The Finish Line Vol. 33 • May 2024 [Q2 2024]

RMS Announces Acquisition of Blading Services Unlimited

Rotating Machinery Services (RMS) proudly announces the acquisition of Blading Services Unlimited (BSU). This strategic union is a testament to the commitment to excellence and marks a pivotal moment in the turbomachinery industry, combining the exceptional capabilities of BSU with RMS' legacy of global engineering, repair, and maintenance services on critical compression equipment.

Collaboration with BSU brings together a wealth of skills, expert personnel, and longstanding customer relationships, reinforcing RMS' dedication to providing top-tier aftermarket upgrades, repair, maintenance, and rebuilding/overhaul services for sophisticated turbomachinery. Having worked seamlessly alongside BSU for years, this integration promises a smooth transition and the delivery of outstanding customer service and innovative solutions.

BSU has rightfully earned a reputation for its exceptional quality, timely delivery, and exemplary customer service in the marketplace. We extend a warm welcome to Steve Stevens, Mike Rose, and the entire BSU team, whose expertise and dedication will further enhance the collective strength of RMS. This integration opens up new opportunities for us to provide a comprehensive suite of services to our valued customers, meeting all their turbomachinery requirements with precision and efficiency.

As an independent aftermarket turbine blade and parts manufacturer, BSU focuses exclusively on producing new blading for all models of gas turbines, steam turbines, and compressors. Their commitment to precision engineering, in-house tooling, stringent quality assurance, and exemplary customer service aligns seamlessly with the values and standards set by RMS.

The ongoing strategic integration not only expands RMS's capabilities but also provides our customers with access to the highest quality blades and a one-stop-shop for all their rotating equipment needs. BSU's legacy customers will now benefit from RMS' leading engineering and manufacturing infrastructure, ensuring an even more robust and comprehensive service.

Together, RMS and BSU are poised to elevate the standards of the turbomachinery industry, offering a unique blend of expertise, innovation, and customer-centric services.

This Edition of 'The Finish Line' includes:

  • RMS Acquires Blading Services Unlimited
  • RMS Blading Services History
  • RMS Opens New Office In Olean New York
  • Metrology In Action - Revolutionizing Compressor Overhauls with Virtual Assembly
  • RMS Welcomes Randy Black, Product Manager of Steam Turbines
  • RMS's Growing Steam Turbine Capabilities
  • RMS Analytical Group: Providing Industry Leading Engineering Support For Your Machinery
  • RMS PPMW's Rich History Of Reciprocating Compressor Support
  • One Source Of Truth: RMS's New Business System Drives Growth
  • RMS Streamline: RMS's Rapid Response To Customer Needs
  • Turbo Toons
  • New Hires

The History Of RMS Blading Services

In the dynamic world of blade manufacturing, precision is paramount, and Blading Services Unlimited (BSU) has been at the forefront since its inception in 2014.

RMS is pleased to welcome Steve Stephens, Mike Rose and the entire Blading Services team to RMS with the acquisition of Blade Services Unlimited. Thanks to their combined leadership and customer focus, Steve Stephens and Mike Rose have grown BSU into a revered name within the rotating equipment industry. Mike and Steve's commitment to quality makes them a strong addition to RMS.

Founded with a vision to deliver unparalleled quality and service to the steam and gas industry, BSU specializes in the manufacture of turbine blades and parts, where exacting tolerances and immaculate finishes are not just standards but imperatives.

BSU operates on the principles of customer-centricity and technical excellence. Whether it's fabricating parts from customer-supplied drawings or employing reverse engineering techniques, where a sample of the old part is utilized to craft new components, BSU ensures that each product meets the highest standards of precision and performance.

With a rich background that includes stints at prominent organizations like Elmar Locker and H & E Machinery, Inc., Stephen brings a wealth of experience in setting up and managing manufacturing facilities. His leadership has been instrumental in shaping BSU's commitment to quality and innovation.

Stephen's journey in manufacturing began as the Production Manager for Elmar Locker of H & E Machinery, Inc. in Ithaca, NY. Over nineteen years with the company, he undertook significant responsibilities, including setting up and managing a plant in Owego, NY, overseeing operations in Jakarta, Indonesia, and serving as Plant Manager in Auburn, NY. His tenure at H & E Machinery, Inc. provided him with invaluable insights into the intricacies of manufacturing operations, laying the foundation for his subsequent ventures.

After leaving H & E Machinery, Inc. in 2003, Stephen embarked on a new chapter, playing a pivotal role in the establishment of Steam Turbine Blading and Parts in Minden, Nevada. His expertise and leadership were crucial in steering the company toward success, cementing his reputation as a visionary in the turbine manufacturing industry.

Following his tenure at Steam Turbine Blading and Parts, Stephen continued his journey at Hartman Enterprises in Oneida, New York, where he continued to serve his customers with unwavering dedication. However, driven by a desire to create something truly exceptional, Stephen co-founded Blading Services Unlimited, LLC in March 2014, laying the groundwork for a new era of excellence in turbine manufacturing.

Michael Rose, BSU's Production Engineer, complements Stephen's leadership with his profound expertise in turbine engineering. Beginning his career at H & E Machinery, Inc. in Ithaca, NY, Michael honed his skills in turbine manufacturing before transitioning to on-site repair work at various power plants. His hands-on experience provided him with invaluable insights into turbine operations, laying the foundation for his pivotal role at BSU.

Michael's journey in turbine engineering led him to serve as the Production Manager at Steam Turbine Blading and Parts in Minden, Nevada, where he further honed his expertise in manufacturing processes and quality control. Subsequently, he joined Stephen at Hartman Enterprises in Oneida, New York, where he played a key role as the Milling Manager, overseeing programming, engineering, and inspection of blade work.

As Stephen and Michael transitioned from their previous ventures to establish BSU, they brought with them a legacy of trust and reliability, earning the confidence of clients across the industry. Since its inception, BSU has continued to push the boundaries of turbine manufacturing, leveraging cutting-edge technologies and a relentless pursuit of perfection.

In a sector where precision is paramount and reliability is non-negotiable, Blading Services Unlimited, LLC stands as a beacon of excellence, driving the future of turbine manufacturing with passion, expertise, and a steadfast commitment to customer satisfaction.

