Gulf Turbo Services (GTS) has successfully managed an emergency Breakdown on a gas turbine for a local Fertilizer Company. This company was a long standing Customer, who traditionally was 100% OEM focused for replacement parts and services.
In this time-pressurised breakdown situation, our Customer was open to exploring parts and services beyond the OEM. Although an existing Customer for GTS, we had never worked on this particular piece of equipment for this Customer before.
GTS assisted with 24 hour on-site shift work by conducting a full inspection of the power turbine rotor, an exceptionally old piece of equipment, to understand what the breakdown involved. With good used parts salvaged from a second previously retired unit, we were able to successfully repair one working unit in our workshop utilising used, but extensively tested buckets and new rivets supplied by our Customer.
As a team we understood our Customer’s business and the impact of the gas turbine being out of service. We therefore put skilled technical teams in place to work the extended shifts including weekends and focus on the repairs until the gas turbine was back in operation 4 days later.
Once all the rotor repair work had been conducted, we completed the low speed balancing to ensure the weight distribution via the staggered blade positioning could be further optimised to guarantee the lowest possible risk of vibration. This would ensure that the gas turbine could operate at optimal levels throughout its performance field. In addition, we also supplied our Customer with a complete Quality Assurance Documentation file.
This complete data pack included the disassembly records, inspection reports, final assembly reports etc., giving our Customer the required traceability and peace of mind that the repair had been done according to the highest safety and quality levels they have come to expect from GTS.
By our Customer moving away from being 100% OEM focused, they were able to save time on repairing their equipment and the repair work was completed locally, quickly and cost effectively, which ultimately allowed our Customer to resume production earlier than originally anticipated. A positive impact on their productivity.
Gulf Turbo Services (GTS), as a local representative of MAN PrimeServ Turbo in Qatar, has renewed and extended the Maintenance & Service contract with a global Gas to Liquids (GTL) player. The six-year long term service contract includes a wide range of work on more than 860 rotating machines of various designs and manufacturers. This also includes the service of 32 highly sales relevant third-party machines such as compressors, turbines, expanders and large piston compressors.
In addition, there are around 400 pumps, 320 very large blowers as well as numerous other machines and components. Furthermore, GTS looks after ten MAN ES Air Separation Units for local Gas to Liquids plants.
These performance levels cover both overall planning and final implementation, including staff availability and supervision across the respective OEMs. “The Customer has repeatedly expressed the highest level of satisfaction. The excellent business relationship and the great commitment of all GTS employees led to the expansion of other high-quality assets in the Customer’s turbomachinery fleet with the new service contract,” says GTS Management.
In its extensive customer base GTS includes major oil & gas Customers that operate large air separation units. Each one of these air separation strings includes a steam turbine as the main driver coupled directly to the main air compressor and via a gearbox to the booster air compressor. These units also represent the largest MAN ES air compressor units installed in the GCC region.
The main air compressors comprise of an axial and radial compressor in one casing with an intercooler in between the two main stages. The booster air compressor further boosts the air pressure as required for the air separation process. Parts of the work on the booster compressor is considered to be oxygen service and therefore exceptional cleanliness requirements need to be adhered to when performing this maintenance work.
Every 4 years, GTS partners with our oil & gas Customers to conduct major plant turnarounds on these air separation strings. We do this by mobilising technical teams of up to 200 specialised skilled individuals to site. The teams are made up of our own technicians that will take the lead together with augmented staffing from other technical hubs within our portfolio companies, located outside of the country.
All units are completely opened and disassembled with all internal parts being removed. The rotors as well as the stationery components are then transported to our local workshop. At this point the Customer has two options: we can clean and inspect the existing components and then re-instate them into the units provided all dimensions have remained within tolerance. Alternatively, should our Customer not have enough time but has available spare parts, such as complete rotating elements, we re-instate the new or completely overhauled parts (the ready to run spare parts), into the units instead. The units are then re-assembled and commissioned.
