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Maintenance of heavy Diesel engines – a recurring challenge in remote regions


A major issue for mine operators and power generation facilities located in remote areas is the maintenance of their equipment. Being based far from the engine manufacturers' service centers, which provide inspection, maintenance and repair services, their equipment must be sent far away to ensure its proper functioning.

The issue is not only to organize and cover the transportation costs, but is also compounded by the opportunity cost of having the equipment out of operation for an extended time. Transportation and service interventions can take a few weeks while the equipment is not in operation on a construction site, in a mine or in a power plant.

OSM Atlantic, with its head office based on the Magdalen Islands, is aware of the challenges of remote areas and has quickly identified an opportunity to serve customers in remote areas. After having discussed these issues with companies on the Island, such as the Seleine salt mine, owned by K + S Windsor Salt Ltd., or the operators of the Hydro Quebec thermal power plant, OSM Atlantic got to work.

For the past ten years, OSM Atlantic has been developing portable tools, called bores, specially designed for diesel engines with cylinders larger than 150 mm. These tools allow to perform a wide range of services on the sites of companies in remote areas:

  • Inspection

The inspection is the first step to validate the condition of an engine. It covers the heart of the engine, i.e., the cylinder block, the crankshaft, the liners, the engine heads, and the piston.

The purpose of the inspection is to perform various tests of equipment on site to diagnose and prevent emergency repairs. From this inspection, a plan is developed that will be used to plan the machining and reconditioning required to optimize the engine life.

  • Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance aims to extend the life of a diesel engine without loss of performance. We offer polishing interventions to improve engine lubrication, reconditioning of certain components (liners, engine heads) and on-site machining.

  • Repairs

Following a maintenance inspection or an engine failure, the repair of certain parts may be necessary. Here are some examples of specialized machining that can be done on site

- Precision machining of liners with a concentricity of 0.01 mm (0.0004'') on a height of 780 mm (30.7'').

- Machining of liner supports on cylinder blocks from 140 mm to 675 mm in diameter and up to 920 mm deep

- Installation of inserts on cylinder blocks to prevent leaks and realign liners.

For the past few years, the OSM Atlantic team has used its equipment for interventions in the far North of Quebec, notably in mines in Nunavut and Nunavik.

Now it's your turn. Is your company located in remote areas? Do you operate Diesel engines with cylinders larger than 150 mm? Contact us to discuss your needs in preventive maintenance and repair of large diesel engines. Or call us at 418 986-7636, maritime time zone (HA).



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