RMS Opens New Office In Olean, NY

RMS is pleased to announce the grand opening of our engineering office located in Olean, NY. With this new location, RMS proudly continues the tradition of manufacturing and engineering excellence that defines the culture in Olean. RMS welcomes a team of talented engineers, designers, and commercial experts who will work to support our growing portfolio of RMS's rotating equipment solutions to our global customer base.

This state-of-the-art engineering office is a center of excellence for RMS’s highly engineered rotating equipment products. The team located at RMS Olean will focus their talents on delighting RMS’s customers with their skills in the development and design of critical rotating equipment components.

Join RMS in welcoming our talented team of engineers and designers, poised to elevate RMS's offerings to new heights!

RMS Olean Team Quotes

“Since the first conversation it’s been very clear RMS takes pride in their Employees, Customers, and Workplace Environment. Being able to be apart of a rapidly growing company these days and being able to put your mark on the future is an incredible experience.” -Jason Butts
"Growth and commitment are 2 of the main factors that drew me to RMS. While others in the industry seem to be downsizing and consolidating, RMS is constantly showing commitment and growth by acquiring products, businesses, and spreading its footprint to be where the knowledge-base is in the rotating equipment industry. Another major plus to RMS is the “family” atmosphere. You are more than just a number at RMS. Everyone up to and including senior management treat you like a person and like someone that they are happy to have on the team. Even as a satellite office, we get involved in office activities, just like the main office. No one is an afterthought." - Paul Brauer
“With the opening of the engineering office in Olean, NY, it shows that RMS is committed to being a presence in the area for years to come.” - Adam Freberg
"RMS feels more like a family than a workplace. Everybody has been extremely helpful since I joined the company." - Michael Smith
"The people are wonderful and make you feel like part of the family right from the start." - Nicole Tanner
"I am excited to join the RMS Olean branch with the rapidly expanding RMS team. The Olean branch allowed me to return home to work on a familiar product with familiar people." - Ryan Shay
"I have over 26 years of experience working in the Steam Turbine, Compressor and Expander design business. Most of those years it was a family oriented workspace. When I got the opportunity to interview with RMS, they prided themselves on being family oriented. I had missed that feeling and the work. I am 5 months in at the Olean office and everyone that I have meet from RMS have been very nice." - Kelly Brickey

Revolutionizing Compressor Overhauls with Virtual Assembly

In response to a refining customer's urgent need to minimize downtime during an outage of their Clark 3M centrifugal compressor, RMS embarked on a pioneering project leveraging digital technologies. This case study delves into how RMS, through its innovative Virtual Assembly service, played a pivotal role in reducing the turnaround duration by over 60%, ultimately leading to increased site uptime.

Facing the challenge of historic downtime during compressor outages, the Ethylene Plant customer approached RMS with a specific goal: to expedite the turnaround process and bring their ethylene plant back online faster than ever before. Recognizing the need for a transformative approach, RMS mobilized its Metrology Team to implement cutting-edge solutions.

RMS's Virtual Assembly service became the cornerstone of this digital transformation endeavor. The service seamlessly integrated advanced measuring tools and critical fitment data management to optimize the turnaround process.

The Metrology Team employed state-of-the-art measuring tools to perform a detailed 3D scan of the spare rotor, creating a precise digital replica. RMS used these high-precision files to check all critical dimensions and complete the virtual assembly process to ensure proper fitment and reduce turnaround duration. Leveraging RMS's Virtual Assembly service, the rotor was pre-built with spare seals and bearings, ensuring a ready-to-install configuration. Advanced measuring tools were used to digitally map the compressor casing internals, providing comprehensive insights into the condition of internal components.

The Virtual Assembly process allowed for a meticulous virtual assembly of the spare rotor into the compressor casing, enabling precise adjustments of internal clearances. With internal adjustments completed digitally, the fully assembled rotor was lifted into the casing in a single operation, minimizing the risk of errors.

The culmination of these digital interventions resulted in an unprecedented reduction of over 60% in the turnaround duration compared to historical outages. To enhance documentation and traceability, RMS utilized the Modest Tree digital job pack, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the process.

Outcomes and Benefits:

  • Drastic reduction in turnaround duration, exceeding the customer's expectations.
  • Increased site uptime, allowing the customer to resume operations in record time.
  • Cost savings through efficient resource utilization and minimized downtime.
  • Enhanced documentation and data traceability for future reference.

RMS's successful deployment of the Virtual Assembly Process showcases the profound impact that digital transformation can have on turbomachinery turnaround processes. By combining advanced measuring tools with meticulous data management, RMS not only met but exceeded the customer's expectations, setting a new standard for efficiency and effectiveness in the industry. To learn more about how RMS can support your turnarounds, reach out to your local RMS sales representative for more information.

RMS Welcomes Randy Black: Product Manager of Steam Turbines

RMS is pleased to welcome Randy Black to the growing RMS Steam Turbine team. Randy brings an outstanding career spanning over 18 years in the domain of rotating equipment, marked by profound expertise and exemplary leadership. Currently serving as the Product Manager of Steam Turbines at RMS, Randy's journey is defined by a steadfast commitment to excellence and an unwavering dedication to advancing the field of steam turbine design and repair.

Beginning his tenure at Sulzer Rotating Equipment Services in 2006 as a Blading Leadman, Randy swiftly ascended through the ranks, assuming increasingly pivotal roles within the organization. His tenure saw him navigate complex projects with precision and finesse, ensuring seamless coordination and adherence to the highest standards of quality and efficiency.

Randy's distinguished military service with the United States Marine Corps infantry further underscores his leadership prowess. Serving with valor during multiple combat deployments, including pivotal engagements such as the invasion of Iraq and the battle of Fallujah, Mr. Black's tenure as a Weapons Platoon leader exemplifies his ability to thrive under pressure and lead with distinction.

Transitioning seamlessly from military service to civilian leadership, Randy's time at Ethos Energy and subsequent return to Sulzer Rotating Equipment Services further solidified his reputation as a consummate professional. In roles ranging from Blading Engineer to Blading Manager, Mr. Black demonstrated unparalleled expertise in reverse engineering, manufacturing drawing creation, and project management, earning accolades for his meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to excellence.

