Vendor Spotlight: Riverhawk

Published on: 
Turbomachinery Magazine, January/February 2023, Volume 64, Issue 1

Company specializes in hydraulic couplings for turbomachinery

Riverhawk is a manufacturing and engineering firm that’s been in the business for three decades. It is both an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket supplier of stud/bolt tensioning tools, diaphragm, and disk pack couplings, coupling accessories, torque management solutions, and installation tools for the couplings used by OEMs and end users. In addition, it provides custom probes, sensors, seismic transducers, and torque meter systems that measure vibration and displacement.

The company a full service one-stop shop for diaphragm couplings. In addition to supplying a new or replacement coupling, it provides all of the installation tooling for the many different shaft end configurations, such as pushers, ring/plug gages, pump kits, fittings, and more. Beyond new couplings and installation tools, a coupling repair service is also available.

“We also offer numerous shaft end accessories and torque management solutions to improve equipment reliability that can be implemented on couplings manufactured by other couplings suppliers,” said Cal Laclair, Business Development Representative at Riverhawk.

Additionally, Riverhawk offers a large catalog of standard tensioners and related hardware. Those working on GE Frame gas or steam turbines will be familiar with its legacy yellow or the latest enhanced orange guarded tensioners that are designed for load coupling bolts.

Riverhawk specializes in the use of hydraulics. The Hydraulic Shrink Disc is an API 617 compliant coupling accessory. It features clamp technology that replaces traditional hub-to-shaft installation methods. The clamp goes on the outside diameter of the hub that slides onto a shaft with a loose fit. Hydraulic pressure is pumped into the clamp which introduces squeezing force, creating an interference fit. Once the desired interference is achieved, the clamp is held mechanically in place with retention screws and the hydraulic fluid is released back into the pump, securing the hub to shaft.

“The Hydraulic Shrink Disc has been our stand-out offering since its inclusion into the fifth edition of API 617 in high-performance coupling applications,” said Laclair. “It provides a good return on investment in terms of cost, time, and safety.”

The Crosshead Nut is another well-known tensioning product exclusively offered by Riverhawk. A modified version of its traditional Hydraulic Tensioned Nut, the Crosshead Nut was designed as an alternative method of tensioning for the cross-head to piston rod connecting joint within a reciprocating compressor. The hydraulic Crosshead Nut is API 618 compliant and has been used by OEMs since 2010.


“It is a significant upgrade over torque jam nuts or multi-bolt jack nuts due to the use of hydraulics instead of torque to achieve uniform and repeatable loading,” said Cal Laclair, Business Development Representative at Riverhawk.

Laclair noted that the company possesses an entire instrumentation line that is available for customers. Back in the 90s, Riverhawk acquired the Indikon Instrumentation Company and shifted manufacturing and distribution to Upstate New York. Instrumentation product offerings include vibration probes and sensors, seismic transducers, and torque meters systems.

“We also offer numerous shaft end accessories and torque management solutions to improve equipment reliability that can be implemented on couplings manufactured by other couplings suppliers,” said Cal Laclair, Riverhawk.


Crude oil prices have remained high for some time now, with positive implications for certain corners of the turbomachinery industry. According to Laclair, end users are committing to work which was previously put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic with turnaround times and maintenance schedules extended. “With crude oil prices still on the higher end, we foresee not only an increase of business from rescheduled turnarounds, but an increase in capital spending programs lower crude oil prices would not normally support,” he said.

Overall, the coupling business at Riverhawk is doing well. In addition to inspection, repair, and calibration of tooling, Riverhawk offers global onsite maintenance, training, and supervisory services. Examples include the installation and removal for Frame 7 couplings bolts, taper bored hydraulic hubs, and on-site tooling inspection. Its field reps are ready to travel rapidly to anywhere in the world. More field service support offerings are planned for the near future.

Meanwhile, the company is pushing into new geographies to increase its reach. While mostly operating in the oil and gas, petrochemical, and power generation industries, Riverhawk has dipped its toes into automotive, mining, and agriculture.