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State of the Art Parts: Nozzle Head Casting

Hydro Parts Solutions recently provided a cast nozzle head to a Canadian oil and gas end-user. As is standard with Hydro’s cast parts, this complex component was:

  • Scanned
  • Reverse engineered
  • Reviewed by Hydro’s engineering team
  • Cast
  • Final machined
  • Compared to original model

The nozzle was modeled, cast, machined, and verified for a delivery time that beat the original customer request.

IIoT Trial Provides Hands-On Experience

Hydro’s Condition Monitoring system, Centaur, has aided many end-users in catching real-time faults in rotating machinery. In many instances, end users see the value of the system through a no-cost, on-site trial. This includes the hardware, installation support, commissioning, and monitoring starting from the date that the sensors are commissioned on-site. The purpose of the free trial is to allow a “proof-of-concept” evaluation period before a further commitment is made.

After an initial period of data acquisition, typically a few weeks to one month, Centaur’s Condition Monitoring Engineers hold a virtual meeting to walk the end-users through the data collected and the extensive software capabilities. A monthly report is provided with an overall equipment health assessment and alarm event analysis. The analysis often includes trend data, waveform analysis, spectrum analysis, and cross-phase analysis between multiple sensors on a given machine train. The report also includes predictive failure analysis and proactive steps to mitigate component failure in the future. Continue reading

Fertilizer Focus: Resolving Design Flaws in UAN Solution Pump

Heavy Wear of the Bushing Bore

A newly commissioned US fertilizer plant was experiencing recurring vibration problems with their vertical UAN Solution pump. The VSF vertically suspended pump was removed from service and sent to Hydro for a full inspection and investigation of the vibration source. When the pump was disassembled, it was evident that there were significant problems at the motor bearing and guide bushing locations. These design flaws that were affecting reliable operation of the pump.

Inspection of the motor thrust bearing revealed that the ball bearing cage had become unseated and was damaged. During Hydro’s analysis, it was determined that the motor thrust bearing was unsuitable for the service. The OEM chose a single row, angular contact bearing that could only handle thrust in one direction. During start-up, when the pump experienced an upthrust, the bearing became unseated. The unseated bearing was unable to function properly, even when the pump reached its normal operating thrust. This unrestrained upward motion of the shaft also caused damage to the mechanical seal faces.

Upgraded thrust bearing design

Another problem detected during the DCI was elliptical wear of the bearing bores. In this pump, the lineshaft couplings were located under the guide bushings, which is very atypical. Lineshaft couplings are areas where the greatest runout often occurs, resulting in a greater probability of contact and wear in this area. This problematic design was coupled with excessive tolerances on the columns, spiders, sole plate, and motor flange that affected centerline compatibility of the components.

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Lineshaft Coupling Design Change

The pump was upgraded to a new design that included a relocation of the lineshaft couplings, a new thrust bearing that could handle load in both directions, and an improvement of all component tolerances to minimize the possibility of component misalignment. Almost 70% of the pump was redesigned; this work was completed on an emergency schedule of only 2-3 weeks. Since reinstallation, the pump has operated successfully with reduced vibration.

State of the Art Parts: Double Suction Impeller

Hydro Parts Solutions recently provided a double suction impeller for a Gulf Coast refining and petrochemical site. As is standard with Hydro’s cast parts, this complex component was:

  • Scanned
  • Reverse engineered
  • Reviewed by Hydro’s engineering team
  • Cast
  • Final machined
  • Compared to the original model

The process for manufacturing the impeller was quoted at Hydro Parts Solutions’ standard delivery time of 6-8 weeks. The impeller was completed, inspected, and shipped to the customer within 6.5 weeks.



Reverse Engineering – An End to Obsolescence

A nuclear utility had a large circulating water pump with severe vibration issues that required refurbishment in an emergency time frame. Hydro’s Aston, PA service center, which has a 50-ton crane and a history of providing quality repair for nuclear non-safety related equipment, was chosen for this work. Despite the unique challenges in machining and maneuverability presented by large pumps, the DCI and refurbishment were performed in under 2 weeks.icon

This pump model is an obsolete design with very few existing installations. During the refurbishment process, Hydro’s reverse engineering team captured the data necessary to create a verified model of the pump components. Developing a reverse engineered model was a crucial step in establishing a reliable source to manufacture these large components. With the verified model and Hydro’s casting and machining capabilities, the plant can plan ahead to ensure all critical components are available for future refurbishments.