Any components removed from the steam turbines and compressors that could not be returned to service due to their existing condition, are then subjected to our standard inspection and refurbishment processes, conducted at our local as well as overseas parent company workshops. Increasingly our local focus and competence levels ensure ever increasing local content development and in country value add so that our Customers can save valuable post turn-around transport time and shorter refurbishment periods by utilising our growing local facilities.
Apart from the above, GTS also partners with our Customers by suppling the ancillary services on-site during the shutdowns. These ancillary services include the cleaning and testing of intercoolers, the cleaning and testing of the oil systems, the checking of the functionality of the dry gas seal systems, as well as the cold and hot commissioning of the refurbished units.
All this work is performed under the supervision of a number of key OEM experts who travel to Qatar on a project basis for the duration of these overhauls.
Typically, our Customers can have up to eight air separation streams, with one stream refurbishment taking approximately 2-3 weeks. The GTS team works on a 24 hour shift basis on these projects to ensure the major turnarounds are done quickly and efficiently. This involves doubling up on all teams as well as the HSSE team, as all work needs to be conducted under extreme safety conditions within the oil & gas environment. The 24 hour shift system is required to minimise downtime of our Customers’ plant and returning it back into production as quickly as possible under stringent safety requirements.
These major turnarounds also have extensive logistical staffing challenges which the GTS team manages through a tight project scope and focused approach. GTS mobilises large project crews from abroad into the country managing the project work visas, access permits, mandatory safety training, testing and certification of all team members.
In addition to the above, GTS manages all transport logistics of these rotating components which can weigh up to 30 tons per unit in specialised containers. This is done on abnormal transport vehicles between site and our workshop and include police escorts due to the heavy loads on public roads.
In certain emergency breakdown situations where specialised repairs are required at our product centre in Germany, we can arrange for specific heavy duty dedicated chartered flight transport to Germany and back to ensure minimum downtime of our Customers’ oil & gas plants.
Creating sustainable partnerships with our oil & gas Customers on these major turnarounds ensures that efficiencies on repairs are achieved, costs are managed optimally, downtime is reduced and safety across the entire overhaul project is achieved.
GTS has identified a niche market for industrial gearbox repairs which were previously not successfully covered by local vendors with consistently dependable results. This led to our workshop setting up the necessary processes to service this market. These gearbox repairs from various different types of Customers include low speed gearboxes for industrial applications for cooling tower fan transmissions, large industrial mixer applications, gearboxes for low speed furnaces, kilns and conveyors.
We offer our Customers the standard scope of work, which includes the initial disassembly, inspecting and reporting on repair works required. Spare parts are typically issued from the Customer’s stock based on the reported findings and the gearboxes are assembled and returned to the customer’s site. Careful attention is paid to the accurate alignment and clearances of the new components in order to ensure successful operation and maximum time between overhauls.
In addition, we also have good partners and collaborators in Germany, that can reverse engineer and manufacture replacement gears for industrial gearboxes, which are either obsolete where the Customer can no longer get OEM spare parts, or where the OEM parts have exceptionally long lead times. In this situation GTS can often assist by delivering spare parts quicker than the OEM, based on a sample and reverse engineering of the part.
Typically, we will receive these gearboxes in batches of 5-10 units as our Customers keep a number of units as spare stock and then bundle these for the repair process. Such bundling aides a standard overhaul process and parts product flow. Due to the repair work being managed by us as an individual product flow, we have the advantage of reduced costs due to economies of scale when grouping replacement parts and similar repair processes.
We also assist our Customers with the re-installation and commissioning of the gearboxes on-site, to ensure that there are no problems during start up and that the equipment is running vibration free under normal load conditions.
This solution offering has enabled GTS to expand our services to a different Customer base which is not normally associated with a turbo machinery repair workshop. Museums, schools, colleges and universities are amongst our Customers which we have successfully partnered with in gearbox repairs.
GTS is the trusted partner for quality, safety and environmental management in all Parts, Service, Maintenance & 24/7 Breakdown needs for all industrial high speed rotating equipment across a range of industries.