Alfa Laval - Gaisā virmo pārmaiņas

Gaisā virmo pārmaiņas

Alfa Laval iedveš jaunu elpu nobriedušajā ACE gaisa dzesēšanas siltummaiņu biznesā

DATUMS 2021-05-21 AUTORS Norm Shade

Alfa Laval gaisa dzesēšanas siltummaiņi, kas vēsturiski pazīstami kā ACE, piedzīvo būtiskas pārmaiņas. ACE, kas dibināta 1964. gadā, gandrīz piecus gadu desmitus veiksmīgi ražoja gaisu dzesējošus siltummaiņus, kas piederēja privātīpašniekiem. Lai gan šajā laikā ACE produkti un procesi kalpoja labi, pēc tam, kad 2012. gada decembrī uzņēmumu iegādājās Alfa Laval, sākās ļoti nepieciešamā atjaunošana.

Alfa Laval ir viens no pasaulē vecākajiem rūpniecības uzņēmumiem, kas nepārtraukti darbojas, un tā pirmsākumi meklējami 1883. gadā, kad dibinātājs Gustafs de Lavals Zviedrijā nodibināja uzņēmumu, lai ražotu viņa jauno centrbēdzes krējuma separatoru, kas tika pārdots piena rūpniecībai visā pasaulē.

Mūsdienās, jau trešdaļu no sava otrā gadsimta, Alfa Laval ir globāls siltuma pārneses, atdalīšanas un šķidrumu apstrādes produktu piegādātājs. Galvenie produkti - siltummaiņi, separatori, sūkņi un vārsti - tiek izmantoti daudzās dažādās nozarēs, tostarp pārtikas, ķīmisko vielu, farmācijas, cietes, cukura, etanola, kodolenerģijas, jūras kuģu, kalnrūpniecības, naftas pārstrādes, notekūdeņu attīrīšanas un iekštelpu klimata kontroles rūpniecībā. ACE iegāde nostiprināja uzņēmuma pozīcijas naftas un gāzes un enerģētikas nozarēs.

"Alfa Laval ir vērsta uz visu naftas, gāzes un enerģijas piegādes ķēdi. Mēs esam nodrošinājuši pēc pasūtījuma projektētus un ražotus gaisu dzesējošus siltummaiņus ieguves un pārstrādes, vidējas un pakārtotām nozarēm," teica Kriss Jungerss, Alfa Laval gaisa dzesēšanas siltummaiņu (ACE) un Alfa Laval Niagara (Niagara Blower) ģenerāldirektors. "Pateicoties Alfa Laval globālajam spēkam un sasniedzamībai, ACE gaisu dzesējošie siltummaiņi ir vēl plašāka siltumnesēju produktu klāsta, kas paredzēts gaisa, dabasgāzes, naftas un ūdens dzesēšanai, galvenā sastāvdaļa." 

ACE pārcēlās uz pašreizējo atrašanās vietu Broken Arrow, Oklahomā, 1974. gadā. Laika gaitā tā izauga par vairākām ēkām, kas aizņem 150 000 kvadrātpēdu platību. (13 936 m2) zem viena jumta uz 18 akriem (7,3 ha). Zīmīgi, ka ACE svinēja savu 50 gadu jubileju 2014. gadā, tieši laikā, kad naftas un gāzes nozare piedzīvoja vienu no lielākajām lejupslīdēm pēdējo desmitgažu laikā. 

"Ar Alfa Laval atbalstu mēs varējām izmantot lejupslīdi, lai koncentrētos uz uzlabojumiem," teica Jungers. "Četrus gadus pēc pārveides mūsu centieni nes augļus, un vēl daudz vairāk mēs varam paveikt nākamajā gadā vai divos gados."

ACE galvenais tirgus ir gāzes saspiešana urbuma augšdaļā, bet uzņēmums ražo arī gaisu dzesējošus siltummaiņus visam naftas, gāzes un enerģijas spektram, sākot no ieguves un pārstrādes līdz vidējai un pakārtotajai piegādes ķēdei.

"Vairāk nekā 50 % no mūsu biznesa tagad ir inženierijas dzesētāji vidējās un pakārtotās plūsmas tirgiem, tostarp cauruļvadu kompresoru stacijām, sašķidrinātās dabasgāzes ražošanas iekārtām un elektroenerģijas ražošanai," sacīja iekšējās tirdzniecības vadītāja Misty Ingle.

Urbuma kompresija joprojām ir ļoti svarīga, taču diversifikācija ir padarījusi uzņēmumu spēcīgāku uzņēmējdarbības ciklu laikā.