As the Product Manager of Steam Turbines at RMS, Randy's vision and leadership continue to drive innovation and excellence in the field. With a keen focus on optimizing workflow efficiency, enhancing product quality, and fostering collaborative relationships across departments, Randy remains at the forefront of shaping the future of steam turbine technology.

Randy's distinguished career trajectory is a testament to his exemplary leadership, unwavering dedication to excellence, and profound expertise in the domain of rotating equipment. As he continues to chart new frontiers in his role as Product Manager of Steam Turbines at RMS, Randy's legacy of innovation and leadership is destined to leave an indelible mark on the industry for years to come. RMS looks forward to having Randy as part of the growing RMS organization to deliver superior results for our customers.

Full Steam Ahead: RMS Introduces New Steam Turbine Capabilities

At RMS, our mission is simple yet profound: to deliver solutions that not only meet but exceed our customers' expectations. We understand that steam turbines lie at the heart of many industrial processes, powering everything from electricity generation to manufacturing operations. That's why we leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our solutions are of the highest quality, engineered with precision to deliver unparalleled results.

What sets RMS apart is our unwavering commitment to understanding the unique needs of each customer. We know that no two steam turbine fleets are alike, and that's why we approach every project with a fresh perspective, working closely with our customers to develop bespoke solutions tailored to their specific requirements. Whether it's optimizing performance, extending lifespan, or streamlining maintenance schedules, we leverage our decades of expertise to deliver tangible value.

Quality is at the forefront of everything we do at RMS. From the initial consultation to the final implementation, we adhere to rigorous quality control measures to ensure that every component meets our exacting standards. Our team of engineers combines technical expertise with innovative thinking to design solutions that are not only efficient and reliable but also cost-effective in the long run.

But our commitment doesn't end with the delivery of a solution. At RMS, we believe in building lasting partnerships with our customers, serving as their trusted advisors and allies in their journey toward operational excellence. We provide ongoing support and guidance, ensuring that our solutions continue to deliver maximum value over time.

RMS's recent investment in both tooling and personnel to best serve our customers demonstrates our commitment to providing quality customer-centric solutions.

RMS's Growing Steam Turbine Capabilities

Step into the world of machinery excellence at RMS's Pearland Works Facility! This article is your exclusive tour guide through our state-of-the-art workshop, where we support our customer's highly-engineered rotating equipment needs. From precision maintenance to top-tier refurbishments, explore the cutting-edge machinery and expert craftsmanship that keep steam turbines running at peak performance.

#1 - Schenck Centrio 150

  • Used to test impellers before use in customer machinery
  • Max Diameter: 59-inches
  • Max Weight: 4,400lbs
  • Max Speed: 18,000 rpm

#2 - Karats Horizontal Lathe

  • Max Swing: 77-inches
  • Z Travel: 314-inches
  • Max Weight: 44,000 lbs (20 ton)
  • X and Z Axis
  • Turning, Threading, Grooving, and Shaft Machining

#3 - MAF150R (Boring)/MHI

  • Table: 118" x 138"
  • Max Weight: 99,000 lbs (45 Tons)
  • X, Y, Z, W Axis
  • Worktable Rotates 360°
  • Angle Head Capabilities
  • Boring, Facing, Mill Threading

#4 - MAF150R (Axial)MHI Horizontal Boring Mill

  • Max Swing: 79”
  • Max Weight: 33,000 lbs (15 ton)
  • Table: 79" x 315"
  • Axial Entry Machining for Blade Roots
  • Indexing Head
  • Facing, Boring, and Mill Threading
  • Keyway Machining

#5 - MVR30 MHI Bridge Mill

  • Table: 79" x 118"
  • Max Weight: 44,000lbs (20 ton)
  • X, Y, Z Axis
  • Angle Head
  • Boring, Facing, and Thread Milling

#6 - Schenck HM7UB

  • Low speed rotor balance
  • Major OD: 114"
  • OAL: 354"
  • Max Weight: 61,700 lbs (28 Ton)
  • End and belt drive capability

#7 - Schenck HM50B

  • Low speed rotor balance
  • Major OD: 83"
  • OAL: 177"
  • Max Weight: 17,600 lbs (8 Ton)
  • Belt Drive

#8 - Schenck HM40B

  • Low speed rotor balance
  • Major OD: 63"
  • OAL: 138"
  • Max Weight: 6,600 lbs (3 Ton)
  • Belt drive

#9 - Makino A100e

  • Machining Center
  • Table: 39" x 39"
  • Max Weight: 4,400 lbs (2 Tons)
  • 5 Axis Machine
  • Pallet Table
  • Impeller machining, blade, and nozzle machining

#10 - Lincoln Electric Submerged Arc Welder

The submerged arc welder allows RMS to restore damaged areas on rotors. This ability allows for significant lead time reduction and cost savings for our customers when compared to a rotor replacement due to damage.

RMS Analytical Team Capabilities

RMS's analytical team stands at the forefront of engineering excellence, offering a comprehensive suite of analytical solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of clients across various industries. With a keen focus on precision and innovation, RMS's analytical experts specialize in three key areas: rotordynamic analysis, aerodynamic analysis, and structural analysis services.

Rotordynamic Analysis

At the heart of many rotating machinery systems lies the critical need for stability, reliability, and optimal performance. RMS's rotordynamic analysis services delve deep into the intricate dynamics of rotating systems, ensuring that every component operates seamlessly within its intended environment. Whether it's assessing the stability of rotating machinery, mitigating harmful vibrations, or optimizing bearing configurations, RMS's analytical team employs advanced computational tools and methodologies to deliver robust solutions that enhance operational efficiency and minimize downtime.

Aerodynamic Analysis

In an era where aerodynamic performance is paramount across industries ranging from aerospace to automotive, RMS's analytical team excels in providing cutting-edge aerodynamic analysis services. By leveraging state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques, they meticulously simulate airflow patterns, and optimize aerodynamic designs to achieve superior performance and fuel efficiency. RMS's analytical solutions empower clients to push the boundaries of aerodynamic innovation with confidence.

