The Finish Line Vol. 22 • March 2021 [Q1 2021]

Working Differently

Turning the calendar page from 2020 to 2021 was a welcome psychological relief for many.

It afforded a chance for optimism with 2020 behind us, that we might be on a path back to normalcy which at this point seems to be a distant memory. More than anything else, 2020 taught us that to adapt we had to develop new ways of doing things.

Staying safe via social distancing and remote working is of paramount importance. However, we cannot allow these new obstacles to diminish our reliance on effective communication and constructive collaboration. Video conferencing, which was once a relative rarity, has become the norm. We’ve all grown accustomed to peering inside each other’s home offices, and we all get a laugh out of each other’s dogs barking at the Amazon delivery at exactly the wrong moment in the middle of an important meeting.

For RMS as a whole, social distancing presents another hurdle to the way we enjoy interacting with our customers. RMS prides itself on its technical leadership and our subject-matter-experts are eager to share their knowledge with the rotating equipment community. In ancient times (like... 2019), that meant hosting product-specific roundtables at one of our locations where attendees could not only learn from our experts, but also share experiences with other operators and end users. Our engineers also enjoyed taking that training to customer sites via one of our “RMS Roadshows.” Unfortunately, under current circumstances, those face-to-face interactions that we’ve enjoyed so much are no longer possible.

• Continued below •

“Out of adversity comes opportunity.” — Benjamin Franklin

Having to work differently necessitated the development of new ways of reaching out to our customers to share our knowledge and experience. This was the launch pad for our new RMS Virtual Training. By setting up video conferences, we’ve discovered that not only can we be effective at continuing our mission to inform and educate our customers, but we’re able to reach even more attendees when compared to traditional, conventional classroom confinements. No longer are there difficulties with costs for travel, logistics, or lost time, and our team can interact with attendees across the globe.

The 45-minute (with time for questions) RMS Virtual Training modules can be delivered via a lunch-and-learn (sorry – we aren't currently delivering virtual sandwich boxes) or at a time that works best for the receiving organization.

Although it’s still hard to comprehend, the restrictions of social distancing actually improved RMS’ training outreach.

On behalf of everyone at RMS, I’d like to wish every one of our 'The Finish Line' newsletter readers a very safe, healthy and prosperous 2021. If you’d like to organize some in-depth technical training for your organization, please reach out to your RMS sales representative.

John Bartos, Chief Executive Officer - Rotating Machinery Services

This edition of 'The Finish Line' includes:

  1. Working Differently by John Bartos
  2. The Art of Fine-Tuning by James Cardillo
  3. Building the Behemoth by Gary O'Connell, Ryan Rottier, and Andy Jansen
  4. (Hand) Dressing for Success by Sydney Gross and Jeff King
  5. Expanding Refinery Stability by Don Shafer
  6. Part 2: Delaval B12/12 Compressor Overhaul by Eric Dunlap, David Owens, and Steve Kaulius
  7. A Tour of our Houston Shop Quality Inspection Area by Matt Miller
  8. Support at a Moment's Notice by Tony Rubino, Jeff King, and Bill Velekei
  9. Toolbox Talks: Housekeeping is Safekeeping at Work by Ryan Butkowski
  10. Turbo Toons by Marc Rubino
  11. The Lighter Side: The Pets of RMS
  12. New Hires

The Art of Fine-Tuning

Analysis and structural tuning of a centrifugal compressor impeller.

James Cardillo, Structural Analyst

The analysis and “fine-tuning” of centrifugal compressor impellers is often an iterative process. It involves balancing the aerodynamic performance requirements with the structural integrity and vibration characteristics of the impeller. The process is involved, but when executed properly, it can result in a high-performance, robust impeller design that runs smoothly and reliably.

