THE DEPOTS: ANZGT, TCT, IHI, MTU

ANZGT

It’s been an interesting assignment for Air New Zealand Gas Turbines to reflect on its affiliation with WTUI and provide a brief historical account of that relationship. My first reaction was to delegate this assignment until reminded that I had been representing our company at the conference since 1993. Garry Oliver, my boss back then, attended the first two conferences in 1991 and 1992.

Garry and I were heavily involved in managing and supporting Air New Zealand’s aircraft maintenance—specifically, overhaul and repair of the GE CF6-80 and RB211-524 engines. At that time, the Marine & Industrial section was a very small operation compared to the aircraft engines division. Prior to being drawn into the M&I business, I couldn’t understand why Garry and a small team of about six shop-floor mechanics were so passionate and dedicated to it.

My first WTUI conference in San Diego (1993) changed all that. I was more than happy to leave the so-called glamor of the aviation world and start a career working in an industry that was developing rapidly. Most impressive to me was the efforts of the dedicated people involved—their can-do attitude to resolving the technical issues on the LM2500 and LM5000 gas turbines that both the OEM and the users were grappling with at the time.

Since its inception, WTUI has provided a forum for the Air New Zealand team to exchange technical information and experience, to meet users and owners face-to-face and build on relationships that, in many cases, have lasted over 25 years.

Another very satisfying facet of WTUI for the Air New Zealand team has been the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with the many GE people and other independent vendors that support the industry. A unique outcome of the conference for ANZGT participants has been the way the relationships among the GE independent authorised depots have developed.

It would be fair to say that through the 1990s the independent depots took a side-line role at the conference, had little technical input in the breakout sessions, and were there to primarily promote service offerings to the customer base. We were “booth dwellers” as once described to me by one of WTUI’s iconic personalities, Brian Hulse.

One of the most significant developments for Air New Zealand Gas Turbines and its ability to contribute to the WTUI conference in a much wider sense came in 2003. The board of directors invited the depots to coordinate and facilitate the technical breakout sessions at the conference. Success hinged on a collaborative effort among MTU, TCT, IHI, and ANZGT.

Inviting four fiercely competitive companies to come together in this way could have been a recipe for disaster; however, the opposite occurred. The desire of each of the depots’ leaders and teams to do what was right for WTUI by sharing collaboratively with conference attendees their technical knowledge and experience was agreed to unanimously.

From Air New Zealand Gas Turbines’ point of view, this collaboration has been a major feature of the conference, defined by the unique relationships among the depots, GE, WTUI, and the owner/operators of LM engines. It has never compromised the ability of the depots to promote their services, ensure fair competition, and maintain their very high standards of technical expertise.

The Air New Zealand team has always come to the conference proud of the culture and personality of the New Zealand people, “the Kiwis” from down under. We have always respected the diverse spectrum of people and cultures that attend the conference. This has always made WTUI “special.” Air New Zealanders have always felt welcome and valued participants.

The people from the industry who have volunteered to take positions on the board and other roles to ensure the WTUI conference continues to operate and prosper are held in very high regard by us. Air New Zealand Gas Turbines can attribute much of its success, growth, and development over the past 25 years to its association with the WTUI and the users who support it.

On behalf of all the Air New Zealanders who have attended, supported, and contributed to WTUI conferences over the past 25 years, I thank all the board members, organizers, volunteers, owners, and operators who have given their time, and in many cases their business, to us and the other depots.

To close it is important for me personally, and on behalf of Air New Zealand, to thank GE for its support over the years. Air New Zealand Gas Turbines has never underestimated the value of this support; it has underpinned the strength of our technical expertise and knowledge.

From all of us at Air New Zealand Gas Turbines: Long live WTUI!

John Callesen, Manager, Air New Zealand Gas Turbines

TCT

TransCanada Turbines Ltd’s (TCT) association with Western Turbine Users Inc dates back almost to the time of its formation in 1998 as a joint venture between Wood Group Gas Turbines and TransCanada PipeLines Ltd.

TCT was approached by the WTUI leadership team in 2001 to help support the technical sessions at is annual conference. This created an unprecedented joint-venture atmosphere among the largest Authorized Service Providers (ASPs) in the LM market. Despite competing globally against each other on a daily basis, TCT worked alongside its competitors to share, document, and prepare technical material for the LM users.

After months of collaboration, in 2002 Dale Goehring led the way for TCT at Western Turbine, presenting on what the ASPs were seeing in the fleet and what operators could do to address/prevent those issues. Prior to that time, attendees were accustomed to seeing the OEM on-stage presenting the technical material.

In 2002, attendees were exposed to a radical change in conference format: Competing ASPs were standing shoulder to shoulder to share their collective knowledge with the users. This both embraced the spirit of WTUI, to share know-how and experiences, and helped to solidify the meeting as a truly technical environment focused on the long-term benefits of the equipment and its users.