Structural Analysis

In the realm of structural engineering, ensuring the integrity and safety of complex systems is paramount. RMS's analytical team brings unparalleled expertise to the table, offering comprehensive structural analysis services that encompass everything from finite element analysis (FEA) to modal analysis and fatigue assessment. By subjecting structures to rigorous simulations and stress tests, they identify potential weaknesses, optimize designs for maximum strength-to-weight ratios, and provide invaluable insights that drive informed decision-making throughout the product lifecycle.

Beyond their technical proficiency, RMS's analytical team distinguishes itself through a collaborative approach, working closely with clients to understand their unique challenges and objectives. Whether it's providing consultancy services, conducting in-depth feasibility studies, or delivering actionable insights through comprehensive reports and presentations, they serve as trusted partners every step of the way.

RMS Rotordynamic Analysis Capability Examples

Overview of RMS Rotordynamic Capabilities

Lateral Rotordyanmic Analysis

  • Undamped Critical Speed Analysis
  • Damped Synchronous Response
  • Stability Analysis

Torsional Rotordynamic Analysis

  • Steady-State Torsional Analysis
  • Transient Torsional Analysis

Custom Component Design/Analysis

  • Rotors, Seals, Dampers, and Supports

Additional Capabilities

  • API Rotordynamic Audit
  • Start-up Analysis
  • CFD-based Dynamic Coefficients
  • Deflection and Clearance Map Analysis
  • Diagnostics

RMS Customer RDA Needs

As an RMS customer, whether you had a major rerate or changing a floating ring oil seal to dry gas seal, chances are you have reached out to RMS to have a look at your rotor dynamic state. It is always wise to keep the RDA report of your equipment up-to-date, as rotor failures are costly, and fixes require fundamental changes to rotor-bearing systems. RMS customers have retained our RDA services for a variety of reasons in the past, as shown in the chart above.

RMS Project Example: Turbine Rerate

One of the unique capabilities of RMS engineering is its multi-disciplinary approach to turbomachinery. RMS customers routinely contact RMS to perform feasibility studies on their equipment for their upcoming rerates. RMS checks their rotor for the new operating condition and offers remedial design upgrades which are in-sync with RDA findings. As an example, the following steam turbine rotor came close to the 2nd critical speed which was active and flexible on the thrust end of the shaft. RMS proposed a shaft end upgrade to the spare rotor that would solve this issue with minimal cost and time impact.

RMS Project Example: Coupling Retrofit

RMS customers continuously upgrade the design of their couplings to enhance reliability and reduce downtime. A coupling retrofit affects both the lateral dynamics of involved rotors and the torsional dynamics of the entire train. RMS is experienced when and how the couplings should be evaluated for this change. Recently RMS analyzed MOT-GB-CC train that upgraded both couplings to flexible convoluted diaphragm design. RMS identified 2 out of 3 initial modes were inside excitation margin and coupling designs had to be adjusted.

RMS Project Example: New Impeller

A new impeller often changes the load and inertia distribution on the rotor and shifts the rotordynamic modes. RMS examines the rotor with the new component to ensure responses are within API acceptance criteria. RMS has the capability to check other static and dynamic impacts such as static deflection, shear and bending moment distribution under centrifugal load with the new overhung weight.

RMS Project Example: Rotor Shaft End Failure

One of RMS's customers had a unique application that resulted in sudden load rejection and reapplication to their turbine generator set. The generator shaft end failed prematurely and resulted in downtime to replace the shaft. RMS performed a transient torsional analysis to simulate the dynamics of applied loads and endured stresses and found out that the first fundamental torsional mode excited the failed shaft end which suffered from an inadequate fillet radius at a shaft step. RMS made recommendations to change the shaft design to one that can endure the shock loading condition.

RMS Project Example: Stability Analysis

High speed, energy dense turbomachinery typically run well above their 1st critical speed and they need to endure destabilizing forces from impellers, stages, seals, etc. Above certain load and speed condition the rotor vibration grows without bound until the rotor rubs or fails catastrophically. RMS has the expertise and capabilities to model these excitation forces and offer solutions in case they exceed stability limits. It is an API requirement to systematically check the rotor stability with component level analysis. RMS offers a variety of stabilizing solutions such as damper bearings and damper seals, and helps its customers to solve their problems all in one place.

Example: Vibration & New Bearing Design

Older turbomachinery designs did not benefit from the analysis tools that we have today. Many existing machines in the field are marginally stable with chronic vibration issues. RMS consulted with a customer regarding a unsynchronous vibration problem they had, and after diagnosing their vibration signatures, identified the problem as a bearing susceptible to oil whirl. RMS redesigned the bearing to be suitable for the application which suppressed the chronic vibration issue.

RMS Aerodynamic Analysis Capability Examples

Rerates and Aerodynamic Upgrades for Single and Multistage Compressors and Turbines

By harnessing advanced aerodynamic principles and leveraging state-of-the-art technologies, RMS engineers meticulously engineer solutions that optimize the efficiency and functionality of rotating equipment. These upgrades not only enhance operational capabilities but also extend the lifespan of critical machinery, ensuring maximum uptime and minimizing maintenance costs for clients.

Flowpath Modelling from Scan Data

High accuracy scan data is loaded into CAD Software and measured for critical flowpath parameters. The data is used to create high-quality true to life models for CFD and FEA analysis.

Performance Benchmarking and Data Analysis

At RMS, our approach to performance data analysis transcends mere number crunching; it's a strategic endeavor aimed at uncovering insights that drive innovation and elevate operational excellence. By harnessing real-time data streams and employing cutting-edge analytical tools, we gain profound insights into the intricate interplay of fluid dynamics within turbomachinery.

Flange to Flange Analysis

At RMS, our engineers employ cutting-edge computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and sophisticated analytical techniques to conduct flange-to-flange analyses with unparalleled precision. By dissecting every component and interface along the flow path, we gain profound insights into pressure differentials, velocity distributions, and turbulence profiles, enabling us to optimize performance across the entire system.

Stage Design Optimization

Stage design optimization represents a pivotal process in the quest for aerodynamic excellence in turbomachinery. Each stage within a turbine or compressor plays a crucial role in transforming energy and facilitating fluid flow, making its design paramount to overall system performance.