Koncentrējoties uz drošību, kvalitāti, piegādi un izmaksām, ACE intensīvā transformācija notiek no pasūtījumu iesniegšanas, inženierijas, ražošanas un produktu izstrādes.

"Pateicoties racionalizētam cenu piedāvājumu sagatavošanas procesam un iekšējai patentētai vērtēšanas programmai, mēs varam ātri un efektīvi pielāgot pareizo gaisa dzesēšanas siltummaini, nodrošinot klientiem ātrus, precīzus piedāvājumus un modernu inženiertehnisko informāciju," teica pārdošanas un inženiertehniskās darbības vadītājs Rusty Kight. "Mūsu ārkārtīgi elastīgā inženieru komanda izmanto patentētas rasēšanas un izmēru noteikšanas tehnoloģijas, lai samazinātu izpildes laiku un ātri sagatavotu detalizētus 3-D CAD modeļus un ražošanas rasējumus."

Datorizēta pasūtījuma datu lapa, kas saistīta ar automatizētu inženierijas procesu, var radīt rasējumus un materiālu sarakstus dažu minūšu laikā, ļaujot pārdošanas inženieriem izvēlēties no burtiski miljardiem iespējamo funkciju un opciju kombināciju katram dzesētāja rāmja izmēram. Rasējumu faili tiek lejuplādēti tieši uz CNC mašīnām, lai tos varētu izdedzināt, izgatavot galvenes un apstrādāt.

Veicot virkni rūpīgi izstrādātu pakāpenisku soļu, rūpnīca tiek pakāpeniski pārveidota no nobriedušas, nepastāvīgas un nepastāvīgas ražošanas plūsmas ar vecām iekārtām par modernu, labi organizētu, drošu un efektīvu darbību.

This new CNC burn and bevel table, installed in Alfa Laval ACE's Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, facility last year, increased productivity and throughput by a factor of three.

Six large ACE Model E-air cooled exchangers support a large central gas gathering pipeline compressor station.

“Our entire manufacturing operation was thoroughly mapped with our extended team’s input, emphasizing the customer connection,” said Mark Gorgas, factory manager. “With a cultural transformation, our … workforce is helping drive continuous improvement.” This is evident throughout the facility with job tracking, visual backlog and job status prominently displayed in each department. 

To meet the quick deliveries that customers demand, ACE manufactures nearly all the components that go into its coolers, including not only the structure and headers, but also the louvers and fin tubes. A number of new CNC machines have been added with more on the way. Gorgas said a new CNC burnout and bevelling machine increased productivity and throughput by a factor of three. Ten tube finning lines keep up with peak production needs, and an improved tube rolling process has resulted in fewer leaks and failures and more consistent production. 

Three separate assembly lines have been developed for small, medium and large coolers. Portable, expandable paint booths allow painting the coolers in line without extra handling. Gorgas and his team stress safety, organization, tool storage and proper identification and maintenance of all utility services throughout the plant. Modern metalizing and painting processes have been implemented to improve environmental compliance and safety, and storage has been improved to better utilize available space and ensure accessibility. 

ACE provides a full range of air-cooled heat exchanger products. Its Model A has vertical, sloped sections with a horizontal-forced draft fan with vertical air ejection. The sloped sections provide an optimized center of gravity for safer loading and transport. Offered with fan diameters from 2 to 14 ft.(0.6 to 4.3 m), this model typically supports engine drive compression applications from 50 to 1500 hp (37 to 1119 kW).

Model J has vertical sections with an induced draft fan and vertical air ejection. With fan diameters of 2 to 14 ft. (0.6 to 4.3 m), it typically supports engine drive applications from 50 to 800 hp (37 to 597 kW). The smaller Model C with vertical sections and fan with horizontal air ejection is an economical and compact alternative to vertical air ejection models. It typically supports engine drive compression applications from 50 to 400 hp (37 to 298 kW) with fan diameters of 2 to 10 ft. (0.6 to 3.1 m). 

Models E and T support larger applications. Model E has horizontal sections and fans with vertical air ejection. It is available in single- to four-forced or induced draft fan configurations with electric or hydraulic drives. Fan diameters range from 2 to 34 ft. (0.6 to 10.4 m). Model T has horizontal sections and vertical forced draft fans with vertical air ejection. It is available in single- to five-fan configurations with diameters from 2 to 14 ft. (0.6 to 4.3 m), typically matched to engine drives from 50 to more than 4500 hp (37 to 3356 kW). Its relatively narrow width enables increased transportability. Aluminum fan guards are available on both models for increased maintenance safety and weight reduction.

