Product Announcement

Waukesha Bearings Patents Trailing Edge Cooling

Waukesha Bearings, a global leader in the design and manufacture of engineered hydrodynamic bearings, has secured a patent for its innovative trailing edge cooling technology. Trailing edge cooling increases heat transfer in tilting pad bearings to expand bearing operating limits. The design features grooves in the trailing edge face of the tilting pad and a spray bar adjacent to the trailing edge to deliver cooling flow.

The grooves in the trailing edge face increase the surface area and allow the lubricant to penetrate deeper into the pad for greater cooling effect. The flow supplied to the trailing edge is a portion of the flow already being supplied to lubricate the bearing for hydrodynamic operation.

The inventors on the patent, US 9,534,637 B2, are Richard Livermore-Hardy, Engineering Manager, Europe, and Barry Blair, Chief Engineer. Livermore-Hardy is based out of the Waukesha Bearings office in Rickmansworth, UK; Blair is based out of the company’s Pewaukee, WI, USA, office.

“The development of trailing edge cooling is rooted in the specific need of our customers to address high bearing temperatures, which can limit the operational range of a bearing,” said Marcell Ulrichs, President of the company. “This patent is representative of our commitment to combine innovation and engineering to create a best-in-class bearing solution.”

One of the leading applications of trailing edge cooling technology is on the Waukesha Bearings Maxalign® tilt pad radial bearing. Optimized for performance in large rotating equipment, Maxalign bearings offer reduced oil flow and power loss to improve machine efficiency; a pivot design highly adaptable to shaft misalignment; and an industry leading hydrostatic lift design in the lower pads that produces a reliable shaft lift whilst limiting the temperature increase that the hydrostatic lift feature can induce once the machine has reached full speed. The application of trailing edge cooling in the Maxalign design further lowers bearing temperatures, permitting operating speeds and loads in excess of 100 m/s and 3 MPa, without compromising bearing life or safety margin.

Read more about the Maxalign tilt pad radial bearing

Trailing edge cooling is not limited to the Maxalign bearing design. Any radial or thrust bearing operating under higher speeds and loads than typically allowed would benefit from trailing edge cooling. Contact Waukesha Bearings to learn how trailing edge cooling technology could benefit your application.

Waukesha Bearings Introduces Tilt Pad Thrust Bearings for High-Temp ESPs

At last month’s Pump & Turbomachinery Symposia, Waukesha Bearings featured its new Hidrax™ HT thrust bearing for high-temperature electric submersible pumps (ESPs). The Hidrax HT tilt pad thrust bearing can sustain unit loads of 8 MPa (1160 psi) at oil bath temperatures up to 300°C (572°F).

Technological advances in steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) are increasing ESP operating temperatures and placing increased demands on the thrust bearings located in the motor seal/protector section of the ESP string.

“Waukesha Bearings is staying ahead of industry needs through our continual investment in research and development,” explained Chief Engineer Barry Blair. “With this high-temperature tilt pad thrust bearing, we are building on more than 30 years of experience in advanced materials development, testing and implementation.”

View more information on the Hidrax HT thrust bearing

The Hidrax HT bearing is a drop-in replacement option for equipment requiring increased load capacity at high temperatures. The bearing is available in sizes up to 200 mm (8″), with center or offset pivot designs. Given the hardness of the Hidrax HT bearing surface, the rotating thrust collar surface must be hard as well. Waukesha Bearings can supply an appropriate thrust collar that is designed to work well with the Hidrax HT bearing.

The Hidrax tilt pad thrust bearing platform is well-proven with polymer surfaces, with 200,000 supplied to date. Polymer Hidrax bearings have a rated unit load of 8 MPa (1160 psi) and oil bath temperature of 200°C (392°F).

Read more about advanced material bearings from Waukesha Bearings

Automated Commissioning System Outperforms Hands-on Commissioning Procedures

Waukesha Magnetic Bearings, an industry leader in custom-engineered magnetic bearing systems for large turbomachinery and high-performing rotating equipment, announces the availability of its Automated Commissioning System. Waukesha’s Automated Commissioning System offers the skill and expertise of an experienced magnetic bearing engineer condensed and conveniently packaged into a toolkit of intelligent programs.

“Automated Commissioning gives OEMs and end-users the ability to carry out the maintenance and commissioning process. This results in a repeatable, consistent process that’s faster and reduces total lifetime cost of ownership,” said Richard Jayawant, Director of Engineering at Waukesha Magnetic Bearings. “Automated Commissioning further establishes Waukesha Magnetic Bearing’s commitment to leading the bearing industry with innovation and reliability that continues to meet our customers’ needs.”

