Frame 6 Users Group expands the value proposition of participation

The need to do more with less should not surprise anyone in the electric-power business these days. Even user groups are putting the pedal to the metal to help make a new generation of engineers and technicians productive more quickly than, perhaps, ever before in peacetime.

Gone is the time when new employees primarily learned “on the job.” That training regimen doesn’t work with today’s small staffs. And it’s the rare employer that’s going to send someone off for a month-long training program given the expense. Also, who’s going to do the work when the trainee is gone?

John F D Peterson

The steering committee of the Frame 6 Users Group recognizes this and has integrated a 6B-frame-specific course on engine design, operation, and maintenance into the organization’s annual meeting for the first time this year. The discussion leader is the eminently qualified John F D Peterson (photo), one of the founders of the user group with more than three decades of relevant engine experience.

The half-day course, Monday afternoon, June 11 (the day before the conference begins), will be fast-paced and conducted in four sessions of about 50 minutes each, with short breaks between them. Each attendee will receive a course workbook with descriptions of components, definitions of technical terms specific to the 6B, a listing of common operational and maintenance issues, etc. This document will be an invaluable aid for the meeting and in the plant afterwards.

Here’s a summary of the subject matter included in the course:

    • Design history of the Frame 6B.

    • Performance characteristics.

    • Instrumentation, controls, and protection.

    • Generator issues.

    • Review of “The “Green” Books,” including schematics, alarm list, etc.

    • Glossary of 6B jargon.

    • Failure mechanisms (low- and high-cycle fatigue, creep rupture, oxidation, etc) and modifications made to key components since the engine’s introduction.

    • Typical maintenance scopes for HGP and major inspections and how intervals are determined.

    • What to expect in the upcoming user sessions, vendor fair, and GE Day.

Anyone who knows John Peterson will tell you this session alone is worth the conference registration fee. Few know as much about this frame as he does.

Another benefit of participation in this group is access to engine-focused webinars between annual meetings. This helps keep users engaged throughout the year. The first such webinar, held in early March, focused on repairs technologies and lessons learned. More webinars will be conducted going forward.

Attendee profile. Frame 6B gas turbines are the heart of many cogeneration systems, and the O&M personnel responsible for them are a breed apart from most users the editors meet at industry meetings. The typical 6B user is a highly experienced “lifer” responsible for keeping steam flowing from his or her cogen facility to one or more process units.

The lives of 6B owner/operators rarely are controlled by a grid contract, by the need to “fill in” around must-take renewables, or by power prices. In their world, electricity is simply a byproduct of steam production, a world where an empty steam pipe means you might well be looking for employment elsewhere tomorrow.

Such a challenging environment is conducive to a practical solutions-driven mindset. It’s not news that some cogen-plant owners consider power production a “necessary evil” and keep O&M budgets lean, opting to spend on process facilities first. Their belief is that end-product investments will produce a better return—at least until a gas turbine is forced out of service.

Adding to the financial challenge is that many cogen facilities are not supported by a corporate engineering staff, and instead rely heavily on the talents of very-capable deck-plates personnel. The Frame 6 Users Group contributes to success by providing a “technical solutions lifeline” for its membership and the reason many of these people continue to attend meetings year after year—some since the group was founded 30 years ago.

Agenda. Meetings begin on Monday evenings with a welcome reception and dinner. Tuesday is reserved for open discussion sessions among users, plus presentations by owner/operators and invited providers of equipment and services. It concludes with a vendor fair that runs from 5 pm until 8:30—a long day. Wednesday is GE Day. Thursday morning (the formal meeting concludes at noon) has the same format as Tuesday.

Sessions on Tuesday and Thursday are dedicated to presentations and open discussion on safety, auxiliaries, generators and excitation systems, I&C, compressor section, combustion section, and turbine section.

2018 Conference and Vendor Fair

Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla 

June 11 to 14


Steering Committee

Co-Chair: Jeff Gillis, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co
Co-Chair: Sam Moots, Colorado Energy Management

James C Rawls, BASF-Geismar Site
Brian Walker, Foster Wheeler Martinez Inc
Mike Wenschlag, Chevron Global Power
Zahi A Youwakim, Huntsman Petrochemical


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