Doctor Becomes Consultant

The new Diagnostic Reporter module for Icon’s Doctor™ Analysis software is a major step forward in diesel engine monitoring. Now, the Doctor not only provides high accuracy results but it can evaluate them as well. This innovation will truly empower engineers and provide a valuable tool in their engine management portfolio.

With ever increasing time pressures on crew, this new tool gives the engineers a quick and simple way to assess engine condition. The analysis results help to point the engineers in the right direction regarding maintenance of their engines. And of course, when engines are healthy, a report with all green indicators gives a measure of comfort.

The latest Doctor software now has reporting capability as standard. A simple report with a summary of key values and printed graphs, tables and bar graphs of results can be produced by all users. With the (optional) Diagnostic Reporter licence, full Diagnostic Reports become available.

The Diagnostic Reporter uses six steps to perform an analysis.

  • Validity check
  • Compression analysis
  • Check for pre-ignition
  • Ignition point comparison
  • Spread of flame
  • Power balance

Diagnostic Reports include an analysis section where the results of the six steps are summarised, and diagnostic statements are given if problems are identified. Pre-selected graphs of the results are next, followed by tabular and bar graph data. A typical analysis does the following:

  • Validity checks can quickly identify troubles such as clogged indicator passageways, faulty indicator valves, and many other conditions that can affect the integrity of the results
  • Compression checks identify variations in cylinder pressures prior to combustion and can differentiate between causes of pressure loss – valves, rings, lack of air etc
  • Pre-ignition checks look for premature combustion, normally caused by leaky injectors. A new algorithm identifies the ignition points for each cylinder to provide an analysis of engine timing. After Ignition, the pressure traces are analysed to look for poor combustion in any cylinder – often associated with injector clogging. Finally the power balance analysis highlights variations in output between the cylinders

The Diagnostic Report identifies possible engine problems. This is done by automatic examination of the traces of dynamic cylinder pressure that the Doctor system produces. The methodology is almost exactly the same as is taught in Icon’s training courses on Diesel Engine Analysis, but the process has been automated.

In the graph below, the low compression trace can be seen quite clearly. The spiky traces on top of the pressure traces are the plots of the rate of change of pressure in the cylinders and these are used to identify the ignition points for each cylinder, among other things.

The proof of the diagnosis is obvious when the cylinder head is removed. Lots of carbon build up has restricted the inlets and the cylinder is starved of air, which gives the symptom of low compression.

Many other conditions can be identified by the Reporter. The approach taken is exactly as in Icon’s Doctor Training courses, which have proven over the years to lead to good practical analysis, with consistent results.