Houston, TX (PRWEB) January 20, 2014
After more than three years since the first installation, Greene, Tweed’s AFB assembly for ACHE (air-cooled heat exchanger) fans remains successfully running in the field. The AFB assembly is a turn-key upgrade for the upper roller bearing on ACHE fans in refineries, chemical plants, and power generation facilities. Historically, MTBF (mean time between failure) for these bearings is 12-20 months. Since installation of the first AFB assembly in June 2010, service life has been extended to 42 months delivering a projected plant-wide savings of $3.4 million over five years.
ACHEs are a common fixture in hydrocarbon and chemical processing plants. By forcing air through a heat exchanger with a fan, they function to cool essential process fluids. The roller bearing supporting the fan shaft of the ACHE has typically experienced a very short service life due to the harsh operating environment. And when a bearing fails, it can cause a plant shutdown with potential losses of up to 25% of refining capacity. In addition, repair requires that the fan unit be disassembled, taking two to three days and costing up to $20,000 per incident. Repair also poses a safety risk to personnel as they must operate heavy equipment at great heights and in high heat.
Greene, Tweed’s AFB assembly was designed with the goals of simplifying the repair process and extending service life once installed. Featuring a patent-pending split design, the assembly consists of a WR®600 thermoplastic composite sleeve contained in a universal metallic housing. The split design eliminates the need to disassemble the fan unit during replacement, reducing repair time from two to three days to less than four hours. In addition, the WR600 sleeve enables dry-run capability, while the non-contact bearing design minimizes wear for a longer service life. The result is an overall reduction in the life cycle cost of ACHE fans through reduced maintenance, faster repair, and fewer plant shutdowns.
Greene, Tweed installed its first AFB assembly in June 2010 at a major refinery in Texas. As of December 2013, it has been in service for 42 months. Subsequent installations in Texas and Louisiana are experiencing the same success; all have been running for over two years. Shafts have varied from 2 7/16’’ to 2 15/16’’, but the company states it can accommodate any size. It can also fulfill rush orders in emergency situations, with a turnaround of approximately one week.
Greene, Tweed leverages expertise in a variety of markets and products to give customers the most innovative solutions to meet performance challenges and reduce total cost of operation. With fully qualified engineering, sales and support personnel located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, Greene, Tweed delivers solutions to individual customer applications on a global scope. Greene, Tweed products are sold and distributed worldwide. For additional information, contact Greene, Tweed at +1.215.256.9521 or visit our website at http://www.gtweed.com.