Emergency Motor Repair
Prevents Thousands of Dollars
in Production Losses for Oil and Gas Plant
Severe damage to a compressor crankshaft resulted in the catastrophic failure of two 1,250 horsepower motors that were driving a compressor in a large oil and gas plant in Weld County, Colorado. The two damaged motors were running in tandem to support a critical LNG booster compressor. The failure caused the facility to shut down and resulted in production losses that were costing them thousands of dollars daily.
The failure could not have come at a worse time, as it was in the wake of the Coronavirus when resources at the plant were already spread thin. At the same time, the plant’s production demand remained high, and the facility had less access to qualified repair personnel. “While the world saw thousands of businesses and manufacturing facilities close during the pandemic, Wazee Electric remained open and continues to remain open to provide emergency support during the crisis,” said Henk de Swardt, Timken Power Systems’ Chief Engineer - Electrical. “Our Wazee Electric shop in Denver, Colorado, along with our sister facilities that are a part of Timken Power Systems, are classified as essential businesses because they provide critical motor repair and other electrical-mechanical services for industries that support our nation’s infrastructure. We were glad to be on duty at the time the customer’s equipment went down, so we could provide them with peace of mind that we could solve their problems.”
Failed Compressor Crankshaft
Shortly after contacting our team of experts, the customer’s motors were pulled out of service and sent to Wazee Electric’s 85,000 sq. ft. facility to be dismantled. Our ISO 9001 accredited repair shop is outfitted to handle motor repair for anything from small, fractional horsepower motors to large motors and large generators up to 50,000 horsepower. “Our inspection process revealed severe damage to both motors, including destroyed drive-end bearings, catastrophic journal damage, stator and rotor core rub, and the destruction of the motor’s internal fans. Since these were custom-designed, high voltage motors, any OEM would take months to manufacture replacement motors. And for a high production plant of this type, being out of service for this long was simply not an option,” said Clint Swinson, Plant Operations Manager at the Wazee facility.
(left) Henk de Swardt, Timken Power Systems’ Chief Engineer - Electrical
(right) Clint Swinson, Wazee Electric Plant Operations Manager
Since the lead time for new motor replacements was not an option, the Wazee team developed an emergency motor repair work scope that included fixing and requalifying all damaged parts. After analyzing the application and evaluating the two motors, they determined that it was possible to combine pieces from each of the two motors to create a single “fit for use” motor with capacity high enough to drive the LNG booster compressor. The strategy proved successful and allowed the plant to be back in full production in nine days, instead of the several months it would have taken to produce two motor replacements.
Taking it one step further, Wazee Electric engineers worked closely with the customer during the motor repair and determined that the root cause of the failure originated in the plant. They were able to assist in resolving the issue and implemented preventative measures to mitigate the risk of a recurrence of a similar motor failure.
Damage to motor drive-end shaft journal.
“Often, during a crisis, we need to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to address emergencies. In this case, we were able to provide a plan that bridged the gap in the plant’s production and potentially avoided thousands of hours in downtime and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost production,” said Clint. “Whether it’s under normal conditions, extreme weather, or working during a pandemic, we always strive to provide the highest quality. And we work with our customers to understand their business needs and provide the most practical and economical solution to solve their problems,” finished Clint.
(left) Motor stator repaired waiting for final assembly.
(right) Repaired motor shaft and newly manufacture bearing parts.
Wazee Electric, Schulz Group, H&N Electric, and Smith Services are part of a network of national motor repair and generator repair service centers that comprise Timken Power Systems. We’re open and available 24-hours a day, seven days a week for the inspection and repair of small, medium, and large electric motors and large generators.
Finished motor repair ready for final delivery.