Typically, the initial design of a centrifugal compressor impeller takes place upstream of the structural analysis. Once the initial design which satisfies the application requirements is obtained, a structural analysis is carried out on the impeller design to finalize its form and ensure its structural integrity. There are three core “pillars” or “tasks” when carrying out structural analysis of centrifugal compressor impellers:

  1. Fit Analysis of the Impeller: A comprehensive analysis of the “worst-case” fit stresses and power transfer characteristics of the impeller to shaft assembly.
  2. Stress Analysis of the Impeller: A detailed analysis of the stresses and deformations in the impeller design itself (local Von-Mises stresses, Maximum Principal Stresses, deformations, etc… in the blades, the cover plate if applicable, and the disc of the impeller). In some cases, the severity of the application may lead to deeper investigations (such as plastic deformations, thermal transient behavior, low-cycle and high-cycle fatigue, etc…)
  3. Vibration Analysis of the Impeller: The frequency characteristics of the impeller design are analyzed to ensure good separation between natural frequencies and known excitations. In some cases, where unique loadings and excitations are present, a harmonic analysis is carried out to further characterize the vibration response and fatigue behavior of the impeller design.

In almost all cases, these three pillars aren’t completely independent of one another. Thus, changes or findings based on one pillar of analysis often affects results from another pillar. The results and outcomes of these pillars are frequently linked to the initial design and application requirements as well as the aerodynamics for the centrifugal compressor. For these reasons, the analysis and design process is often very iterative and multi-disciplinary. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a key tool used in the structural analysis process. This tool is used in combination with performance testing and industry experience to drive an impeller design to its final form.

• Continued below •

Pillar 1: Fit Analysis of the Impeller

One could say that the performance of a centrifugal compressor impeller is limited by the power transfer from the shaft to the impeller itself. This makes the fit characteristics of the impeller extremely important. An impeller with an improper shaft fit can also adversely affect the vibration characteristics of the machine. In the fit analysis of a centrifugal compressor impeller, the main area of interest is the fit of the impeller onto the driving shaft, which is almost always an interference fit. In some cases, a “key” is added to this fit to ensure redundancy and safety in power transfer. However, in the design and analysis phase, all fits are treated as “keyless” interference fits. This forces a reliable and conservative design that satisfies requirements safely without relying on design redundancies or “back-ups” to perform reliably. Interference fits pose several design challenges:

  1. The interference needs to be strong enough such that the shaft transfers enough power to the impeller without “slipping” or sliding.
  2. The interference shouldn’t be so severe that it creates extremely high “hoop” stress in the impeller bore.
  3. The fit must meet these requirements in the course of design operating speeds and thermal gradients.
  4. The fit must be practical in the sense that the impeller can be mounted and dismounted from the shaft without damage.

Two-dimensional, axisymmetric finite element analysis models like the one shown in Figure 1 are heavily used to ensure that an interference fit satisfies the above requirements. The advantage of this type of model is very high computational efficiency such that many design iterations can be performed quickly to arrive at the optimal fit requirements. The final fit used for an impeller design is guided by the outcome of the finite element analyses in combination with field testing and experience. In certain applications where the geometry does not permit the use of an axisymmetric model, a full three-dimensional model or a periodic model may also be used.

Figure 1 2-D, typical axisymmetric finite element model mesh used in an impeller fit analysis. Particular emphasis is placed on the area of the impeller bore since the physics in this area are key to the analysis of the fit.

Centrifugal compressor impellers are flexible bodies that deform when under load (at rotational speed). Because of their shape, they have a tendency to “lift” away from the shaft at the aft-end of or the back of the bore as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 — 2-D, deformed shape showing the lift-off experience at the aft-end of a centrifugal impeller bore when rotational speed is applied.

Typically, centrifugal impeller bores deform in this way at speed (even if the interference fit is along the full bore of the impeller). This presents a design challenge because at speed, power transfer is only taking place over the portion of the fit which remains in contact (the inlet side of the impeller bore). Design of a fit like this requires that the engineer size the length of the fit and the amount of interference to ensure that it remains in contact and transfers power when the impeller is run at speed. This requirement can be further complicated when high, differential temperatures are applied to the impeller and the shaft (which could cause the impeller to expand away from the shaft and lose contact). The process is very iterative with the 2-D finite element analysis being a key tool used to arrive at the design of the bore interference geometry. Typically, a range of fits and temperatures are modeled as well as various bore geometries. The remaining contact length and power transfer capabilities are calculated over a range of fits from the finite element model as shown in Figures 3 and 4. These calculations provide the engineer with the design insights needed to size and design the optimal fit. For the impeller shown in Figure 3, it can be observed that after the interference fit reaches a certain level, the entire front of the bore remains in contact at speed. Thus, making the fit more aggressive provided no additional benefit at speed.

