Machinery Diagnostics Engineer support as part of Supporting Service Agreement helps customer ‘avoiding production loss’ and ‘savings in maintenance cost’
Qatar Fuel Additives Company (QAFAC) is a key Baker Hughes customer leveraging a Supporting Services Agreement (SSA), with the benefits of regular and proactive Bently Nevada machinery diagnostic services, now an integral part of QAFAC’s condition monitoring program for the past 8 years.
The site is a large plant, designed to produce 3000 TPD of Methanol and 1700 TPD of MTBE (Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether).
On Nov. 25 2019, a highly critical Steam Turbine-driven Syn Gas compressor at the heart of the Methanol plant tripped, abruptly bringing down the Methanol production.
Upon restarting the machine train the next day, the Steam Turbine experienced high vibration, preventing the machine from reaching full speed. The customer immediately invited Bently Nevada to analyze the root cause as part of the emergent Machinery Diagnostic Services provision in the SSA contract.
A major challenge was that the customer did not have any spares in stock. The rotor had been sent to the OEM for refurbishment when the machine was overhauled 6 months before. Diagnostic analysis performed by a Bently Nevada engineer indicated that the high vibration trip was mainly due to the thermal bow caused by internal rubbing. The machine could not be put back on barring gear immediately after the trip incident on 25th Nov 2019, which led to a temporary bow on the shaft. Bently Nevada’s solid regional expertise and experience with similar machines provided the necessary confidence to maintain calm in the plant during this potentially unpleasant situation. Bently Nevada’s MDS engineer collaborated closely with QAFAC’s operations, instructing them each step of the way during the trials.
With 24 hours of continuous onsite support, Bently Nevada’s expertise made it possible for the machine train to achieve full speed and restored production, without a proposed inspection and avoiding a significant cost impact to the customer.
QAFAC’s CEO extended special appreciation to Bently Nevada as well as to the others involved in this collaborative effort. If the customer had opened the bearing for inspection, a Methanol production loss of ~5 days would have occurred. As the MTBE uses Methanol as a by-product (30% of the Methanol production), additional production losses in MTBE would have likely resulted. The success of this contract rests on the foundations of partnership and trust - Bently Nevada drives success through a strong local presence, enabling quality support at precisely the time when customers need it most.