At RMS, our approach to stage design optimization combines decades of expertise with cutting-edge computational tools and advanced modeling techniques. By meticulously analyzing factors such as blade geometry, inlet and outlet conditions, and flow path curvature, our engineers craft stage designs that maximize efficiency while minimizing aerodynamic losses.

Diaphragm Retrofits

The CFD results for the bolt pattern with fairings show that the airfoil shapes lower drag, and significantly reduce the expected losses.

Diffuser retrofits represent a strategic avenue for enhancing aerodynamic performance in turbomachinery, particularly in compressors where diffusers play a critical role in converting kinetic energy into pressure. At RMS, we recognize the transformative potential of diffuser retrofits in unlocking efficiency gains and optimizing system performance.

Our approach to diffuser retrofits begins with a comprehensive analysis of existing system characteristics and performance metrics. By leveraging advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and detailed flow modeling, we identify inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement within the diffuser section.

One common objective of diffuser retrofits is to mitigate flow separation and minimize losses associated with boundary layer effects and shock formation. Through careful redesign and optimization of diffuser geometry, including vane angles, throat areas, and expansion ratios, we aim to achieve smoother, more uniform flow distribution and maximize pressure recovery.

Secondary Flowpath and Leakage Analysis

Accurate prediction of stage leakage losses is critical to performance prediction, especially for low flow coefficient compressor stages where frictional losses are more prevalent.

Manufacturing Deviation Analysis

Comparative analyses of “as-built” vs “as-drawn” components helps make good engineering judgement about viability of parts with manufactured deviations.

Adds analytical insight into engineered/manufactured parts disposition decision making.

Transient CFD Analysis

Transient Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis stands as a groundbreaking methodology in the realm of turbomachinery aerodynamics, offering a dynamic perspective on fluid flow behaviors and system performance. At RMS, we harness the power of transient CFD analysis to gain unparalleled insights into the complex, time-varying phenomena that govern turbomachinery operation.

Unlike steady-state simulations, which provide a snapshot of flow conditions at a single moment in time, transient CFD analysis allows engineers to capture the evolution of flow patterns over time. This capability is particularly valuable in turbomachinery applications, where fluid flow dynamics are inherently unsteady due to factors such as blade passing, shock waves, and vortex shedding.

By simulating transient flow phenomena with high temporal resolution, RMS engineers can accurately predict time-dependent effects such as blade loading fluctuations, pressure pulsations, and flow instabilities. This level of detail is essential for understanding the dynamic performance characteristics of turbomachinery systems and optimizing their design for enhanced efficiency, stability, and reliability.

RMS Structural Analysis Capability Examples

Rotor Blade and Disc Stress Modeling

Centrifugal forces tend to pull the blades radially outwards. Depending on the blade’s angle of attack, these forces also cause an “un-twisting” of the blade (see animation above). This load tends to be “steady”.

The centrifugal forces create tension and bending in the blade to disc attachment section. Tensile stresses are experienced in both the blade attachment and the disc attachment grooves (See snapshot above).

In fir-tree type geometries like the ones shown below, it is common for the maximum stresses in the blade fir-tree to occur in the outermost fillet, while the maximum stresses in the disk fir-tree tend to occur in the innermost fillet (due to relative stiffness). These locations commonly need to be evaluated for fatigue vulnerabilities.

In fir-tree type geometries like the ones shown above, it is common for the maximum stresses in the blade fir tree to occur in the outermost fillet, while the maximum stresses in the disk fir-tree tend to occur in the innermost fillet (due to relative stiffness). These locations commonly need to be evaluated for fatigue vulnerabilities.

Aerodynamic forces due to the fluctuating pressure from the flow field acting on the blades are transient forces. There is a tangential force component and an axial force component due to he associated pressure differentials in the flow field. These loads are cyclic.

Goodman Diagram – Evaluation of High Cycle Fatigue

The Goodman Diagram is a “fixed life” application of the stress-life approach. It includes mean stress correction effects, fatigue strength correction factors, service factors, etc… Typically, the Goodman diagram is created at the endurance limit (usually ~10 to the 7th power cycles) to determine whether or not a design has infinite life. The RMS Modified Goodman Diagram adds additional safety factor for RMS designs.

Off-Design Loading Conditions

Thermal Expansion Animation: No Catalyst Buildup between blades | Speed & Temperature

Thermal Expansion Animation: Catalyst Buildup between blades | Speed & Temperature

In real-world applications, off-design loading conditions are often encountered. This is especially true for Root-Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) investigations where the machine was operated outside of it’s intended design constraints.

Off-design loads can create additional modeling challenges. Some off-design load examples include “choke” or “surge” operation, as well as “cleaning” cycles.

Foreign material deposit is also a condition which can occur in a machine which can cause additional thermal restraint and significantly magnify the stresses.

Low Cycle Fatigue Life Evaluation

A strain-based approach is used for LCF evaluation. Elastic-plastic (non-linear) analysis is used to calculate peak equivalent total strains (elastic + plastic). A strain range is calculated and used for LCF evaluation (strain vs. cycles to failure).

Strain life is calculated to be the worst case scenario based on the combined Basquin (elastic portion of the curve) and Coffin-Manson (plastic portion of the curve) approach. The strain-life curve is also mean-stress corrected based on the calculated steady stresses.

Rotor Blade Vibration Modeling

Vibration modeling is an important factor and needs to be considered for new blade design, failure investigation, or changing machine operating conditions due to a re-rate or replacement (speed change, temperature change, material change, etc…). Natural frequencies are modeled and compared to excitations to determine if resonance points are being excited or are close to being excited (separation margins).

Resonance can lead to catastrophic failure of a machine. Many modeling techniques for frequency modeling are the same as those used in stress modeling, although some requirements change. Boundary conditions are critical to accuracy (mass and stiffness of restrains can contribute to predicted frequencies, recall ω=√(𝑘/𝑚))

Axial compressor and expander blades have their own natural frequencies that must be calculated. These frequencies tend to correspond to the following fundamental mode shapes. The higher natural frequencies require more energy input to excite.