Figure 3 — 2-D, deformed shape showing the lift-off experienced at the aft-end of a centrifugal impeller bore when rotational speed is applied.
Figure 4 — Results of 2-D, Power transfer analysis shown over a range of interference fits.

Adequate power transfer and remaining front contact length are critical for the design of the interference fit, as well as the resulting hoop stresses in the bore of the impeller. When an impeller is interference fit onto a shaft, this causes expansion of the bore of the impeller, resulting in “hoop” stress. If the hoop stress is too high, it can lead to deleterious plastic deformation of the impeller bore. Therefore, hoop stresses during assembly (shown in Figure 5) as well as during operating conditions are calculated from the structural analysis. The engineer must ensure that these stresses remain below the yield strength of the material at the selected fit with adequate safety margin to guarantee performance and reliability of the fit.

Figure 5 — Hoop stresses calculated in the bore of the impeller over a range of interference fits used to aid the engineer in selection of the proper interference fit.

• Continued below •

Pillar 2: Stress Analysis of the Impeller

Centrifugal compressor impellers are often exposed to harsh operating environments. These environments include high centrifugal forces from the rotational speed of the impeller, aerodynamic forces on the blades, high temperatures and thermal gradients, as well as the possible presence of corrosive gases. These factors can combine to create high forces and thus high deformations of the impeller body. Therefore, in addition to satisfying the application pressure requirements, a centrifugal compressor impeller must also be strong enough to withstand high operating forces and loads without experiencing large plastic deformations or cracking. The materials for the impeller must be selected to maintain adequate design safety factor against the material yield strength and ensure compatibility with the working fluid. The impeller itself must be adequately smooth and contoured to avoid excessive stress concentrations which could escalate to fatigue cracks. If welds are present, these also need to be sized and performed properly to avoid excessive stress concentrations which would result in weld cracking. Once again, finite element analysis in combination with experience and testing is a key part of this process. In the case of analyzing the impeller design, full, three-dimensional finite element analysis is almost always necessary.

An overall sense of the impeller design and insight into critical areas can be obtained by calculating the Von-Mises stresses in the impeller when subjected to the operating loads as shown in Figure 6. The Von-Mises stress is basically a calculation of all of the distortion energy in the structure at a particular location. This calculation gives design engineers an indication of where the high risk areas are located in an impeller design. Typically, as a general design criteria, it is desirable to keep the Von-Mises stresses below the yield strength of material (with adequate safety factor) wherever possible.

Figure 6 — Von-Mises stresses calculated throughout the impeller show critical areas in the blade radii and the bore.

While Von-Mises stress provides insight into the critical areas of an impeller design, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Von-Mises stresses don’t provide information about the direction of a stress (IE: is it tensile or compressive?). Depending on the direction of the stress, the potential failure modes and design criteria may be different. Thus, the corrective action a design engineer must take to safeguard against a particular type of failure varies depending on the direction of the stress. For this reason, Maximum and Minimum Principal stresses are also evaluated throughout the impeller as shown in Figure 7. Maximum Principal stress gives the engineer a sense of where the highest tensions occur in the structure (highest potential for tensile crack growth and propagation). In contrast, the Minimum Principal stress provides the engineer with information about where the highest compression occurs. Other types of stress classification (hoop stress, circumferential stress, bending stress, etc.) are also utilized depending on the needs of the design engineer.

Figure 7a — Maximum Principal stresses calculated throughout the impeller show areas of highest tension in the radii.

Thermal stresses add another degree of complexity to the impeller design. While uniform temperatures result in relatively straight-forward thermal expansions that need to be evaluated, a more deceptive challenge is the presence of high thermal gradients throughout the impeller body and the shaft. High gradients and transient temperature differences can result in differential thermal expansion within the impeller body itself (resulting in high internal stresses) as well as expansion of the impeller away from the shaft (resulting in the loss of fit mentioned in the 1st analysis pillar). Calculation of these thermal stresses can aid the design engineer in proper selection of materials and shaping the impeller to withstand high transient thermal stresses.

