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Compressor Review: part five

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Hydrocarbon Engineering provides an overview of the most advanced compressor technologies available in the downstream processing industry.


PROGNOST Systems GmbH is a no.1 partner for companies who need to ensure safe, reliable, and economic operation of their rotating equipment. The company is passionate about developing and producing the world’s best monitoring technology.

PROGNOST Systems offers condition monitoring systems and diagnostic services based on over 25 years of experience in recording, analysing and interpreting high frequency health data for rotating equipment. With hundreds of PROGNOST®-NT installations, the company is the most successful supplier of online diagnostic systems for reciprocating compressors. PROGNOST Systems locations in Europe and USA, along with its worldwide partners, guarantee responsive and reliable onsite support.


The systems and services of PROGNOST Systems are based upon many years of technical experience and competence in the acquisition, automated evaluation, and interpretation of condition data for reciprocating machinery.

The advantage of a PROGNOST® system is quantifiable. The company will help customers assess the profitability of a PROGNOST® installation based on individual machine and operation data. In most cases, the purchase price is recovered within just a few months. The company guarantees a realistic review, based on real world data.

The vital role of a machinery protection system to mitigate the risk of serious damages is covered by PROGNOST®-SILver, a certified SIL 2 hardware that provides operators with machine protection analyses that are recognised and proven worldwide. It processes sensor data from up to eight machines, with a maximum of 68 sensors in one monitoring unit. An optional ring buffer allows subsequent root cause analyses after automatic shutdowns.

PROGNOST®-NT is an automated machinery diagnostic system incorporating safety protection and online condition monitoring. It is developed specifically for reciprocating machinery but is also used for different kinds of rotating equipment. It detects impending failures at an early stage and assigns the affected components. Operation critical damages are avoided and maintenance measures can be performed efficiently.

PROGNOST®-Predictor is a true diagnostic system for bearings and gearboxes. Early fault detection allows planning of repairs during scheduled shutdowns, thereby minimising loss of production and avoiding catastrophic damage to critical machinery.


Continuous dialog with more than 100 companies from the oil, gas, chemical, and petrochemical contribute to the ongoing optimisation of our products and services. Customers reward this focused approach with high marks for satisfaction and long standing loyalty.


S.A.T.E. Systems and Advanced Technologies Engineering S.r.l. (Venice, Italy) provides a wide range of dynamic simulation and equipment design review services for the compressors industry, related to centrifugal, axial and reciprocating machines, based on proprietary software suites.

COMPSYS™ allows studying centrifugal and axial flow machines in their interaction with drivers, process plant and controllers. Advanced process thermodynamics, dynamic machine performance mapping, valves and pipelines flow dynamics under compressible regime, gas or steam turbine drivers, constant speed or VSDS electric motor drivers and power supply network dynamics are typical physical phenomena considered by this powerful and qualified suite. COMPSYS allows the analysis of typical transients:

  • Normal and emergency shut downs (ESD).
  • Machine start up sequences (series and parallel).
  • Process changes.
  • Valves or other equipment failure events.

The main outcomes of the studies, under normal and off design dynamic conditions are:

  • Verification of the proper routing and sizing of control lines and valves.
  • Verification for the need and sizing of hot bypass (recirculation) valves.
  • Verification of process and heat exchangers performance.
  • Analysis of controllers stability and remedial to possible instabilities, particularly non-linear.
  • Preliminary tuning of the antisurge, performance and load sharing controls prior to commissioning.
  • Definition and verification of operational procedures for in field testing and machines map verification with real gas operation.

ACUSCOMP™ and ACUSYS® allow studying reciprocating machines installations against acoustic pulsations and flow induced vibrations, according to the most complete approaches foreseen in API 618 (appr. 3) and 674 (appr. 2) standards and the RP 688 guidelines. They simulate, sequentially in the time and in the frequency domains, the compressor cycle and the dynamic response of the processed fluid in plants, considering mutual non-linear interactions between machines and plant, for example:

  • Whole piping acoustic wave propagation and pressure response.
  • In cylinder thermodynamics and dynamic intake/exhaust flow.
  • Compressor valve dynamics, including load step commands.
  • Variable speed drivers.
  • Leakages through piston and rod seals (for model based diagnostics).
  • Critical speeds of variable speed compressors for each piping part (suction, interstage and discharge).
  • 3D shaking forces at piping bends and junctions.

S.A.T.E. provides engineering analyses of pulsation dampeners, piping, heat exchangers and other equipment to worldwide renowned OEMs and oil and gas companies based on API standards and procedures complying with and certified according to ISO-9001-2008 standards.


Planners, system builders and operators from diverse industries such as oil and gas, power, chemicals and petrochemicals have trusted Voith products and intelligent drive solutions and systems for many decades. Why? Because Voith meets all customer demands on equipment and systems in the entire value added chain:

  • Safer processes.
  • Higher product quality.
  • Lower life cycle costs.

The technologies used are more rugged and more reliable than others. For example, the Vorecon variable speed planetary gear reaches a mean time between failures (MTBF) exceeding 48 years. The Vorecon controls the speed of pumps, compressors, and fans in the power range from 6 - 50 MW. The new Vorecon with dual torque converter is the ideal solution for operating points that frequently fall within the speed range of 60 - 90% of maximum speed. It offers very high efficiency even down to the lower speed range and is up to 2 % more efficient than drive systems with a variable frequency drive (VFD) over the entire speed control range. The operator benefits from greater flexibility with regard to operating characteristics and long term planning security. In addition, the Vorecon saves up US$200 000/y in energy costs.

Another example of Voith’s abilities is the BHS integral gear unit. As core component of an integrally geared compressor it is valued by almost all well respected original equipment manufacturers worldwide. The secret behind this appreciation is an optimised system that is created in close cooperation based on Voith’s expertise. Adapted to the specific needs of the application, this type of gearbox runs safely and reliably for several decades in key processes of gas processing plants, petrochemical complexes or refineries. The BHS integral gear unit transmits power of up to 55 MW and the maximum speed is 55 000 rpm. With efficiencies up to 98.5% for multi pinion and 99.2% for single pinion designs BHS integral gear units outrival other providers, thus ensuring a high return on investment for every user. Flexible for every driver option, the plant operator can use the energy source that is available at its best onsite. This has been proven more than 2000 times since 1970.

Voith Turbo, a Group Division of Voith GmbH, is a specialist for intelligent drive solutions and systems. Customers from highly diverse industries such as oil and gas, energy, mining and metal processing, mechanical engineering, ship technology, rail and commercial vehicles rely on advanced technologies from Voith Turbo.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials and transportation and automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs almost 39 000 people, generates €5.3 billion in sales, operates in approximately 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family owned companies in Europe.

An extract from the Compressor Review, which featured in the August 2015 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering.

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