Efficient Plant July 2018 - 40
feature | solution focus
assembly is ready for
delivery to customer.
Aftermarket-services provider turns rust
into gold for a process-plant operator.
TWO AFTERMARKET-SERVICE PROJECT technicians from
Cook Compression, Houston (cookcompression.com), were on a
mission-and tight schedule-one fall day in 2014. Moving through
the remains of an old Virginia oil refinery, they were on the hunt for
a 2,500-hp main-drive motor that was destined for a Texas salvage
yard. They found it amid one of the last stands of untouched equipment in the congested facility. The size of a school bus, it was coated
in more than 50 years of grime.
Joking that the unit's frame probably bore Thomas Edison's
signature, the technicians determined the process-cylinder design
was obsolete and incapable of meeting current pressure-, flow-, and
emission-specification requirements of the intended use, as were
the instrumentation, motor, and auxiliary support equipment. The
running gear, though, seemed as sturdy as a Sherman tank. A visual
inspection of the internal workings confirmed the 1956 Ingersoll
Rand HHE-3 compressor frame was in excellent condition.
GOOD AS NEW
Finding this used frame was just one piece in a complex project to
supply a reciprocating compressor for a process-plant expansion.
New-equipment proposals from OEMs had exceeded the customer's
cost justifications, threatening to kill the project. The alternate proposal of a refurbished compressor, however, kept it alive.
While the default sourcing process in many plants is to go through