Sometimes “discs” are used to contain the blades in a rotor assembly. The discs themselves also have natural frequencies in combination with the blade frequencies. The disc modes tend to be categorized based on “nodal diameters”

Campbell Diagrams

The Campbell diagram is a way to plot the natural frequencies (of the part of interest) as a function of the rotating speed (this captures the speed stiffening behavior on frequency). The excitations are also overlaid on this plot. An intersection of excitation with natural frequency that occurs at the operating speed (or in the operating speed range) signifies a point where resonance can occur.

A Campbell diagram can also be applied over a speed range and include temperature softening effects. It is application specific.

Modal Testing

Whenever possible, frequency testing is performed to validate calculated FE frequencies. Frequency testing can also be performed as a first-pass calculation for a machine when the model data is not yet available.

A typical frequency response function from a blade modal test is shown below:

The peaks in the frequency response function represent the natural frequencies (resonances) of the tested blade.

The “width” of these peaks give an indication of the “damping”. A curve-fit (the red line) can be mapped to the frequency response function to provide estimations of the natural frequencies and damping.

If a modal test is performed over multiple locations on a blade, a frequency response curve can be determined at each location. This is known as a “Roving Impact” test. The frequency response plots can then be compared at each test point and “residues” can be calculated.

Structural finite element analysis is a key tool in the design process that helps engineers reduce risk and make decisions. Structural analysis also provides valuable insights when investigating machine failures, and is a vital tool in learning the root cause of failures. Frequency analysis is performed alongside testing whenever possible to validate methods and make sure all tools and practices continue to evolve with technology. RMS employs industry tested methods as well as R&D tools on a case-by-case basis to develop competitive and reliable solutions.

PPMW: Pioneering Excellence in Reciprocating Compressor Solutions

Since its inception in 1985, Plant Process Machine Works (PPMW) has been at the forefront of innovation, delivering exceptional reciprocating compressor solutions to a diverse range of industries. With a rich history of excellence and a commitment to customer satisfaction, PPMW has established itself as a trusted partner, renowned for its multi-OEM capabilities and comprehensive suite of services.

Willie King, with over 50 years of reciprocating compressor experience, has been instrumental in spearheading critical repairs, upgrades, and turnarounds for clients worldwide. His profound understanding of compressor repair not only positions him as one of the most influential figures in the industry but also underscores his unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. With the acquisition of PPMW by RMS in November of 2023, Willie's leadership and expertise have become integral to the company's evolution, as PPMW integrates the best of its offerings with RMS under the RMS brand.

Willie King - Founder of PPMW

Complementing Willie's expertise is Richard King, whose 30 years of dedicated service in supporting reciprocating compressors across various nameplates underscores his commitment to maintaining critical infrastructure. Richard's keen eye for advanced engineering and wealth of experience have positioned him as a driving force behind PPMW's evolution under the RMS brand. Together, Willie and Richard embody PPMW's ethos of innovation, excellence, and customer satisfaction, cementing the company's position as a trusted partner in various industries.

Richard King - Director of Operations - RMS PPMW

In November of 2023, PPMW entered a new chapter in its storied history with its acquisition by RMS, marking a pivotal moment for both companies. This strategic union combined RMS's industry-leading rotating equipment support with PPMW's decades of experience and expertise in reciprocating compressors, offering customers a complete solution for all their compression needs. Under the RMS umbrella, PPMW's legacy of excellence continued to thrive, with its renowned reciprocating compressor solutions now accessible to a broader customer base worldwide.

PPMW specializes in reciprocating compressors from multiple OEMs, including Dresser-Rand, Clark, Ingersoll-Rand, and Worthington. This expansive expertise enables the company to provide tailored solutions that meet the unique needs and specifications of its clients, ensuring optimal performance and reliability across a wide range of equipment.

The company's capabilities extend across various aspects of reciprocating compressor maintenance and repair, including cylinder repair, piston and rod repair, compressor frame and running gear services, spare parts provision, compressor valve and packing repair, and field services. Each service is conducted with meticulous attention to detail and adherence to the highest standards of quality and precision.

In cylinder repair, each cylinder undergoes an extensive inspection, following which RMS PPMW completes a repair scope to bring the cylinder to zero-hour condition. Additionally, the company offers replacement cylinders if needed, providing clients with a comprehensive solution to their maintenance needs.

Piston and rod repair services encompass a full inspection and non-destructive testing, followed by polishing and honing of the packing area. RMS PPMW manufactures and installs new riders and rings, ensuring proper reassembly with the correct torque and lubrication for optimal performance.

For compressor frame and running gear, services include crankcase main bearing bore and crosshead guide repair, connecting rod clipping and re-boring, crosshead pin bushing repair, and crankshaft rebuild using chroming and thermal coating, among others.

In addition to repair services, PPMW offers spare parts provision, including complete castings, piston rings, rider bands, rod packing, pistons, crankshafts, cylinder heads, and N2 purge panels, ensuring clients have access to the necessary components to keep their equipment running smoothly.

RMS PPMW's expertise also extends to compressor valve and packing repair, with experience supporting the repair and rebuild of compressor valves and packing cases. The company offers repair to zero-hour conditions while providing recommendations for upgrades with advanced state-of-the-art materials, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

With decades of turnaround experience and a commitment to facilitating outages in both shop and field environments, RMS PPMW provides invaluable support to clients during critical outages. The company offers assistance with planning critical outages, engineering expertise, and supervision during outage execution, ensuring minimal downtime and maximum efficiency for its clients.

In conclusion, PPMW's legacy of excellence, combined with its multi-OEM capabilities and comprehensive suite of services, positions the company as a trailblazer in the reciprocating compressor space. With a relentless commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, RMS PPMW remains dedicated to delivering superior solutions that meet the evolving needs of its clients, today and into the future.

Embracing the OST Philosophy at RMS

In the fast-paced realm of the rotating equipment industry, success hinges on efficient operations, accurate data management, and timely decision-making. Amidst this landscape, RMS is pioneering a transformative internal philosophy known as OST: One Source of Truth.

Unlike conventional products or solutions, OST is a fundamental mindset that permeates every aspect of RMS's operations. At its core, OST embodies a commitment to centralizing data, fostering collaboration, and prioritizing accuracy. It represents a departure from fragmented approaches to data management, advocating for a unified, holistic view of information.