Shown here is one of three portable and collapsible paint booths installed by Alfa Laval ACE in 2015. The paint booths are moved into position on tracks built into the floor, allowing coolers to be painted in line without extra handling.

Three large two-fan Model E coolers shown in one of the assembly lines at Alfa Laval ACE's Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, facility.

The new ACE modular, compact, V-type cooler with sloped sections and standardized horizontal fan assemblies reduces plot space and reduces operating costs due to optimization of motor/fan power consumption. Standard variable frequency drive motor-driven fans are prewired to a control system on the unit. Available with section lengths up to 60 ft. (18.3 m) with two to nine pairs of 3 to 6 ft. (0.9 to 1.8 m) diameter fans, the induced draft, vertical discharge design reduces noise, increases safety and reduces transportation costs relative to conventional solutions.

Shown here is the Alfa Laval wet/dry hybrid auxiliary cooling system installed at the Ivanpah solar electric generating system in California’s Mojave Desert. Operated by NRG Energy, the system began commercial operation in 2013 and delivers power to PG&E and Southern California Edison. The Alfa Laval hybrid system was created to maximize site water conservation while still enabling consistently low process outlet temperatures during all seasons by running dry during cooler ambient periods, then utilizing available water only during the hotter summer ambient air temperatures. An Alfa Laval Niagara wet surface air cooler (WSAC) is combined with an Alfa Laval ACE dry air cooler to maximize system efficiency while taking advantage of fluctuating ambient air temperatures.

Another aspect of ACE’s transformation is in product development. In 2015, ACE introduced its Model V air-cooled exchanger for power generation and other upstream and downstream applications.

This adaptation of Alfa Laval’s Alfa-V cooler fuses … European design with the ruggedness expected in North American natural gas and power generation industries - Blake Minton, sales engineer

The modular, V-type cooler with sloped sections and standardized horizontal fan assemblies reduces plot space and reduces operating costs due to optimization of motor/fan power consumption. Standard VFD motor-driven fans are prewired to a control system on the unit. Optional hydraulic drives are also offered.

Available with section lengths up to 60 ft. (18.3 m) with two to nine pairs of 3 to 6 ft. (0.9 to 1.8 m) diameter fans, the induced draft, vertical discharge design reduces noise and increases safety relative to conventional solutions by inherently eliminating confined space entry requirements. It also reduces transportation costs as the compact design fits within standard shipping containers for international applications.

Smart controls are another ACE development that can be applied to most of its cooler models. The factory-installed motor controls eliminate the need for plant motor control centers, which reduces installation costs for customers. Seeing a need and an opportunity for reducing the power consumption of cooler fans, ACE introduced its Vspeed magnetically modulated adjustable speed fan drive in 2016 (see June 2016 COMPRESSORtech2), which is designed for engine and electric motor-driven cooler fans. 

Another recent development is the Alfa Laval wet/dry hybrid auxiliary cooling system. It’s a system design approach created to maximize site water conservation while still enabling low process outlet temperatures. To reduce a site’s cooling water usage, typically influenced by cooling tower consumption, an Alfa Laval Niagara wet surface air cooler (WSAC) is combined with an Alfa Laval ACE dry air cooler to maximize system efficiency while taking advantage of fluctuating ambient air temperatures.

This allows for a consistently low process outlet temperature during all seasons by running dry during cooler ambient periods, then utilizing available water only during the hotter summer ambient air temperatures. Unlike typical cooling tower solutions, poor quality water can be collected and reused up to 10 times with the hybrid system. Alfa Laval provides total system responsibility for thermal performance.

Further transformation has occurred in the development of an expanded service portfolio. ACE offers a suite of performance agreements and service offerings that include startup, monitoring, maintenance, improvements, upgrades, retrofits and support.

“With additional factory investments and enhancements, Alfa Laval ACE will continue to advance our manufacturing capabilities to supply customers with … air-cooled heat exchangers, while also helping to reduce our overall investment by leveraging our global purchasing and sourcing capabilities,” Jungers said. “This helps reduce delivery times and overall equipment costs. We offer service and support around the clock for the complete air cooler range, which helps to deliver peace of mind regardless of our customers’ location.”

Shown here on test is the ACE Vspeed magnetically modulated adjustable-speed fan drive that was introduced in 2016. It can be applied to both new and retrofit applications of engine and electric motor driven cooler fans.

A two-fan Model E horizontal cooler is in process in the large cooler assembly line at Alfa Laval ACE’s plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
As published in COMPRESSORtech2, May 2017