RMS recently completed a successful turnaround of an Elliott 29MBH3 centrifugal compressor for a refining customer. This critical turnaround required precise coordination of the RMS shop, engineering team, and metrology team to execute ahead of schedule. During the turnaround, RMS was able to implement upgrades on this centrifugal compressor that were planned to utilize past inspection data gathered at RMS. The unit was shipped back to the customer ahead of schedule in better-than-new condition.

Before the turnaround, RMS inspected the spare rotor and customer-supplied spare parts. The RMS shop and engineering team worked to ensure the spare rotor was ready to run. The customer hoped to put the primary rotor back in service, but it was evident during the compressor disassembly that the plain end journal had rubbed on the bottom sleeve bearing, likely due to oil quality issues.

RMS was able to quickly change course and put the spare rotor in service because of our pre-turnaround prep work. The labyrinth seals were not identical between the rotors, and RMS custom-machined the new seals to provide the correct running clearances to the rotor. This quick pivot allowed the turnaround to proceed ahead of schedule despite the unexpected challenges.

RMS designed an upgraded axial probe holder to more rigidly hold the probes compared to the original design. The original compressor’s axial probes were opposite the thrust end, making the probe readings highly susceptible to drift with thermal expansion. The RMS upgrades moved the probes to the thrust end and were designed to fit within the constrained space between the coupling and bearing housing.

Thanks to the data gathered from previous outages, RMS designed the upgrades and produced all required parts ahead of the turnaround. During the outage, RMS was easily able to deploy these upgrades without negatively affecting the project schedule.

During the turnaround, the RMS Metrology team inspected the compressor’s bearing housings and seal interfaces. This critical data-gathering operation will allow for the design of future upgrades that can be implemented during the next outage.

The compressor was shipped back to the customer five days ahead of schedule after RMS completed all turnaround work.