At the 2007 meeting in Phoenix, Goehring began transitioning TCT’s technical presentations to Steve Willard. The following year, Willard took on the role as the company’s presenter full-time; he has been a significant part of the WTUI conference since. During (and even after) the meetings, he is always willing to sit down with users and expand on any past, current, or new LM issues, and work with owner/operators to resolve their concerns.

In 2011, the ASPs joined together once again to introduce a joint hospitality event. It was so well received by the membership, the “depot evening” has continued as an annual tradition.

Through its 13 years of participation at WTUI conferences, TCT has established itself as a respected services provider in the LM market, as evidenced by the support it provides customers and by the growing support it gets from the LM users. TCT knows a job will be successful when no one is hurt and it is done correctly.

Capabilities. TCT is the only independent aeroderivative repair and overhaul service provider in the world licensed by both General Electric and Rolls Royce. With 17 years of industry experience, TCT provides reliable support for the LM2500, LM2500+, and LM6000, as well as RR’s Avon and RB211 product lines.

In 2011, TCT opened a state-of-the-art 220,000 ft² custom depot in Airdrie, Alta (just north of Calgary) to continue providing first-class service that consistently exceeds customer expectations.

The new facility introduced a cellular-based process flow system that allows for quicker inductions and more efficient turn times through the use of 18 overhead cranes, nine balance machines, an automated cleaning line, and expansion of in-house component repair technologies. To better serve customers, TCT also has invested significantly in a large pool of assets for rotable exchange (including engines and a variety of modules).

Over the years, TCT has established several Level 2 facilities—including Bakersfield, Houston, Syracuse, and Cumbernauld, UK. All four Level 2 facilities are equipped with Level 1 and 2 field tooling. The Level 2 facilities are also the bases for our 50 TCT-employed and OEM-trained field service technicians.

TCT operates its Package Power Parts business from each branch facility. This division is able to provide parts sales, service, and technical guidance to almost any location worldwide. It stocks a large inventory of LM2500 and LM6000 spare parts for both turbines and power packages.

Prior to returning engines to customers after a shop visit, TCT conducts performance tests at its Calgary test center. In 2013, TCT expanded its engine testing facility to better support the LM6000PA, PB, PC, PD, and PF engine lines locally. The new facility offers emissions mapping and monitoring services and serves as the base of operations for Canadian Field Service teams. Should customers not be at the test facility during their engine’s overhaul, TCT offers online remote test witnessing, as well as recording and playback options.

Finally, TCT is proud to be a part of the 25-yr history of the Western Turbine Users conference and it looks forward to supporting the group in the years ahead.

IHI

IHI was established in 1853, during the dawn of the modern age in Japan. Today, it has many diverse businesses serving a broad range of industries—including gas turbines for electric power generation. In 2013, IHI celebrated its 160th anniversary. To make dreams come true for people worldwide for years to come, IHI Group draws on its technologies to contribute to the development of society.

IHI produced Japan’s first jet engine in 1945. Since then, the company has amassed a vast spectrum of technologies—some through international joint development. Aircraft engines, including design, fabrication, and maintenance, is one of these. To date, IHI has shipped over 560 GT packages—including the LM series.

In 1960, the company signed an agreement of licensed production with GE to provide aviation gas turbines to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. It put into action cooperative design, production, and quality control. This was the beginning of a good relationship between the two companies. IHI developed the IM100, IM300, IM1500 gas turbines and related packages based on the LM100, LM300, and LM1500.

In the 1970s, IHI developed the IM5000 gas turbine, comprised of an IHI power turbine and the LM5000 gas generator. The first IM5000 was delivered to a Japanese customer in 1978; IHI followed up with deliveries to US customers in the 1980s (table).

IHI designed LM2500 packages for electric generating plants in the 1980s and also for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. This helped to expand the aeroderivative gas-turbine market prior to introduction of the LM6000.

In the 1990s, IHI-designed packages were supplied to powerplants using LM1600 and LM6000.

Meanwhile, on the service side, IHI began organizing overhaul facilities to support LM2500 maintenance in the 1970s. This effort continued over the years, and since the 1990s the company has been certified as a Level 4 GE-authorized depot for maintenance of LM6000 gas turbines.

In 2008, IHI expanded its operations in the US, offering the company’s high-quality gas-turbine maintenance services to more customers and prospects. Two years later, it formed a partnership with Reed Services Inc and a branch office and shop were opened in Cheyenne, Wyo. The Cheyenne Service Center (CSC) is equipped with a comprehensive customer support system—including maintenance tooling for all LM6000 models, a LM6000PC lease engine, and an experienced field-service engineering team.

Service capabilities. IHI provides a wide array of services covering the lifecycle of LM engines—from design to package delivery and maintenance. The company has a package contract with GE and provides customers in Japan and elsewhere with an IHI-designed GT package. IHI has considerable experience with simple-cycle, cogeneration, and combined-cycle GT applications and as an EPC contractor. Important to note is that only IHI and GE have the capability to supply LM6000 power-generation packages worldwide.

