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Summary of Headway BWMS Incident in Aug 2016 

In August, 2016, one of the OceanGuard® Ballast Water Management System installed in the year 2013 had an incident in one offshore vessel on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). In a frank and open manner, Headway Technology now summarizes the result of investigation and further solution regarding this case:
In August 2016, Headway service engineer performed onboard service to one of the four systems installed back in 2013, Due to negligence, He forgot to exit the Test Mode and reboot the system after performing training to the ship crew. This misconduct directly led to the continuous current supply to the EUT Unit for a long period with both inlet and outlet valves closed, and this eventually caused the incident.
It is necessary to mention that the Test Mode of Headway¡¯s OceanGuard® Ballast Water Management System is only accessible to authorized engineers and cannot be initiated without connection throughout specially designed equipment. In order to ensure a continuous commissioning job, all alarms and safety shutdown mechanism are overridden under Test Mode.
Upon notice of the failure, Headway started a deep investigation and analysis into the root cause, with the support of Ship owner, DNV-GL, Health & Safety Executive (HSE), etc.
Under normal operations, Headway OceanGuard has several safety interlocks and protection based on flow rate, TRO value and Temperature to ensure a safety and stable status. Furthermore, professional evaluation such as Operational and Maintenance Stability Evaluation, Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), Hazard Identification and Risk Study (HAZID) has been done under the witness of DNV-GL or Lloyd Register in Laboratories and shipboard environment. However, this incident has reminded Headway in a deeper level that not only the system failure and maloperation by ship crew should be considered during the design of safety functions, but also the misconduct of authorized engineers. Headway reported to authority this incident upon notice, and keep them informed of the investigation and correction progress.
After the identification of the cause of incident, Headway finished all the function upgrade of the system under test mode, and carried out comprehensive inspection to the safety and upgrade function of BWMS in testing facility, witnessed by DNV-GL and owner. That was later approved by all participants. Headway then sent senior technicians to do upgrade and maintenance to BWMS which have potential safety hazard.
On Jan 09, 2017, Headway reported to the owner, DNV-GL and HSE in UK about the root cause, upgrade proposal and upgrade progress, and they were accepted by all parties.
As a responsible maker, Headway will do annual inspection free of charge to all Oceanguard BWMSs which were already delivered, following our technical circular issued in Jan 2017. Out of open and frank manner, Headway is planning to share the experience and lesson with customers and other BWT makers, through media, meeting, seminar and visiting.

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