2 July 2020
Quartzelec, a leading independent engineering service provider with an ever-extending global reach, complete a $685,000, competitively tendered contract to manufacture and install a ‘drop-in’ replacement 7000HP cage induction motor to one of the largest Pet-Chem sites in the United States.
Initial contract discussions for the duplicate machine, which was to be mechanically interchangeable and electrically similar, commenced with Quartzelec during the latter part of 2017. The unique yet complex project required Quartzelec to fabricate an identical replacement motor to the specifications of the original mid 1990s design; rated at 7000HP, 13.2kV, 60Hz, the two-pole (3600rpm) motor has the capacity to be driven at up to 20% over speed, weighs in at 15 tonnes and measures around three metres in length, width and height.
As compressor drivers, the existing two motors in-situ are vital to the safe and continued operation of the plant. Due to their strategic importance, the clients’ insurance made it a key requirement that suitable replacement components and spares be made available. With the original motor and component parts no longer obtainable from the OEM the most viable option, both technically and commercially, was to revert back to the original engineering drawings and fabricate a complete and perfect replacement machine from scratch and due to its rich heritage and legacy in the design and manufacture of rotating machines and track record in the undertaking of such projects, Quartzelec delivered.
In addition to the main motor complete with a NEMA WEP II enclosure, a MANTLAS terminal box was fitted to ensure it conformed with the latest safety requirements. Progress in materials and manufacturing processes also meant that the new machine would perform more efficiently than the original motor.
“This is a perfect project example of what we do well,” stated David Swaffield, Quartzelec’s engineering lead on the project. “We’ve combined our extensive rotating machine manufacturing know-how with the original drawings archive, to engineer and build this motor in the UK that is an identical copy of the pair already in-situ at the customers’ plant. We then shipped it to the US to be available for installation. This ensured seamless interchangeability of the spare when required to minimise downtime.”
“Over the last three years we have seen a significant increase in demand for duplicate engineering solutions from across the globe; particularly North and South America due to our ability to deliver legacy replacement electrical rotating machines, to original design drawings,” concluded Jamie Burns, Regional Director. “Many of our customers have legacy motors and generators that would be extremely difficult and costly if not impossible to replace, particularly at short notice. There are a range of machines currently installed within our main industry sectors that were commissioned between the late 70s and mid 90s which are of critical operational importance and are edging towards end of life. Standard replacement products available today from OEMs will either not fit physically or be able to produce the same electrical characteristics as their current machines, so having an exact like for like, which can be a ‘drop in’ solution, reduces risk, time and cost of ownership of the asset in question.”
“Due to our heritage and flexible approach to manufacture we can produce a ‘one-off’ machine to the exact requirements needed, often also delivering an increase in power over the unit it is replacing. Through our success in delivering these solutions, the Quartzelec brand name is now widely recognised as a world leading provider of such unique design and build solutions.
“Our US customers typically operate in the Defence, Oil & Gas/Pet-Chem, Metals and Mining, Waste to Energy and Hydro-generating sectors and we continue to enhance our international reputation for being awarded and delivering, cost effective and practical solutions for a growing portfolio of prestigious projects. Quartzelec is regularly consulted on the maintenance and replacement of critical rotating electrical machines that are either reducing in efficiency or approaching the end of their manufactured lives, but the surrounding plant still has significantly more to deliver over the coming years.”