Central to the OST philosophy is its ability to bring in data from multiple SQL servers, transcending the limitations of siloed databases. By aggregating data sources and establishing relational connections, OST ensures that employees have access to a comprehensive and cohesive dataset. This approach replaces the reliance on multiple Excel logs and eliminates the inefficiencies associated with disparate data sources.

OST also revolutionizes communication within the organization by replacing traditional email traffic with intuitive dashboards. These dashboards serve as dynamic hubs of information, providing real-time insights and fostering collaboration across teams. Whether employees are collaborating on projects or seeking critical information, dashboards powered by OST serve as centralized hubs for data-driven decision-making.

One of the hallmarks of the OST philosophy is its ability to transcend geographical boundaries. In an era where remote work and distributed teams are increasingly prevalent, OST enables seamless support for jobs across different states. This means that employees can access pertinent job-related information regardless of their physical location, facilitating prompt decision-making and problem-solving.

OST also serves as a catalyst for automation, driving efficiency and accuracy across processes. By standardizing workflows and automating routine tasks, OST minimizes human error and accelerates project timelines. This focus on starting tasks on time is not merely about meeting deadlines—it's about delivering exceptional customer experiences. Late starts lead to late tasks, which ultimately jeopardize project timelines and customer satisfaction. By embracing the OST philosophy, RMS ensures that operations are optimized for maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction.

OST represents more than just a philosophy—it's a guiding principle that shapes every facet of RMS's operations. By centralizing data, fostering collaboration, and prioritizing accuracy, OST empowers RMS to achieve operational excellence and drive sustainable growth. In an industry where precision and reliability are paramount, embracing the OST philosophy sets RMS apart as a leader in data management and operational efficiency.

Revolutionizing Customer Experience: RMS Launches Streamline Program

In an era marked by dynamic market demands and technological advancements, businesses must continually innovate to stay ahead. RMS, a leading provider of rotating equipment solutions, understands this imperative all too well. That's why they're proud to unveil Streamline, an internal program poised to redefine the customer experience in rotating equipment services.

Streamline isn't just another initiative; it's a testament to RMS's unwavering commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. Through a comprehensive Kaizen event, RMS identified over 30 key improvements to their inspection processes, setting the stage for enhanced efficiency and quality assurance.

One of the most significant enhancements is the incorporation of laser scanning tools into the rotor measurement process. This innovative technology doesn't just streamline inspections; it revolutionizes them, drastically reducing inspection times while ensuring unparalleled precision.

Moreover, Streamline introduces standardized work instructions, accelerating the delivery of crucial documentation to the production floor. This means faster turnaround times for customers, minimizing downtime and optimizing operational efficiency.

Recognizing the importance of adaptability and customization, RMS has also overhauled its shop drawing creation process. Now, custom assembly drawings are made available in 12 hours or less, a testament to RMS's dedication to meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

But Streamline isn't just about optimizing processes; it's about fostering a culture of continuous improvement and knowledge sharing. Through a robust knowledge-sharing program, RMS ensures that best practices are disseminated throughout the organization, empowering every team member to deliver exceptional service.

Additionally, standardized reporting protocols have been implemented to guarantee better consistency and quality across all services. This not only enhances transparency but also instills confidence in customers, knowing that they can rely on RMS for consistently superior results.

For RMS's rotating equipment customers, Streamline represents more than just a program—it's a promise of unparalleled service, efficiency, and reliability. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and fostering a culture of excellence, RMS is setting a new standard for the industry, one that prioritizes customer satisfaction above all else.

As businesses navigate an increasingly competitive landscape, those that embrace innovation and prioritize customer-centricity will emerge as leaders. With Streamline, RMS reaffirms its position as a trusted partner, dedicated to delivering value-driven solutions that propel customers towards success.

RMS New Hires

Pictured: Kaymichael Johnston - General Manager - Mepco

Kaymichael Johnston - General Manager - RMS welcomes Kaymichael Johnston as the General Manager of the RMS Mepco Business. Kaymichael is a seasoned executive with a distinguished career marked by a relentless pursuit of operational excellence and remarkable sales achievements in the oil and gas and industrial sectors. With a comprehensive skill set spanning Operations, Sales, and Marketing, Johnston has consistently delivered tangible results throughout his career.

As the former Chief Operating Officer and General Manager at FAIR Environmental Services & F12 Centrifuge, Johnston demonstrated his adeptness at navigating challenging landscapes. During a pivotal period, he orchestrated strategic initiatives that not only averted projected financial losses but also led to a net neutral year-end outcome. His leadership in streamlining processes, optimizing efficiency, and fostering synergy between operational domains underscored his commitment to operational excellence.

Johnston's tenure as Director/VP of Sales and Operations Advisor at Dooley Tackaberry witnessed exponential growth in the Rotating Equipment Business Unit, with sales increasing by over 300% within a 2.5-year period. His strategic guidance in implementing real-time communication systems and customer feedback loops propelled operational efficiency and enhanced customer satisfaction, resulting in sustained sales growth.

At Flow-Tech Industries, Inc., Johnston's tenure as General Manager was marked by a strategic approach to financial leadership and operational management. He successfully directed diverse teams, implemented efficiency improvements, and capitalized on market opportunities to drive growth and competitiveness in the industrial equipment sector.

Johnston's multifaceted skill set includes strategic operational leadership, marketing campaign analysis, recruitment, and team building, among others. Coupled with advanced technical knowledge and a track record of success, he is poised to make significant contributions to any organization operating in the oil and gas and industrial sectors.

Michael Arnold - Technical Advisor – Quoting - RMS welcomes Michael to RMS’s growing team in Houston, TX. Michael offers over 10 years of rotating equipment experience as both a Mechanic and Estimator. Michael started his career in the United States Coast Guard as a Machinery Technician where he supported 603 missions, logging over 1450 hours underway safely conducting numerous nuclear submarine escorts, search and rescue cases, law enforcement boardings, and port security evolutions. RMS is excited to welcome Michael to the RMS team.

Dawn Cavanaugh - Administrative Assistant - Dawn joins RMS with over 20 years of experience supporting manufacturing organizations. Dawn’s experience includes managing critical documentation, organizing and administering ERP systems, and supporting crucial scheduling activities. RMS looks forward to having Dawn as part of our growing organization.