Figure 7b — Thermal transient temperature distribution (left) shows non-uniform heating of the impeller hub in the bore area. The resulting stresses (right) show differential thermal expansion of the shell away from the core creates internal stress in the hub.

Finally, if high local stresses and plastic deformations are unavoidable, elastic-plastic analyses may be carried out to determine the degree of plasticity experienced by the impeller and the low-cycle fatigue life.

Based on the stress analyses, if the design is not adequate, changes to the geometry and/or materials need to be made. These changes sometimes result in a change in the aerodynamic performance and the fit performance of the impeller. Thus, the process is very iterative: when one aspect of the design is changed, the other aspects often need to be re-evaluated to determine their performance. This iterative process often repeats until an optimal, balanced design is obtained.

• Continued below •

Pillar 3: Vibration Analysis of the Impeller

Centrifugal compressor impellers in rotating machines are subject to frequency excitations. The design engineer must ensure that these frequencies don’t excite the natural frequencies of the impeller. Excitation of the impeller’s natural frequencies can lead to catastrophic deformations and stresses as well as fatigue damage to the impeller. In the design phase, structural finite element analysis is used to calculate the natural frequencies of the impeller and to ensure that these frequencies are adequately far away from the excitation sources to avoid resonance. In rotating machines, the primary excitation forces are caused by aerodynamic wakes from stationary components like stators and struts (Figure 8). However, rotor imbalance, casing ovalization, and compressor surge/stall may also create excitation forces. While measures are sometimes taken to mitigate these excitations, it is more common for the design engineer to modify the impeller geometry to move the natural frequencies away from these excitations. This modification is typically an iterative process in which the design engineer modifies the impeller geometry or material, and the structural analysis is run to show how the natural frequencies were shifted because of the changes. The process is continued until the design engineer has obtained adequate separation margin (the natural frequencies are sufficiently far away from all known excitation sources).

Figure 8 — Illustration of compressor excitation sources.

Impellers are geometrically complex structures. As a result, their natural frequencies can also be quite complex. For an open-faced impeller, the natural frequencies are usually identified as a combination of blade modes (Figure 9, left) and “disc” modes (Figure 9, right). However, because the blades and the disc of an impeller are combined into one structure, there is also an interaction between these otherwise separate modes. Therefore, there are usually many natural frequencies and combinations of blade and disc modes that need to be identified using structural analysis.

Figure 9 — Impeller natural frequencies: 1st Blade bending frequency (left) and two-nodal diameter disc frequency with some blade interaction (right).

In the case of a closed-face impeller, distinct blade modes are harder to identify as the cover piece tends to bond the blades together creating a situation where the disc modes are more readily identified.

Figure 10 — Closed-face impeller three-nodal diameter disc mode.

Depending on what types of modes or frequencies are identified by the structural analysis and which frequencies need to be changed, the design engineer may make geometric changes to change these frequencies. For example, if the structural analysis identifies a blade mode close to an excitation, the design engineer might alter the blade thickness or taper to move this blade mode away from the excitation. On the other hand, if the structural analysis identifies a disc mode near an excitation source, the design engineer might change the disc thickness to move the frequency. As stated before, these types of changes might result in a change to the performance and state of stresses in the impeller. Therefore, this pillar is closely coupled to the other pillars and aspects of the design. The process requires iteration and re-evaluation of the design until a proper balance is found. Typically, a Campbell or SAFE diagram is used to show the design engineer where the impeller natural frequencies lie with respect to the excitations. If an excitation crosses a natural frequency close to the operating speed on a Campbell Diagram (Figure 11), this is an indication that this frequency might be excited. Thus, measures need to be taken to shift the natural frequency by altering the design or changing the material of the impeller.

Figure 11 — Campbell diagram for an open-faced impeller.

Finally, the fabricated impeller is often frequency tested (Figure 12) to validate that the frequencies identified in the structural analysis correlate well to the real natural frequencies, and as a final check to ensure that there is adequate separation margin from the excitation sources.

Figure 12 — Typical frequency response from a frequency test shows peaks occurring at natural frequencies.