By taking an OEM or end-user engineer through the commissioning process in a highly structured sequence, Waukesha’s Automated Commissioning System can allow a magnetic bearing system to be commissioned into operation without the presence of an active magnetic bearing (AMB) specialist. Featuring computer-based automation, the Automated Commissioning System is much faster than hands-on commissioning procedures. The system’s computer automation delivers automatic collection and archiving of essential data, which ensures reduced time required for planned maintenance.

Read more about Automated Commissioning

The Automated Commissioning System software is capable of monitoring machine progress and recording measurements as soon as the machine is ready, which minimizes measurement time. Multiple readings can be collected within a few seconds to ensure an accurate assessment. The Automated Commissioning System is available on Elephanta®, Chinook®, and Zephyr® magnetic bearing systems. The system will provide faster commissioning by providing end-users with automatic checks after maintenance, independent of the OEM. Providing a path toward true machine prognostics, in addition to reduced site time, cost and reduced need for an AMB specialist, the Automated Commissioning System will ensure rapid identification for the degradation of machine performance and the ability to consistently tune repeat units.

Automated Commissioning is suitable for initial-build (OEM), end-user installation and maintenance work. It provides the OEM with an ability to commission and maintain independently, providing quicker commissioning on first-of-class machines.

MLSF Bearings Provide Longer Life, Low Maintenance, Minimal Downtime

Waukesha Bearings, a global leader in the design and manufacture of oil- and process-lubricated engineered bearings, is proud to announce the availability of its Multi-Lobe Semi-Floating (MLSF®) bearings. The unique MLSF technology, which improves stability and reliability compared to conventional floating ring bearings, can extend the life of host equipment and surrounding parts.

“Our MLSF design is specifically engineered to minimize vibrations, which promotes longer-lasting equipment and lessens the likelihood of early failures in the turbocharger or downstream equipment,” said Ken Bischof, Senior Development Engineer at Waukesha Bearings. “A failed bearing can lead to downtime for a replacement bearing, or worse, replacement of related equipment. A bearing system operating at an optimized temperature, which is cool enough to prevent coking yet hot enough to maintain optimum viscosity, can minimize both downtime and power loss.”

By designing the MLSF bearing system to operate at optimized temperatures with minimal vibrations, the life of the equipment and surrounding parts is extended. In addition to global customer service and Waukesha Bearings’ proven results, the MLSF bearings offer an ideal solution for smaller, high-speed turbomachinery, as well as for turbochargers in large diesel or natural gas engines.

Read more about MLSF bearings

Waukesha Bearings’ MLSF bearings, available for use with shafts as small as 0.5 inches in a single bearing or cartridge, can handle a static unit load as light as 10 psi (.07MPa) to a dynamic unit load exceeding 700 psi (4.8 MPa). The MLSF, which can handle multi-viscosity oils, is engineered to accommodate temperature ranges up to 300ºF (149ºC) with even higher temperatures available. The first Waukesha Bearings MLSF bearing, which has been in field operation for more than 30,000 hours, continues to surpass competitive bearing performance of only 500 hours in the same application.

Waukesha Magnetic Bearings Expands Product Offering

Pewaukee, Wisconsin – Waukesha Magnetic Bearings announced today an expansion of its active magnetic bearing digital controller product line. Waukesha Magnetic Bearings’ air-cooled digital controllers are engineered for minimal maintenance and high reliability across a broad range of turbomachinery applications.

Three controller options are optimized for specific applications and accommodate a variety of input power systems. Each controller offers remote connectivity and adjustment, advanced diagnostics like spectral analysis and display, and enhanced software functions such as automatic vibration attenuation and clearance checking with other machine health monitoring capabilities.

The Zephyr controller is the smallest in the product family and features a compact design ideal for applications up to 10 MW. With a 380 volt / 20 amp maximum continuous rating, reliability of the Zephyr is further enhanced by a passive convection cooling feature.

The Chinook controller is designed for mid-size applications from 6 MW to 25 MW and has a 300 volt / 30 amp maximum continuous rating.

The largest of the family, Elephanta, has the highest power rating in the industry operating at a 600 volt / 60 amp maximum continuous rating. The Elephanta is utilized for larger, demanding turbomachinery and is the design basis for subsea compression applications where extremely high reliability and availability is required.

Typical applications for active magnetic bearings include motor-driven gas compression, turbo-expanders and other large high-speed turbomachinery.

Waukesha Bearings is the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of engineered hydrodynamic and active magnetic bearings for turbomachinery in oil & gas, power generation, marine and industrial markets. Waukesha’s magnetic bearing products are field proven in a variety of applications and offer superior performance without lubrication.

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