Celebrating the supply chain

Published on: 
Turbomachinery Magazine, May/June 2021,

Our Editor-in-Chief, Drew Robb, dedicates the May/June issue to the many component and auxiliary system vendors that form the turbomachinery supply chain.

In just about every field of endeavor, it appears that only a few receive the glory, earn the accolades, generate the headlines, and remain in the spotlight. In Hollywood, the leading actors are firmly in the limelight. Yet just look at the credits at the end of any movie to see how many hundreds or even thousands of people contribute. Each one of them represents a vital element of the movie-making process.
It’s the same in automotive. Prime-time news stories feature the latest Tesla, Lexus, or BMW models. But what about the new clutch that revolutionized gear shifting? The heat recovery system that increased battery life? The bolting arrangement that simplified engine maintenance? They might merit a slight mention at best. Yet these improvements are the ingredients that add up to a higher performing vehicle, greater safety, improved fuel efficiency, and more.
And so it is in turbomachinery. A rapid review of the listings in our annual Turbomachinery Handbook reveals hundreds of suppliers, service providers, and manufacturers. Some provide repairs, maintenance, and vital services. Others offer the components that lie at the heart of turbines and compressors, or the auxiliary systems that are integral to smooth operation.
It is to these component and auxiliary system vendors that this issue is dedicated. Our cover story provides a glimpse into their operations. We sampled companies from various parts of the supply chain to hear their views on the latest trends, how they are coping with the pandemic, how 2021 is shaping up compared to last year, and new developments. The good news is that most are experiencing a healthier year.
In keeping with our theme, we have articles about expanders in gas processing, a couple of interesting pieces detailing advances in bearing design, and a story on the value of upgrading inlet air cooling systems. In addition, a contributed article tackles upgrades for aging steam turbines.
The Vendor Spotlight shines on Elliott Group. You can read about its many products, particularly about the company’s expertise in customizing centrifugal compressors for oil & gas applications. Our Q & A column comes from Sundyne; as well as providing information on its compressors and pumps, it outlines observed trends, how its responding to hydrogen compression, and its plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
Further columns take up additive manufacturing (AM) and piping loads related to turbomachinery. The Myth Busters have an interesting take on AM (a.k.a. 3D printing). They believe the technology falls within a relatively narrow band of application, and that the excitement around its possibilities must be balanced by a firm understanding of its limitations. Our Turbo Tips column delves into the piping that makes up many of the auxiliary systems surrounding turbines and compressors. Piping and nozzle loads don’t always receive the attention they deserve. This column aims to change that.

New Website
In other news, our website has received a facelift. Open turbomachinerymag.com in your browser and tell us what you think of the new format.
Lastly, we have big plans for a series of webinars covering the latest trends and developments in gas turbines, compressors, maintenance, and repair. Stay tuned for more details. ■