In conclusion, the structural analysis and final design of centrifugal compressor impellers is a complex process with inter-woven parts. The process can be separated into three main tasks or pillars, but these pillars are closely coupled to one another. Changes made as a result of the structural analysis can result in significant changes to the performance, cost, and complexity of the impeller. Therefore, the process is very iterative and multi-disciplinary process. RMS has a deep history with centrifugal compressors with the expertise and experience to design impellers that perform reliably and exceed expectations.

Building the Behemoth

A D48JR steam compressor that comes in at 12 ft tall and 44,000 lbs.

Gary O'Connell, Principle EngineerRyan Rottier, Product Director AC Compressor Centrifugal CompressorsAndy Jansen, Regional Sales Manager

RMS received an order from a mining customer for a new AC Compressor D48JR steam compressor package for their plant expansion project. The compressor was to be part of the steam process used in production, and would help the customer boost their output capacity to meet higher demands for its products.

For scale: Matt Miller, Director of Houston Operations

The steam compressor package consisted of a complete drive train, mounting skid, and lubricating oil system. The D48JR compressor is a single stage overhung compressor with a 55” diameter open wheel impeller. The physical size of this compressor is impressive, standing 12-ft tall from the bottom of the casing to the top of the discharge flange, and weighing approximately 40,000 lbs.! The lubricating oil system is a standalone package providing approximately 40 GPM of oil to the rotating equipment bearings.

RMS designed the custom compressor package based on requirements defined by the customer. Compressor operating conditions were evaluated for optimum compressor efficiency, and the compressor was designed around these conditions. Detailed specifications were created for the major components of the package and key strategic suppliers were selected to supply these components. Assembly of the compressor package was completed in two manufacturing facilities. The large physical size of the compressor prevented it from being mounted on the same base as the motor and gear, so it was shipped separately from the base and coupled to the gear in the field. The compressor was assembled in the RMS Houston facility, and the motor/gear baseplate and lubrication system were assembled at one RMS’s key suppliers, all under the diligent supervision of RMS experienced staff.

The compressor and package components will be shipped to site, where the customer, along with RMS’s experienced field service staff, will assemble the package on the customer’s prefabricated foundation. After assembling all the interconnecting steam and lube oil piping, and verifying control systems, the compressor package will be commissioned and ready for production.

All AC Compressor Centrifugal Compressors are custom designed to meet specific customer operating conditions, resulting in the most efficient compressor possible. As customer processes change, compressor conditions typically change as well, leading to less efficient operation. If the operating parameters change significantly, the compressor can be re-rated to bring the operation back to the most efficient point possible. RMS specializes in compressor re-rates, upgrades, and new compressor designs to meet a wide variety of customer process applications, always with the goal of improving compressor operations or expanding plant capabilities.

(Hand) Dressing for Success

Bringing a Murray KD7 steam turbine back to peak performance.

Sydney Gross, Director - Steam Turbine Engineering • Jeff King, NE US Account Manager

RMS was approached by a New York City-based customer to inspect their Murray KD7 steam turbine used in their HVAC system. The steam turbine rotor was visually inspected, blast cleaned, NDT’d and the rotor check balanced at RMS’ Bethlehem, PA shop under engineering supervision. After completing the required inspections, the RMS team found several repair opportunities to ensure this steam turbine experienced a future of the reliable operation.

RMS’ inspection found foreign object damage to the steam turbine rotor and diaphragms that caused numerous imperfections. Minor rubbing on both the plain end and thrust end journals was also found during the inspection along with pipe wrench marks on the coupling end of the shaft.

To remedy the issues found during the inspection, RMS hand dressed the blades to remove dings, nicks, and foreign object damage. The team also polished both bearing journals and all inter-stage seal areas. The rotor was balanced to 4W/N at the RMS shop to ensure trouble-free operation.

To repair the damage found on the diaphragms, the RMS shop team hand dressed and blended erosion and pitting of the vanes. The shop also focused on repairing the foreign object damage found on the diaphragms before dressing the seal faces and split line areas.

Upon completion of these repairs, the rotor and diaphragms were preserved and shipped back to the customer ready for years of trouble-free operation. The RMS steam turbine engineering team is ready to tackle jobs of all sizes to keep your steam turbine running at peak efficiency.

Expanding Refinery Stability

Overhaul of an FCC expander prepares plant for emergency shutdown or planned outages.

