Oil & gas market, customization vs standardization...Elliott's R&D director weighs in

What are the R&D areas you have outlined for Elliott? For compressors, steam turbines, expanders as well as auxiliaries and control systemsElliott Group has a new, state-of-the-art R&D Center and an active, ongoing R&D program that strives to continuously improve upon existing products and develop new products for our customers. Our customers in the energy sector demand superior products for their challenging applications. To meet their needs, we have initiated several multi-million dollar new product development efforts in the areas of centrifugal compressors, steam turbines, and cryogenic pumps that will generate significant improvements in the areas of performance, operability, and reliability.

How much of custom engineering do you think is required for the future as opposed to standardization?With the widespread adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies and modern engineering analysis tools, the future of turbomachinery design lies in customization of machinery for customer specific application.  This customization of each machine for its desired operating conditions allows for a product with maximum efficiency, range, and life.  While standardization was the traditional driver toward reduced manufacturing costs, with advanced design tools and 3-D manufacturing technology, this approach is overly simplistic and often results in machines that are less than optimal for a given application. Based on our  customers’ very exacting process requirements and specific operating conditions, Elliott custom designs compressors, turbines, pumps, and expanders with the optimal efficiency and range for the application while maintaining the robustness needed for a long service life.

How do you look at the various market segments that Elliott serves in terms of location and geography and what technological areas you would like to focus to serve those markets?Elliott has a diverse customer base, a large, global installed base, and service centers located throughout the world.  We are currently seeing a geographically broad resurgence of the oil & gas market in all of our turbomachinery market segments.  In the mid to long term, we expect that the refinery, LNG, petrochemical, and liquefied gas industries will perform well, and we are making sure that our product offering aligns with these trends.

Elliott has a large installed base of highly engineered turbomachinery across the world. Do you intend to look at the aftermarket too?The aftermarket and Elliott’s service offering is a critical piece of our R&D program. Within Elliott, we strongly believe that we must support our clients with advanced technology and engineered solutions that allow them to optimize their existing machinery for safety, performance, and efficiency.

Would your focus be on roduct development or introducing new products for Elliott?Elliott has a long history of firsts in the turbomachinery industry and we are planning to build on this legacy with novel products for a wide range of turbomachinery markets.  Elliott is known for its pioneering spirit and innovative products.  We continue to be committed to this spirit and are currently initiating several large-sale R&D efforts to develop exciting new products for the energy industry.