Every year brings new projects, new customers, and interesting challenges for the team here at Power Zone. Like many companies, we are always looking to expand our knowledge and deliver more efficiently for each client that we serve. Documentation is an important factor and sharing projects give both customers and partners a deeper understanding of our capabilities and processes.
Centrifugal Pumps & Electric Motors
One of our larger packaged pump system projects this year consisted of (4) electric driven centrifugal pumps for a pipeline in Oklahoma. The pumps needed to be driven by four electric motors, including (3) 3000 HP electric motors and (1) 5250 HP electric motor, and were supplied to a midstream oil and gas company for a crude oil pipeline.
First Time Customer Requirements & Communication
For these types of orders a customer will often visit our website and identify specific units they require but more often a customer inquiries with a set point, not necessarily with a specific pump in mind. This requires lengthy communication between our team and the customers to establish specific requirements. Being that this order was coming from a first time customer it required not only establishing which equipment they would need to buy, matching their specifications, it would also require laying out our engineering capabilities and project documentation process.
Expectations & Lead Times on Large Pump & Motor Orders
Lead times are often a crucial part of the decision making process for customers. In this case the customer needed a full turn key solution in a very short lead time. While this type of order is a large investment for the customer, ensuring their pipeline is fully operational and on schedule is the central focus. Knowing when the equipment would be prepared, shipped, and put into service was vital to securing the order. This particular order was spread out over about 12 months. Power Zone often supplies units similar to these in 14 weeks or less.
Project Challenges & Solutions
Like nearly all large scale orders this particular project had unique challenges including during the equipment rebuilding phase. An example was the 5250 hp unit required Power Zone to source new impeller castings and machine them so they fit into the pump. Hydraulic engineering had to be re-done on the pump, and modifications to the case were needed in order to avoid vane pass vibration issues, while still meeting the setpoint.
Additionally, this was the largest test that our Power Zone Test Facility has handled to date. To make the test possible required expansion and upgrades to our in house power generation system, as well as other upgrades to the piping system in order to handle the high flow rate.
The Team, The System
These types of complex projects require an entire Power Zone team. Engineering and testing took extra imagination, and our senior engineer Trevor Toews was instrumental in both challenges. Our advisory team worked closely with the customer to understand their set points and expectations. Our designers and mechanics worked closely with our engineering team to ensure every required process was followed.
Making it Happen
One obstacle with short lead times is other projects don’t stop. In this case, not only were we on a deadline but it also required us to upgrade our facility. While facilitating this order for our new customer we had several pipeline pumping projects going and took on more during the order. This is where experience kicks in. Over 30 professionals in our staff have spent years involved in preparing orders for crude oil pipeline projects giving us efficiency, insight, and most importantly confidence as a team we can deliver.
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