Don Shafer, Director of FCC Expander Engineering

RMS recently completed the repair and overhaul of another GEC FEX-125HT FCC Expander. This expander is used in the refinery's FCC unit power recovery train and is rated to generate more than 31,500 shaft horsepower. This is a sister unit to an expander that RMS completed a similar overhaul on and shipped in July 2020. The rotor, bearing, and seal assembly as well as the intake casing assembly were removed from service during a planned maintenance outage and shipped to the RMS facility in Bethlehem, PA for disassembly and inspection.

The inspection findings were evaluated and detailed repair work scopes were developed for each expander component. Catalyst erosion cutting was found on the rotor blades and disc outer tenons. The Intake Casing Assembly outer casing and nosecone were found to be distorted and out of round and the key mating faces were out of acceptable flatness tolerances. The RMS engineering team and shop personnel have extensive experience on these types of repairs. The repair and refurbishment work scopes were executed as required to meet the customer’s schedule. The work scope included casing and component weld repairs and re-machining along with new components and hardware as recommended in the inspection reports.

At the completion of repairs, the rotor assembly was bladed, assembled, and balanced, and the rotor bearing and seal assembly and the intake casing assemblies were re-assembled. All critical clearances and fits were verified in the RMS Bethlehem, PA shop facility. The major sub-assemblies were then preserved as required and shipped to the customer’s warehouse, waiting to be installed if required for an emergency shutdown or at the next planned unit outage.

Part 2: Delaval B12/12 Compressor Overhaul

To cover the complete overhaul of this centrifugal compressor, RMS wrote a multi-part article series. Click here to read Part 1 in the December 2020 Newsletter.

Eric Dunlap, Senior Design EngineerDavid Owens, Project ManagerSteve Kaulius, Director - Centrifugal Compressor New Business Development

The RMS team has been hard at work on the overhaul of the Delaval 2B 12/12 Compressor since the last time we visited this project. This tired compressor was ready for a major overhaul after decades of outdoor storage. Before proceeding with the overhaul operation, the RMS team took the time to perform a comprehensive inspection of this compressor to plan for swift and effective execution of the final product.

The compressor arrived in the RMS shop after it was removed from the skid at GJ Oliver. The compressor was then blasted clean to remove decades of weathering. The cleaned compressor was disassembled at the RMS shop where components were inspected and dimensional data was gathered. Non-destructive testing was performed to gauge the health of critical components. The RMS team communicated their recommendations for repairs to the customer who is currently reviewing the RMS inspection report.

The RMS suggested repairs would set this compressor up for another lifetime of reliable service, even after decades of storage. Repairs range from replaced exhausted components to weld repairs. RMS generated repair proposals which would allow the majority of the compressor components to be refurbished to provide long term reliable service. Other components had reached the end of their useful lives and would not be cost effective to repair. RMS will supply newly manufactured parts for these components. The compressor’s bearings were sent out to RMS’ bearing supplier for further inspection.

Now armed with inspection data, the RMS engineering team and the customer can work together to plan the next steps of this project.

Armed with this critical knowledge the RMS team can direct future efforts and spending to ensure smooth final project delivery.

We look forward to updating you on the progress of the identified repair operations in our next newsletter!

A Tour of our Houston Shop Quality Inspection Area

Matt Miller, Director of Houston Operations

Hi, and welcome back to the RMS MEPCO Houston Shop!

It is great to see you again, and I do believe the last (imaginary) tour we took through the shop was back in the September 2020 issue of 'The Finish Line' newsletter. Since you were last here, we’ve completed the remodel of the Incoming QC area, and we're on our way out to the shop to look at your project. Let’s pop in so you can see all the improvements!

Heading out from the front office and into Low Bay Machine Shop, as usual, we’ve got all sorts of interesting work taking place. Over on the right you’ll notice Rene performing final OD grinding on a brand new blower shaft, and on the left Richard is machining a weld-repaired Garo distribution cone. On the Haas milling machine we have a… um… I’m not sure what that is as I’ve never seen one before…but if you want we can talk to Robert to find out what in the world that thing is…

Anyway! Now that we’re rounding the corner and are headed toward High Bay, walk slowly and turn to the left. The first thing you’ll notice are the windows, and while we joke about not tapping the glass or feeding the animals, it’s great seeing Rodney at work from a distance without bothering him. And with our fast-acting garage door, getting job carts or pallets in from Receiving is a cinch; no time waiting for that door to go up or down! Let’s quietly enter, say ‘hi’ to the guys, and get an even closer look to the renovated room.

