Schaller Automation

Oil Mist Detection Systems

For more than 40 years, Schaller Automation has been a pioneer in the field of ship diesel engine safety by oil mist detection.


With the very successful VISATRON VN/82 and VN/87 Oil Mist Detectors (OMDs), Schaller Automation has proven that oil mist is an early indication of an upcoming lubrication problem, and that the VISATRON detectors are a successful, false-alarm-free immune system for engine protection against crankcase explosions caused by the ignition of oil mist.

The new VISATRON VN/93 and VN/87plus offer handling and functionality improvements, remote display of values via an RS 485 interface, and a built-in data memory to store events or casualties.

Crankcase explosions, which are caused by overheating of the moving components inside engines generating a potentially explosive oil mist, have devastating economic consequences and can endanger lives.

Within the last four decades, the oil mist detection system has been perfected to a point where reliable crankcase monitoring systems have been delivered to the engine industry.


Schaller Automation now offers false-alarm free VISATRON oil mist detection systems, with customised hardware and parameter settings to suit the specific engine type.


Following the mandatory SOLAS regulations for fire precaution, classification societies to be the number one choice for oil mist detection systems to be the number one choice for monitoring as part of the safety system required for marine engines with power in access of 2,250kW, and / or a cylinder bore of more than 300mm.

This is because generic sensors measuring temperature and pressure are not sufficiently effective to guarantee the required operating safety, as they do not monitor a number of lubricated sliding surfaces.

Surfaces that can generate intensive oil mist in addition to the crankshaft bearing system include:

  • Pistons in cylinder liners
  • Crankshaft bearings such as main bearings and big-end bearings
  • Camshafts, their bearings and cams
  • Timing gear shafts and their bearings
  • Gear boxes with their bearings, and in some cases pumps
  • Guide blocks and paths in cross-head engines

Oil mist in these sliding surfaces can only be monitored by an oil mist detection system, and therefore in the case of an overheating phenomenon starting in one of them, or a possible piston seizure occurring, an oil mist detection system should be employed.


According to the information of a major classification society, there are, on average, one to two crankcase explosions a week onboard vessels worldwide, causing damage to human health and / or material; and this figure does not count cases where no visible human or material damage occurred, but expensive downtimes of engine and vessel had to be accepted.

Taking measures against the severe damage caused to large diesel and gas engines by oil mist explosions has therefore become far more important, as has an awareness of the need to take responsibility in managing potentially dangerous technologies.

For more than 40 years, Schaller Automation has been engaged in the protection of large diesel and gas engines against severe damage and their self-destruction. Schaller Automation's co-operation with renowned German research institutes, and the findings in scientific projects initiated by the company, are both invaluable toward the development of products that provide false-alarm-free safety monitoring.

Schaller Automation offers a wide range of hardware, software and services that guarantee the safe operation of large diesel and gas engines by protecting them against oil mist.

Contact Details

Schaller Automation
Industrielle Automationstechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Industriering 14
66440 Blieskastel
+49 6842 508 0
+49 6842 508 260

Available White Papers


Marine Diesel Engine Safety Monitoring 04 January 2017 Marine Diesel Engine Safety Monitoring