FREE: TOO SIMPLISTIC?

We received a few protests about our last editorial concerning the state of the industry. Some felt we were being too simplistic in the way we characterized those outside of the major gas turbine OEMs. While these companies may dwarf everyone else, they operate in many different market segments. That may give them an advantage when it comes to size, and corresponding marketing and public relations budgets. But it doesn’t mean others can’t compete effectively. By choosing to be more focused within the turbomachinery field, many are able to maintain healthy market shares by devising more targeted business strategies and investing accordingly.

Others noted that an outpouring of press material does not necessarily equate to business health or even technical proficiency. Certainly technological innovation is necessary, but the proof of a company’s viability is found in the hard and technically demanding work that goes into preparing proposals that offer the most efficient and cost-effective solution for specific projects.

The takeaway from all this is that it’s one thing to make pronouncements from an editor’s ivory tower and quite another to wrap your wits around the many complex and rapidly evolving facets of our diverse industry. Accordingly, you can look forward to more plant visits in the U.S. and around the world. We’ve been doing that over the years, but it’s time to step up our efforts in that regard.

Meanwhile, we have prepared an excellent issue for you to start this new year. Our cover story examines combined cycle maintenance, particularly about how the HRSG may impact outage planning around gas and steam turbines. A major theme in this edition is getting more out of what you already have. One article addresses this from the angle of how to repurpose older GE package power plants such as the MS5001. Another takes up how to gain more power or a better heat rate out of a Rolls-Royce 501-K turbine.

Other features include: shims and their various uses within the oil & gas industry; how to specify large horsepower motors for centrifugal compressors; and a show report from PowerGen 2015 in Las Vegas. That event covered a lot of ground. We couldn’t squeeze it all in, but our lengthy feature discusses fallout from the U.S. EPAs Clean Power Plan, the rise of combined heat and power, the repercussions of recent industry mergers, EPC trends and also coping with the onslaught of renewables.

So that’s our issue. While 2015 was far from the greatest year on record for our industry and 2016 may be off to a slow start for some, it is our wish that this year turns into one that is both happy and prosperous for you all.