Upon entering, notice all of the outlets and LAN lines on the outside walls. For now we have three work stations set up, but since we always have future growth in mind, we can put even more Inspectors into the space. With the band-new benches, computers, and large cabinet to store precision tooling reserved for Incoming QC, we always have what we need at our fingertips. And be sure to notice our new granite table, the one that’s underneath the 'rail crane.'

As you can imagine, many of the parts we deal with are heavy, so not wanting to put employees at risk from lifting something they shouldn’t, we have installed a ceiling-mounted crane system. When a heavy part comes in, it gets parked via pallet jack in front of the granite table. Then, with the rail crane, we hoist the part and carefully lower it onto one of two granite tables. Then we proceed to perform our dimensional inspection. It’s a whole lot of words, but it is actually very efficient.

Next, look down at our freshly painted floor. As you’ll recall from your last imaginary tour, we’re painting the floors bright white in many of the work areas, and between the painted floor and bright-as-the-sun LED lights, there is no lumen shortage in here! In all seriousness, the brightness does help with our incoming QC checks, as a lot of what we do is look at surface finishes or seek out even the smallest blemish, so a brightly lit room is a must.

Lastly, in the back of the room, we have a separate work area set up for the Faro Arm, and Joe is often hard at work “beeping” small parts, or, as he’s doing today, using the laser-scanner to create even the most complicated 3D model of an item. And when Joe or Rodney are done with their inspections, the goods go onto a pallet or cart (depending on size) and move to our Inventory Area for logging and storage. Actually, we have a pallet ready to go right now, so I’ll hit the “up” button on the fast-acting door and—whoooosh!—there you have it! Door open, and we can exit and continue our tour.

We’re really pleased with how the renovated Incoming QC Room turned out, and next time you are in the area, please stop in and see it for real!

Support at a Moment's Notice

RMS Engineering and shop team provide immediate fastener support for customer.

Tony Rubino, Chief Engineer & Director - Compressor Engineering • Jeff King, NE US Account Manager • Bill Velekei, Manager of Manufacturing

On New Year’s Eve, while many of us were celebrating an end to 2020, RMS salesperson Jeff King was contacted by a customer in urgent need of fasteners for the scroll of their RFB-30 Compressor. Despite the holiday, the RMS engineering team immediately started working with the customer to fully understand the scope of this situation so that RMS could provide the best possible solution.

During the first few days of 2021, the RMS Engineering team and customer were able to identify their fastener needs and plan for the prompt manufacturing and delivery of these critical components. The RMS shop staff was on-site in the RMS Bethlehem, PA Shop within hours of receiving the drawings from engineering and immediately started to manufacture the required studs. After manufacturing was complete, RMS performed the required non-destructive testing, on-site and packed the studs for shipment. RMS was also able to pull the requisite nuts from inventory and ship them alongside the newly manufactured studs.

The fasteners were shipped the same day stud manufacturing was completed, and a customer representative was dispatched for pick up. Thanks to the rapid response of the RMS team, the customer was able to get their compressor back up and running without extended delay. In addition to the expedited order, the RMS team worked to supply the customer with an additional stock of these fasteners that the customer can keep on hand for future events.

The RMS team is here to support our customers at a moment's notice and we’re more than happy to start the new year serving our customers. We are proud to serve our customer's needs and understand that when things go wrong, timely engineered solutions are required.

Housekeeping is Safekeeping at Work

Ryan Butkowski, Safety Manager CNC Programmer/Supervisor

Housekeeping at work is as important as it is at home, especially if you want a safe workplace.

People who must function every day in a messy, disorderly work environment have lower morale, although they may not be aware of the cause. The safety ramifications of poor housekeeping in the workplace are even more important.

