Q&A with John Parrish of Howden Americas

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Centrifugal compressors, steam turbines, and digitalization

John Parrish, Senior Vice President for Compressors at Howden Americas, details his company’s history, its product set and ongoing trends.[/caption]

Tell our readers briefly about Howden.

Howden has more than 160 years of experience in the market, as well as global resources that can provide a strong local footprint. We partner with EPCs when they are engineering or doing a feed study, system providers that incorporate our products into their offerings, and end users looking for a discrete compressed gas need or OEM aftermarket support.

What fans and blowers do you offer?

We offer a wide range of fans including Aerofoil, Alphair, American Fan, Centropal l, Covent, Garden City, Donkin, Rotorique l, Technopal and ExVel l Turbo fans. We also offer Roots rotary lobe blowers and Donkin centrifugal blowers.

How about compressors?

On the compressor side, we offer: Howden twin screw compressors; Burtin Corblin diaghragm compressors; Howden Thomassen reciprocating compressors; Roots single- and multi-stage centrifugal compressors; Kuhnle, Kopp & Kaush single - and multi-stage centrifugal compressors; and Howden High Speed Turbo Compressors. Howden centrifugal products range from centrifugal and axial fan offerings to low-horsepower, high-speed turbocompressors on permanent magnet bearings and single-shaft, multi-stage compressors, and everything in between. In addition, Howden is know for its screw compressors. We serve markets such as oil & gas upstream and downstream, refining, petrochemical, chemical, power generation, wastewater, and various industrial applications.

How about your steam turbines?

We provide Kuhnle, Kopp, and Kaush steam turbines. These are available in sizes up to 12 MW. They have a modular design enabling performance optimization for various applications. We recently introduced our new Base drive turbine which is an API-compliant driver for fan, pump and compressor applications. Markets we serve in the steam turbine arena include chemical, petrochemical, refining, food & beverage, manufacturing, steel, utilities, and pulp & paper.

What is Howden evolving via digital technology?

Working in partnership with leaders in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), we can provide solutions that go beyond condition monitoring and data analysis to optimize the performance of equipment and processes. These systems provide insight into rotating equipment operation. Our interfaces and apps can be used by engineers while working on rotating equipment. Augmented reality solutions, for example, supply an enhanced view of the equipment and its place in the process. At the same time, critical data and trends are presented in real-time so that optimal performance is achievable.

What digital solutions are currently available?


The Howden Uptime digital platform gathers, interprets, and analyzes data. It enables smart connected products in plants, focusing on the right data to optimize operational performance. It provides real-time analysis, advice, recommendations, informed decision making, alerts for approaching failures or needed part replacements, instant access to equipment documentation, and direct connection with Howden experts.

Remote Assistance utilizes Vuforia Chalk, a PTC technology that combines Augmented Reality with real-time communications to connect remote product experts to on-site field technicians. This brings field service and product experts closer together to solve complex or unfamiliar challenges without the time and expense of travel.

Howden Select lets you choose various software programs for screw compressors (process gas and refrigeration applications) and cooling fans.

Engineering Suite is a physics-based software package to model, simulate, analyze, and control the performance of process systems. It demonstrates how systems and processes behave in real-time in actual environments.

Ventsim Design software is a 3D ventilation solution. User create a 3D model of tunnels, shafts, and raises using existing 3D drawings. They can simulate and animate airflow and fan behavior in real-time and analyze mine ventilation within a visual environment.

Ventsim Control is a mine ventilation solution, including data analytics tools. Uses can change mine ventilation to fit working schedules and real-time operations. Fan speed is automatically reduced or increased or switched on and off according to shift changes or planned events such as blasting and position of vehicles and personnel.

What trends have you observed in the compressor marketplace?

As well as the IIoT trend, we continue to see compressors speeds increase with the introduction of new and better materials. Controls also play a larger part in the decision process and many compressor OEMs are increasing their capability either organically or via acquisition.

How about the aftermarket?

A large amount of technical expertise is retiring, so our customer base relies more on us to support them. We see an ever-increasing need for rapid response. Decision making has to be rapid to respond, solve problems, and get equipment back up and running with a minimal amount of lost downtime.

What does Howden have in the pipeline?

We just redesigned our EasyAir Rotary factory package for lower noise and enhanced controls. We shipped our first units this summer. Additionally, we launched our EasyAir Turbo machine in Asia and Europe and will be introducing the Americas model late this fall.

For the turbine market, we introduced our CBA drive turbine. This is an API677/614 Curtis-Impeller Between Axial (CBA) mechanical drive, with speeds up to 9000rpm, offering a power range of 670-2682HP. ■