Seth Clouse - 2nd Shift Mechanic's Assistant/Blaster - Seth joins RMS’s growing shop team in Bethlehem, PA as he kicks off his career in the rotating equipment industry. Seth offers a wealth of experience supporting the repair of complex mechanical systems. Seth started his career as a student at the Bethlehem Area VO-Tech school where he moved on to the world of automotive repair. RMS looks forward to having Seth as part of the team here at RMS.

Brian Criswell - Shop Lead 2nd Shift - Brian joins the RMS shop team with over 30 years of experience supporting the repair and overhaul of critical rotating equipment. Brian’s knowledge spans a host of various OEMs and product lines making him a strong addition to the RMS team. Brian’s experience managing a large team focused on the repair of highly engineered turbomachinery makes him a great fit for the growing RMS organization.

Mark Firkel – Designer - Mark joins the RMS Olean, NY team as a part of the growing RMS Design Team. Prior to joining RMS, Mark worked as a rotating equipment assembler where he gained hands-on experience with rotating equipment. Mark recently achieved an AAS Degree in both Welding and CAD to help support his exciting new design career. RMS looks forward to having Mark as part of the RMS team in Olean, NY.

James Fortney - Metrology Technician - RMS welcomes James to the growing RMS Metrology team. James started his career working to repair attached helicopters for the Army Reserve. From there, James moved into the world of industrial rotating equipment where he worked to support repairs and service leveraged advanced metrology equipment. James’s wealth of experience deploying various metrology tools makes him a great addition to the team.

Flora Galvan - Accounts Receivable Specialist - Flora joins RMS with over 15 years of accounts receivable experience. Flora’s wealth of experience supporting Accounts Receivable for manufacturing businesses makes her the perfect fit for the growing RMS accounting team. RMS looks forward to having Flora as part of the RMS Houston team.

Angel Gonzalez - 1st Shift Mechanic - Angel offers over 18 years of experience working as a machinist supporting critical rotating equipment repairs and maintenance. Angel’s experience includes operating manual lathes, Bullards, VTLs, Vertical Boring Mills, horizontal and vertical mills, and field machining. RMS looks forward to having Angel as part of the growing RMS shop team.

Connor Jasperson - Metrology Technician - RMS is pleased to welcome Connor to RMS’s industry-leading metrology team. Connor gained experience utilizing high-precision measurement equipment during his time working with survey instrumentation. Connor also has a wealth of project management and mechanical maintenance experience. Connor’s diverse experience and passion for metrology make him a great fit for the growing RMS organization.

Matthew Karess - Staff Accountant - RMS welcomes Matt Karess to the growing accounting department. Matt graduated from Bloomsbury University with a B.S. in Accounting. Prior to RMS, Matt worked as a Tax Preparer and as a Junior Accountant in the technology sector. Matt’s previous work experience saw him increase accounts receivable turnover by 200% in 5 months, by dealing with invoicing-related correspondence. RMS looks forward to having Matt as part of the RMS family.

Colin Martin - Project Manager - Colin joins RMS with a wealth of rotating equipment experience spanning a career of over 30 years. Colin started his journey in the rotating equipment space in the United States Navy where he served on the USS Dewey, DDG 45 supporting the operation and maintenance of the ship's power plant. After his tenure in the Navy, Colin moved on to work in roles of increasing responsibility in the rotating equipment and power generation market. Most recently, Colin was responsible for managing large capital projects in the construction and creation of large win farms. RMS is excited to have Colin as part of the RMS Project Management team.

Jorge Mata - 1st Shift Machinist - Jorge joins RMS as a machinist at RMS’s growing shop team. Jorge has experience supporting the oil and gas industry with expert machining capability for over 15 years. Jorge’s experience includes the operations of various CNC lathe, mill, and waterjet machines. Knowledge of G & M code and Mazak programming language. RMS is excited to welcome Jorge to the growing RMS team.

Jose Montoya - 1st Shift Rotor Balancing Technician - RMS is pleased to welcome Jose to the growing RMS shop team as a Balance Technician. Jose offers over 5 years of experience balancing rotors for critical pieces of rotating equipment. Jose’s experience balancing rotors is an exciting addition to the RMS team and we look forward to having him at RMS.

John O'Brien - 2nd Shift Blaster - John joins RMS’s growing shop team as a Blaster on 2nd Shift. John is experienced in operating and maintaining professional sandblasting equipment and tools and sandblasted and coated mainline pipes and fittings. John’s experience preparing sandblasting bays, chambers, portable units, and operating controls to blast a variety of metal and nonmetal surfaces is a welcomed addition to the RMS team.

Christopher Richardson – Machinist - Christopher joins the RMS team with over 15 years of experience working as a machinist in the oil and gas industry. Christopher’s wealth of knowledge supporting critical rotating equipment makes him a great addition to the RMS shop team. RMS looking forward to having Christopher as part of the RMS team.

Noel Rodriguez - 1st Shift Mechanic - RMS is excited to welcome Noel to the growing RMS shop team. Noel offers over 10 years of experience working on critical rotating machinery as a Millwright and Mechanic. Noel’s experience working on rotating machinery makes him a great addition to the RMS shop team.

Ryan Shay - Designer II - Ryan joins RMS with 20 over years of Unigraphics/NX experience. Ryan is Proficient in parametric modeling of components and creating assemblies using mating conditions, Assembly constraints, and Arrangements. Gathering mass properties, CG, and tipping angle. Ryan’s experience ranges from the rotating equipment and aerospace industry giving him a unique perspective. RMS looks forward to having Ryan as part of the RMS Design team.

Wille Sherman - 1st Shift HBM Machinist - Willie joins RMS with over 18 years of experience setting up and operating a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Willie’s experience running CNC machine tools in the manufacturing of highly engineered products makes him a strong addition to the RMS team.

Nicole Tanner - Senior Lead Proposal Specialist - Nicole joins RMS with over 10 years of experience managing orders in the rotating equipment industry. Nicole’s deep product knowledge of both turbines and compressors makes her a strong addition to the growing RMS Commercial team. RMS is excited to welcome Nicole to the RMS team located in Olean, NY.

Turbo Toons

By Marc Rubino

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