Maintaining the standard

Published:  05 September, 2014

ODEE spoke with Kenny McKenzie, RWG’s Avon business manager, about how this leading OEM sets out to provide the best possible maintenance, repair and overhaul service for its customers.

Rolls Wood Group (Repair & Overhauls) is a leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services to operators of Rolls-Royce industrial aero-derivative gas generators in the global oil & gas, power generation, and marine propulsion industries. One recent customer example is that Rolls Wood Group Ltd. and Maersk Oil have agreed on a General Service Contract covering on- and offshore service work on equipment for Maersk Oil’s platforms in the Danish sector of the North Sea.

Housing the latest diagnostic equipment, the RWG Avon workshop is capable of handling in excess of 130 engines per year. The company’s facilities are complemented by a certified Test Bed, and are backed-up by state-of-the-art streamline repair capability, engineers trained to national accredited standards, a large inventory of Avon spare parts, and the availability of an Avon dedicated support fleet ensures that the repair and overhaul service is optimised to the benefit of the operator.

Kenny McKenzie, RWG’s Avon business manager, commented that the Avon engine is proven in all climates and environments, and has one of the best track records for reliability and durability. “It is used globally for a variety of duties within the oil and gas process and electrical generation industries for continuous running and intermittent operation, and offers key benefits such as long service life, rapid and reliable starting, high reliability and availability, a choice of fuels, and remote control facilities,” he said.

Driving cost out of the repair and overhaul process

In terms of the technologies used to maintain the Avon engines, McKenzie remarks that one of RWG’s key value-added differentiators in terms of market-approved repair and maintenance facilities is its Component Repair and Technology Division in Aberdeen. “This adds significant value for us as a company, as well as providing many tangible benefits for our customers globally,” he said. “In some cases some 40% of the repair schemes we deploy are proprietary to RWG. Using our advanced technologies we are often able to extend the efficient useable life-cycle of that part. This allows us to drive cost out of the repair and overhaul process; increasing the value for customers. It also means that we can in many instances substantially reduce the time the engine is in our custody. This is another benefit for customers, as turnaround time is, of course, quite critical in order to maximise operational uptime.”

McKenzie stresses it is critical that any gas turbine engine is maintained correctly. “Premature failure can cause all kinds of disturbances and possible loss of production for the operator,” he said. “Therefore, it is vitally important that the operational availability and durability is maximised wherever possible.” Specifically, McKenzie explained that some of the common causes of failure on generators include bearing failure – whether in terms of small ancillary bearings within the accessories, or a mainline bearing – wear and tear on the seals, and also foreign object damage (FOD). He added that there are also potential combustion related issues such as thermal distress. “All these issues can occur at any time under certain conditions,” said McKenzie.

In terms of maintenance intervals, McKenzie pointed out that it is not uncommon for an Avon engine to be in an environment where borescope inspections can be carried out and preventative maintenance and overhaul procedures undertaken every 4000 hours; which normally works out to be a bi-annual event. He added that some customers will choose to run their engines for 8000 hours, which can typically amount to around a full year of operational service before contacting us. “It really depends on where the equipment is being operated and under what environmental conditions,” he explained.

In terms of why many leading end users choose to rely on RWG for their maintenance, repair and overhaul regimes, McKenzie reflected that RWG is a leading OEM JV for the upkeep of engines in markets such as offshore oil and gas. “Companies recognise that we can turn the engines round very quickly, and they know they will be receiving genuine Rolls-Royce parts,” he said. “Installing genuine spare parts is the best way of protecting against premature failures.”

Working within the timeframe

As well as ensuring the performance and reliability of the engines is maintained to the highest standard, McKenzie considers that one of the main challenges in RWG’s business is completing all necessary maintenance, repair and overhaul work within the specific timeframe agreed with the customer. Also, because lifecycle costs in the offshore oil and gas industry today can involve considerable expenditure, McKenzie points out that RWG needs to ensure it adheres to the customer’s allocated budget.

McKenzie explained that, in addition to the more regular maintenance and testing procedures that are undertaken, RWG can also incorporate some key modifications within the engines design for increased integrity and reliability within the combustion and turbine sections. He added that RWG also can apply some protective coatings on the compressor section in order to best protect the compressor and ensure maximum longevity of operation. “These coatings are our own proprietary product and are fully OEM-approved,” he said. “We always aim to tailor the scope of work to the specific customer’s needs, taking into consideration the type of environment the generator operates in.”

Mark Forsyth, industrial & marine business director of RWG, added: “Offshore operators demand high reliability and minimum downtime of essential production assets. RWG can make regular inspections of this critical equipment and carry out product improvements recommended by the OEM.”

Rolls Wood Group

Rolls Wood Group (Repair & Overhauls) is a joint venture between Wood Group and Rolls-Royce plc, and provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services to operators of Rolls-Royce industrial aero-derivative gas generators in the global oil & gas, power generation, and marine propulsion industries. With over 500 staff at its facilities in Aberdeen, Scotland; Houston, Texas; and Joint Venture Rolls Wood OTEC in Malaysia, Rolls Wood Group is a world market leader for the repair and overhaul of Rolls-Royce industrial gas generators and power turbines, providing unrivalled service facilities and global support. RWG’s reputation for the highest quality standards in the industry is maintained through continuous investment in training and certification, competence and quality assurance. During its 24 years, Rolls Wood Group has developed its own dedicated training facility which offers complete training packages such as a modern apprenticeship training programme. This programme is registered and accredited through the National Authorities to ensure practices conform to national occupational standards.

Last issue

View the last issue here.

View the past issue archive here.