Poor housekeeping practices can result in:

  • Injuries when employees Slip, Trip or Fall over out-of-place objects.
  • Injuries from using improper tools because the correct tool cannot be found.
  • Lowered production because of the time spent maneuvering over and around someone else’s mess and time spent looking for proper tools and materials.
  • Lack of future work due to a reputation for poor quality.
Remember: If you are complacent about safe housekeeping, employees may become desensitized to poor practices and become unable to identify hazards, putting them at risk of injury.

General housekeeping rules to remember:

  • Housekeeping is everyone’s responsibility!
  • Clean up after yourself. Pick up trash and debris and dispose of it properly. Keep your work area clean throughout the day, minimizing the time needed to clean a larger mess at the end of the day.
  • Dispose of combustibles and flammables properly. If improperly discarded, they will increase the potential for a fire.
  • Remove protruding nails and other sharp objects or hammer them flat to prevent someone from being injured by them.
  • Stack materials and supplies in an orderly manner and secure them so they won’t topple.
  • Report all slips, trips and falls, with or without injury, so the hazard can be corrected.
  • Remove any cords or cables in walking areas.
  • Organize cables under desks.

Do you value your health and safety and your work reputation as well as your future employment? If you do, practice these general housekeeping rules. A well-kept workplace shows respect for those who work there. Help keep it that way!

Turbo Toons

Marc Rubino, Quality Manager

The Lighter Side: The Pets of RMS

In our opening article, we introduced the unsung heroes of the at home workplace—our pets. Some of you may already be familiar with the fluffy faces below who like to sneak onto our video chats and bark away their updates on backlog meetings.

Below you will find dozens of cats and dogs who work to support RMS business efforts every single day. These friendly faces have become a critical part of the RMS workforce and we thought it was about time we shared all of the new additions to the RMS team!

New Hires

Chad Dugas, Sales — RMS is excited to welcome Chad to the Houston-area Sales team. Chad joins from the Elliott/Ebara Group (Houston) where he worked in multiple roles, from sales to management of the US Market west of Lake Charles. Chad has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering (Lamar University) and an MBA (Texas A&M). Chad has been selling aftermarket services and driving positive change throughout his entire career, and we look forward to adding his experience to the RMS family.

Kim Castillo, Administrative Assistant [Houston Shop]— After working with RMS as a temp, Kim joins the RMS family full time as an Administrative Assistant located in Houston. Kim’s years of customer service experience make her a great addition to the team. Kim’s work managing all incoming calls is critical in ensuring clear communication between RMS and our customers.

Chad Mouton, Mechanic [Houston Shop] — Chad joins RMS with 30+ years of rotating machinery experience, with 15 of those years focused specifically on centrifuges. With experience at the MEPCO facility (prior to RMS’ 2018 acquisition), we are delighted to welcome Chad back to the RMS Houston Shop. With a wealth of experience working on oil free screw compressors and managing shop environments.

Hilda MartinezSenior Human Resources Administrator [Houston Shop] — RMS is excited to welcome Hilda to the HR team. Hilda brings 15 years of HR experience in employee relations, recruitment, benefits administration, compliance support, and more. We are excited to welcome Hilda’s knowledge and skillset to the team.

Nathanael Stevenson, Mechanic [Houston Shop] — Nathanael is a highly skilled millwright with 10+ years of experience repairing, testing, and maintaining mechanical equipment. His experience in the rotating equipment industry focuses on identifying the causes of mechanical problems on gas turbines, steam turbines, generators, and their auxiliary equipment. Nathanael’s unique experience working with a variety of rotating machinery makes him a strong addition to the RMS team.

Emil "EJ" Del ValleSenior Engineer [Houston Shop] — EJ joins the RMS team with 20+ years of mechanical engineering experience in the oil & gas industry. A United States Marine Corp Veteran, EJ holds a BSME (University of Houston) and an MBA (University of St. Thomas). With experience in the implementation of ISO 9001:2015 standards, Lean Sigma Six, and management experience, we are exciting to welcome EJ to the RMS team.

Jody Obena, Human Resources Administrator [Pennsylvania] — Jody is a Skilled Bookkeeper and Military Veteran with 10+ years of proven experience in accounting and HR support capacities. A vast knowledge of HR Administration support mixed with a business analytics background in accounting makes Jody a critical new addition to the RMS HR team.