Performance Is What Counts
When Waukesha Magnetic Bearings joined the project, it utilized its latest technology expertise to solve a problem that other industry leaders deemed impossible because of the wide speed range involving several rotor critical speeds. In fact, NAM was told “It can’t be done” by the other manufacturers it approached.
NAM’s original goal was to provide 87% availability with the lowest cost of ownership. Analyzing the results after 17 years confirms that Waukesha Magnetic Bearings has been able to exceed expectations, with over 99.9% availability and an investment cost savings of 3%, all while saving on energy costs.
“In the end it is the performance that counts and when I look at the performance, it is amazing,” said Wim de Groot, retired rotating equipment engineer, NAM GLT.
There were many additional benefits to the system as well. The Waukesha Magnetic Bearings system allows for remote monitoring, diagnostics and frequent fully automated remote startups. It also provides superior investment protection through the use of bushing style auxiliary bearings that have never failed to protect the machine investment and retain the advantage of remote condition observability.
Furthermore, by not using traditional fluid film bearings, additional building construction for a separate lubrication oil system for the bearings was not needed. This reduced costs and lessened the environmental footprint by providing a simpler, cleaner, more efficient design.