Moreover, IHI also has developed GE-approved proprietary control systems. The CSI series, especially the latest offering, CSI-III+, makes it possible to control entire plants as one integrated system. Customer plant operational data can be monitored by the proprietary IHI “imonitor” service in real time at company headquarters. A comprehensive support system is part of the imonitor service.

IHI has two LM-series Level 4 maintenance facilities in Japan, at its Mizuho and Kure Works. These shops established LM-series maintenance areas with aviation GT production and maintenance areas. The company has the only LM maintenance facilities in Asia authorized by GE.

Engines removed for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance at the Mizuho Works are disassembled down to the parts, and after inspection and repairs, they are reassembled. GE stipulates a major overhaul of LM-series gas turbine after every 50,000 hours of service. IHI can repair almost all component parts in-house, ensuring smooth implementation of high-quality overhauls.

After completion of the overhaul, it conducts engine running tests to confirm performance and function levels. A dedicated test cell at Kure No. 2 Works is used for this purpose. The facility has special equipment and technology to accept many gas turbines and undertake a range of highly effective post-maintenance tests on them.

The CSC offers all field services and module replacement at the repair facility or the customer’s site. Finally, IHI has lease engines in stock for LM6000PA, LM6000PC, and LM6000PD models. They allow continuity of generation service when a customer’s engine is undergoing maintenance.

WTUI milestones

      • 2000. IHI accepts the offer by IM5000 users to participate in WTUI. A package session was held from 2000 to 2005.

      • 2006. IHI extends its support of WTUI by exhibiting with a 10 × 10-ft booth. Since 2009, IHI has participated with a 20 × 40-ft booth and has supported the depot party.

      • 2008. IHI participates in its first LM6000 breakout session, sharing its technical knowledge.

MTU

MTU Aero Engines, with headquarters in Munich, Germany, is a global leader in the development, manufacture, and support of commercial and military aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines. Maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of industrial gas turbines (IGTs) is a cornerstone of the company’s activities, ranking high among MTU Maintenance’s core competencies.

The company is an authorized service provider for all types of GE LM2500, LM5000, and LM6000 gas turbines. Its customers are engaged in power-generation, marine-propulsion, and compressor-station applications—onshore and offshore. MTU Maintenance benefits from a global repair and service network and from a broad knowledge base in the development, manufacturing, and repair areas.

It closely cooperates with MTU shops in Hannover, Munich, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Plus the company has Level II shops in the US, Thailand, Brazil, and Australia, allowing MTU to serve customers in their domestic markets with minor repairs, module exchanges, training, and parts supply.

At MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg, IGTs are maintained and repaired in accordance with quality standards equivalent to those applied in aviation, which are among the most stringent in the world. Efficient shop workflows and highly developed processes ensure short turnaround times—from teardown through parts inspection and repair, to reassembly and subsequent testing.

The Ludwigsfelde shops south of Berlin, the company’s center of excellence for IGT repairs, have been serving industrial customers for more than 30 years.

Onsite services also are available. Ludwigsfelde’s specialists are on call around the clock, 365 days a year to serve customers. A hotline service is provided for the immediate organization of onsite work. The company has long-term agreements with some customers and, if requested, can handle maintenance management as well as craft labor.

Services range from removal and commissioning, onsite repair, periodic inspections, remote monitoring, and vibration analysis—plus engineering consulting and customer training. MTU Maintenance makes sure customers are optimally supplied with services, spare parts, and leased gas turbines.

Package services include modifications, retrofits, and upgrades of ageing powerplants to ensure their reliability, performance, and environmental compliance. The portfolio of flexible operating options lists environmental and control solutions, as well as measures for power augmentation. Plus, the company is equipped to relocate used plants when and where required.

Repair beats replacement. The facility near Berlin uses innovative high-tech repair techniques that help customers save money without sacrificing quality. MTU experts perform 80% of all component repairs in-house—true to their motto, “repair beats replacement.” Simply put, it costs less to repair most parts than to replace them, and the quality and reliability of a repaired part matches that of a virgin part. Extensive exchange of experience and know-how among the MTU shops help the company’s specialists to continuously develop and improve repair techniques to optimize engine reliability and availability.

Testing. MTU Maintenance prides itself on having one of the world’s largest and most advanced IGT test cells. It can accommodate LM2500 and LM6000 gas turbines in their true service environments; LM5000 tests are conducted on an aero-engine test bed. Thorough testing after an overhaul is important to assure optimum maintenance quality.

MTU and WTUI

MTU’s industrial gas-turbine experts have been sharing their knowledge with Western Turbine users for almost two decades. This collaboration includes presentations on technical issues and solutions, as well as recommendations for operators.The MTU team values its relationship with the WTUI leadership and conference attendees and looks forward to participating in the meeting each year. It is a productive venue for sharing information on the company’s product line and service offerings.

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