Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Compressors: How to Achieve High Reliability & Availability

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After we retired from our respective jobs as regional machinery specialists for the petrochemical segment of one of the world’s largest multinational petrochemical and oil refining corporations, we teamed up to write several successful texts on equipment reliability and failure analysis. Our writing tasks were facilitated by a similar career focus on machinery failure avoidance. Fred Geitner represented the corporate reliability interests in Canada and Heinz Bloch did similar work in the United States. As coauthors we carried over into “semi-retirement” what we had learned in over 100 man-years of work exposure. We did indeed spend 100 man-years in industry after graduating from technical universities as mechanical engineers in the early 1960s. After authoring books on process machinery failure analysis and troubleshooting in the 1980s and 1990s, we came up with the idea of doing a book on “Compressors: How to achieve high reliability & availability.” The emphasis is clear: How to achieve reliability and availability.

Why another book, and why would someone need this text? After all, compressor users have had (and still have) access to hundreds of books, and many thousands of articles dealing with gas compressor subjects. But we also know that an unacceptably large number of air and process compressors fail unnecessarily or even catastrophically every year. Some of the failure causes are elusive, overlooked, undocumented, or hidden in rather voluminous books. As involved compressor specialists, we are under no illusion as to what people do with technical books when they are overwhelmed by their sheer volume. Books are tools, and all tools are useless unless they are being used. Likewise, books are of no value until they are being read. And, to paraphrase Mark Twain, the person who refuses to read is as illiterate as the person who cannot read.

1. Introduction, Compression Principles, and Internal Labyrinths
2. Selection Factors for Process Compressors
3. Operating Characteristics of Turbocompressors
4. Wet and Dry Gas Seals for Centrifugal Compressors
5. Bearings, Stability, and Vibration Guidance
6. Lube and Seal Oil Systems
7. Impellers and Rotors
8. Compressor Maintenance and Surveillance'
9. Inspection and Repair Guidelines for Rotors
10. Machinery Quality Assessment
11. Compressor Failure Analysis Overview
12. Reciprocating Compressors: Background and Overview
13. Compressor Operation and Capacity Control
14. Reciprocating Compressor Maintenance
15. Maintenance and Operations Interfaces
16. Surveillance, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting Reciprocating Compressors
17. Reciprocating Compressor Upgrading, Rebuilding, and Remanufacturing
18. Training Competent Compressor Engineers

Author Details
"Heinz P. Bloch" is a Registered Professional Engineer. In his 50-year machine design and reliability improvement career he completed assignments as Exxon Chemical’s Regional Machinery Specialist for the United States. Mr. Bloch has also held machinery-oriented staff and line positions with Exxon affiliates in the United States, Italy, Spain, England, The Netherlands, and Japan.

"Fred K. Geitner" is a registered Professional Engineer engaged in process machinery consulting. Before retiring from Esso/Exxon Mobil after more than three decades, he held long-term assignments as Exxon Chemical’s Regional Machinery Specialist for Canada and machineryoriented staff and line positions with Exxon affiliates in France.

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