Our reports enable you to only overhaul the engine when it is absolutely required, as well as notifying you of emerging problems. As a result, you can plan your maintenance schedules, and will typically have around five years between overhauls.


Engine Condition Monitoring and Condition Based Maintenance are new industry buzz words that mean that engines should be overhauled when they need to be overhauled rather than when the manufacturer declares it should be done. So why is this possible? Because manufacturers need to specify the service interval based upon the worst scenario. In reality, the majority of engines do not operate under worst conditions, but are carefuly monitored by diligent engineers.

Flame Diagnostic works with information and samples provided by those engineers to provide a detailed diagnosis of wear, combustion, lubrication feed rate and performance. As part of our interpretation, we build a complex model of the interactions within the engine taking into account the performance characteristics and the chemistry of the combustion process which we deduce from the cylinder drain oil (CDO or scapedown) analysis together with other samples. The combination of these two specialities is unique to Flame Marine. We have found that it is not possible to fully diagnose the condition of the engine without this information.

All this information is collected under normal operation without stopping the engine or reducing power.

With Flame Diagnostic, we tell when components need checking or replacement, whether deposits are building up on injectors, piston top crowns or ring grooves, if the stuffing box is leaking or whether you've got piston misalignment causing skirt abrasion. We can tell if your settling tanks are operating efficiently, if your fuel temperature is optimal and even if you're producing too much soot or hydrocarbon pollution.

How does this help?

Because Flame Diagnostic monitors so much of what is happening within the engine, we can tell without stopping the engine, whether any units need to be overhauled (or are near to be needing to be overhauled) to maintain adequate performance.

Flame Diagnostic closely monitors the condition of the engine and advises on overhaul requirement. We have been doing this for over 10 years and currently monitor over 300 ships worldwide.

We are used by industry leading research departments to assess the condition of their engines.

New Overhaul
This is a newly overhauled piston, note the shiny surface
Overhaul after 66 hours
This is a picture of the newly overhauled piston above after only 66 hours of use. This has had a high lub oil feed rate and relatively poor combustion. It has significant deposits on the piston walls and ring grooves and the start of deposits on the piston top land which further diminish combustion performance. Note how quickly the piston has stopped being shiny.
Piston 30000 hours
This is a piston from a ship using the Flame Diagnostic service. It has been running for over 30,000 hours (5 years) without needing to be overhauled. Note how clean and shiny it is. This is achieved by carefully monitoring combustion, wear and cylinder oil feed rate.
Piston Blow By
This picture shows a piston with severe deposits in the ring grooves. This has caused the rings to sieze in the grooves and allowed 'blow by'. We can tell this from the burning of the deposits between the rings. Flame Diagnostic detects 'blow by' in its earliest stages and forewarns of potential ring fracture and ring groove wear. Fully adopting the recommendations of Flame Diagnostic reports would have stopped these deposits.
Piston Crown Deposits
Here we see deposits on the piston crown caused by unstable combustion and cylinder oil over lubrication. Using Flame Diagnostic would have prevented the build up of deposits. In this case, the remedial action recommended by Flame Diagnostic stabilized combustion, reduced lub oil feed and avoided a piston overhaul.