending of measurements.
  • Upgradeable software allows the user to monitor lubricating oil condition on a wide variety of shipboard equipment. The FluidScan 1230 can monitor lubricating oils for TAN, TBN, oxidation, sulfation, water and soot.
  • Cold corrosion is best avoided by tightly controlling BN using a simple, easy to use, accurate analyzer like the FluidScan 1200. Measuring corrosive iron is UNNECESSARY if you properly control residual cylinder oil BN and never let it fall below 15 (Wärtsilä recommended limit).