Over the past several years we have learned many lessons about AMS (Alarm and Monitoring Systems), through offering our own AMS we call SAMS-64, and its little sister SAMS-48-MINI. There are not two project that are alike, in spite the customer having ordered a series of four boats for instance from the same yard, and all in sequence from the same drawings. On a particular project we supplied the SAMS-48-MINI for a series of three boats, and that were all stamped from the same mold, having the same engines, gear boxes, generators, bilge locations, and down to water tight hatches. What we found was that sensors have been replaced, with a different type from boat #1 to boat #3, which could have been done for ease of installation, fewer wires, or fitting for sensor. This may mean a sensor is not the normally closed contact, but instead a normally open contact, or instead of being a 4-20mA input it is now a 0-10VDC signal. There are always surprises, and this is what makes projects so interesting. There are also issues with wire runs, and wire integrity, on refits.
The most fun, if you can call it that, is when the captain inserts his opinions as to how and where the alarm must show up. Example, the fine line to walk when a captain tells you he want a summary engine alarm on a dashboard screen page and the port engineer says he wants all the engine alarms on the engine screen pages, and it may be through the process of modern technology, we can offer both to the captain and port engineer. This is normally done on the touch screens, where the captain has his own page he can see the details he finds important, and the standard page is what the port engineer wants, both are happy, and we can make these changes easily and quick through either remote access, or a simple flash software drop in to the screen.