Advanced Bearing Systems

As the demand for energy – and carbon-neutral energy – grows around the world, so do the demands put on the equipment operating in the oil & gas industry.

Depleting oil and natural gas reserves require higher performing rotating equipment that places extraordinary demands on rotor-bearing systems. Emerging hydrogen and hydrogen-blend applications also raise performance requirements.

Expertise in Oil & Gas Applications

Fluid film bearings and magnetic bearing systems from Waukesha Bearings are used at almost every stage of oil and gas production – in pumps, compressors, turboexpanders and motors used in the extraction, refining, transport and storage of oil and natural gas. In partnership with machine designers, Waukesha Bearings engineers apply extensive industry expertise, proven design codes and industry-leading technologies to deliver bearing solutions tailored for specific application requirements.

Proprietary bearing design features, advanced material options and robust magnetic bearing solutions all help drive equipment to new levels of performance, reliability and availability, particularly in remote and subsea oil & gas applications.

offshore oil production

Innovation and Development

Waukesha Bearings is committed to the ongoing development of fluid film and magnetic bearing technologies. With a brand-new Innovation Lab in Houston and advanced magnetic bearing test rigs in Worthing, England, we have unparalleled capabilities to test and validate new products and processes under real-life conditions; provide field analysis and upgrade solutions; and develop next generation technologies.

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journal bearings

Journal Bearings

Waukesha Bearings custom engineers tilt pad and fixed profile journal bearings to specific operating conditions. With specialized features, such as ‘Directed Lubrication’, our bearings are designed to transfer radial loads with minimum power loss and optimum dynamic characteristics.

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thrust bearings

Thrust Bearings

Waukesha Bearings offers fixed profile thrust bearings for lightly loaded applications and advanced tilting pad solutions for more demanding operating conditions. Tilt pad designs may be non-equalizing or self-equalizing with flooded or ‘Directed’ lubrication to support the unique requirements of turbomachinery.

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advanced material bearings

Advanced Bearing Materials

Polymer, ceramic and cermet bearing surfaces extend the operating limits of fixed profile and tilting pad bearings to handle higher temperatures, higher loads and thinner films.

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Thrust Bearings for ESPs

Waukesha Bearings offers a range of material options to maximize thrust bearing life in electric submersible pumps (ESPs), increasing efficiency, production and the operating life of the pump.

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Flexure Pivot journal bearing with ISFD technology

Leading Vibration Solutions

With our in-depth understanding of system rotordynamics, Waukesha Bearings offers proven solutions to improve stability and control vibrations. Chief among those solutions, our ISFD® technology provides highly engineered damping and stiffness to maximize energy dissipation at the bearing locations. Flexure Pivot tilt pads eliminate pivot wear and maintain tight tolerances to offer high stability without degradation in performance over time.

Case Study

Over a 13-year span, a major South American oil company’s maintenance department fought recurring high vibrations in three gas reinjection compressor trains. A thorough analysis of the compressors and an inspection of damaged components pointed to a two-part solution. Since the implementation, the compressors have exhibited low vibration levels and overall efficiency has increased.

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Brush Seals

Waukesha Bearings brush seals can minimize leakage gaps in compressors and increase operational efficiencies. The compliancy of a brush seal allows sealing clearances to be significantly reduced, while its low profile allows simple integration with labyrinth seals.

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Active Magnetic Bearings

Waukesha Magnetic Bearings leads the industry in custom-engineered magnetic bearing systems for large turbomachinery and high-performing rotating equipment. Achieve high reliability and availability with active magnetic bearings that come standard with remote connectivity and the most advanced digital control systems.

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Magnetic Bearing Case Studies

Groningen oil field
Over 99.9% Availability in Gas Gathering

Seventeen years and 20 installations later, Waukesha Magnetic Bearings has played a critical role in extending the life of Groningen, Europe’s largest natural gas field. Our AMB system has provided over 99.9% availability and an investment cost savings of 3%, while reducing energy costs.

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AMB-equipped compressor
Exceeding 95% Availability in Pipeline

After bitter experience with other compressor stations in frigid locations, Gazprom sought ways to improve compressor operations. Our robust AMB systems were able to increase reliability and availability, as well as improve integration with the compressor station.

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canned magnetic bearings in a hermetically sealed motor compressor
Canned Magnetic Bearings Achieve 99.9% Availability & Zero Emissions

In 2002, a leading oil & gas customer approached Waukesha with the challenge of developing a bearing for a hermetically sealed integral motor compressor. Availability and reliability were the customer’s primary objectives. The end user could achieve a significant cap-ex savings in the installation if the motor compressor could be located outdoors, with no building or enclosure required.

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compression station
Stability for Compressor Station Refrigeration Process

At a compression station in West Siberia, a refrigeration process applied to the gas at the plant outlet created a requirement for a high efficiency compressor. That efficiency was achieved with a compressor rotor shaft with a high slenderness ratio, resulting in a very flexible shaft. The industry-leading processing power and advanced control algorithms of Waukesha magnetic bearing controllers were required to make these machines a success.

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