Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (MRPL) and Howden have been working in association since 1993; during which time Howden engineers have regularly visited the refinery to ensure that the C25-2 reciprocating compressor was operating in the most effective way possible.
During one such visit in 2011, it became apparent that the compressor was suffering from excessive wear to the piston and rider rings, as well as to the liner of the accompanying 2nd stage cylinder.
This represented a massive problem to MRPL, resulting in decreased operational efficiency and on-going replacements to worn out components; costing time and money.
In response to this challenge, Howden initiated a performance upgrade study, using actual process data, to firstly understand the correlation between the relatively high temperatures experienced and the excessive wear of the identified parts, and then to recommend a solution which would significantly improve the meantime between maintenance (MTBM) in a clear and costed manner.
This study concluded that there was no singular cause, and that two major influencers were resulting in the excessive wear; insufficient lubrication to the cylinder and high process gas temperatures. This required corrective action and Howden recommended the innovative coated liner solution.
This was the most effective solution for MRPL due to the fact that steel coated liners have a higher resistance to corrosion and an improved thermal conductivity, a feature not traditionally supported by ni-resist liners. This corrosion resistance is achieved by coating the liner with a high density chemical layer, ensuring the demands of MRPL’s heavily corrosive hydrocarbon gas mixture (Mw of 57) were understood and fully supported.
Combined with these features, the coating was able to reduce the mechanical friction of associated materials like the piston and rider rings and thus reduce the overall wear; increasing the operational efficiency of the compressor, saving MRPL time and money on regular replacement parts and improving the MTBM.
MRPL were delighted with this solution and are now benefiting from the improved operational performance.
We have developed a highly methodical, structured approach when upgrading technology. Decades of experience has shown us that our performance upgrades provide an enormously cost effective route to reduced operating expenditure, extend working life and lower total cost of ownership.
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