Frame 6 Users plan online program after canceling 2020 meeting, recognize Brian Walker and Glendive Power Plant with awards

What a difference a couple of years can make.

It wasn’t long ago that the Frame 6 Users Group could be defined by the phrase “business as usual.” The steering committee had remained the same for many years, as did the core attendee base and conference organizer. The meeting format essentially was “etched in stone.”

So was the program content, to some degree, because the 6B is a familiar GE gas turbine in cogeneration systems at process plants where staff typically is challenged to keep legacy assets operating on a low O&M budget, often without the support of a corporate engineering staff.  The presentations and discussions at annual meetings provided know-how and proven solutions to help achieve that goal.

In 2020, Jeff Gillis, a senior engineering advisor at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co, continues to chair the group, supported by veteran steering committee members

J C Rawls, technology engineer in BASF-Geismar’s utilities department; Mike Wenschlag, Chevron Global Power, El Segundo refinery; and Zahi Youwakim, utility plant engineer, Huntsman Petrochemical.

Robert B Chapman Sr, turbine repair engineer for Chevron Maintenance & Planning Execution, joined the committee two years ago. More recently, Kevin Campbell, a cogeneration specialist at the El Segundo refinery, and Kevin Bovia, a mechanical reliability engineer at BASF-Geismar, were added to the roster.

They replaced Geoff Kret of Total Petrochemicals USA, Sam Moots of Colorado Energy Management, and Brian Walker of Foster Wheeler Martinez Inc, whose corporate responsibilities had changed, plus Atlantic Power Corp’s John Vermillion, whose sudden, untimely passing deeply affected all who knew him.

Wickey Elmo of Goose Creek Systems, who managed the user group’s activities for several years, retired at the end of the 2016 conference and was replaced by the incumbent Greg Boland, who has recently introduced a Frame 5 Users Group that will co-locate at future face-to-face conferences.

Perhaps the biggest hiccup in the group’s three-decades-plus of service to the industry was the need to cancel the 2020 Conference and Vendor Fair because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some online sessions in the planning stage will help keep owner/operators current on fleet developments. Details will be posted on the Frame 6 website when they become available.

What follows is a report based on presentations and discussions conducted at the 2019 meeting at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa, Calif, June 10-13, where Brian Walker received the 2019 John F D Peterson Award from Chairman Gillis, and the award’s namesake, for his many years of outstanding service to the Frame 6 community. Walker came up through the trades, accumulating more than two decades of experience in E/I&C work prior to his appointment as maintenance manager and HSSE coordinator at the Foster Wheeler Martinez combined-cycle cogeneration facility in Northern California.

Sean Bonato of Montana Dakota Utilities Co also accepted an award from Gillis, this one commemorating 40 years of operation by the industry’s first Frame 6 (MS6431A), installed at MDU’s Glendive Power Plant. Commissioning was July 15, 1979. The Glendive Frame 6, rated 41 MW according to Platts data, shares the site with a 43-MW LM6000. Both are dual-fuel capable, says Platts.

2019 Frame 6 Users Group Recap (Quick Links)

USER SESSIONS

The Frame 6 value proposition

Safety Roundtable: Reliable alarms critical to personnel safety

Checklist of safety TILs and PSSBs affecting 6B gas turbines

Auxiliaries Roundtable: A potpourri of discussion topics

I&C Roundtable: Control-system upgrade generates much discussion

Compressor Roundtable: Should you retain or remove inlet silencers?

Best Practices Roundtable: A hit in its first year

Boiler efficiency controller improves performance through process automation

Plant equipment meeting expectations? Check the performance dashboard

User presentations get high marks from attendees: High wheel-space temps, exhaust-plenum replacement, rotor life extension

VENDOR SESSIONS

Case history: Effects of cyclic duty on air-cooled generators by AGTServices

PSM: Rotor repair and lifetime extension solutions

OEM SESSION

GE Day allows the OEM to address user concerns in a classroom setting or informal one-on-one

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