Bachmann Industries supports Combustion Turbine Power Plants around the globe with engineered solutions to address routine problems associated with damaged Metal Bellows Expansion Joints.
Over time, Metal Bellows Expansion Joints can crack and leak at the turbine exhaust exit, near the diffuser of Combustion Turbine plants as shown here.
The old original metal bellows will fatigue, crack and eventually leak, which is caused by the constant thermal cycling and extreme vibration from the combustion turbine. The original Metal Expansion Joints can last for many years, but when they do fail, the downtime and lost revenue is costly, therefore the corrective actions need to be quick and reliable. This is where Bachmann Industries demonstrates its strength as an industry leader in technical design and customer service.
Our FEA analysis revealed the problem with the inner ring duct area (nearest to the heat affected zone) “growing” circumferentially, due to the hot gases flowing though the duct. However, the outer ring flange area, further away from the duct, remained cooler due to ambient air and further from the heat zone, and so it would not grow at the same rate. This causes thermal stress between the inner ring, attached to the hot duct, and the outer ring, where the Expansion Joint is mounted. This stress can distort the bolt flanges, crack welds and allow hot gasses to leak out, which creates a dangerous situation for personnel and a loss of heating efficiency for the HRSG boiler.
Bachmann’s version of a Fabric-Over Metal (FOM) Expansion Joint for field installation is designed to prevent these common problems. Our improved design uses a Conical Attachment flange to prevent any cracking or fatigue problems. The conical flange provides an angled “ramp” instead of the old stand-off flanges.
Bachmann is pleased to serve our Utility and Industrial customers with outstanding quality and timeliness. A utility in the US recently looked to repair or replace four (4) of their aged, high pressure (@200 PSIG), high temperature (@ 750° F) metallic steam cross over expansion joints within their short one month outage window. Bachmann pooled its engineering and project management resources to transport the expansion joints to one of its factories, replace the bellows elements, refurbish the 42” & 52” diameter pressure balanced expansion joint assemblies and return the joints to site for reinstall all inside the short outage. Bachmann’s commitment to excellence and ‘can do’ attitude resulted in another successful project well done! Way to go team!
Bachmann Industries is thrilled to announce the receipt of a major contract for the design, manufacture and supply of two Model 67 GT Bypass Systems to be installed behind General Electric’s newest model 7HA turbines. This North American project is scheduled to be delivered mid-2020 and the bypass systems will be the largest Bachmann has supplied to date!
As a point of reference, the stacks, which are to be delivered fully assembled, will be 63 feet (19 meter) long with a whopping 25 foot (7.6 meter) diameter gas path, large enough to fully enclose two full size tractor trailers side by side. The diverters for this project, each with a gas path 22 foot (6.7 meter) square will be the size of a 2-car high bay garage!
The fully assembled Bachmann stack shown to the left, by comparison, is 65% smaller than the ones required for this project at only 38 feet (11.5 meter) in length and a 15 foot (4.6 meter) diameter gas path.
Bachmann has supplied many similar, although slightly smaller, Model 65 GT Bypass Systems. One such diverter damper, as shown in the picture to the right, was recently supplied for another project.
As we continue our ‘get to know us’ series, it is important to acknowledge the back office. You know, those employees who keep the ship running in a quiet, unassuming way? Certainly, engineering talent runs deep at Bachmann, spanning all departments from sales and technical applications, to design & engineering, to project management and field service, but there is a great deal of praise owed to the Bachmann’s facility and administrative staff who share an enormous amount of longevity, passion and a true commitment for excellence representative of the Bachmann brand name. The average tenure of these folks is 13 years ! That is some tried and true talent for sure; its no wonder Bachmann is able to stay lean and efficient. So who are these superheroes who keep the operation rumbling ahead?
Eric Holt, our warehouse guru, manages the inventory, shipping and receiving, and incoming quality inspections. Eric holds the Bachmann record for longevity @ almost 23 years! he has proven himself a true staple in the office. Eric has a grandson who is a year and a half, loves to farm and be self-sufficient and brags about his homemade beef jerky; jalapeno flavor is among his favorites.
Sue Clark has been the Bachmann purchaser for over 13 years. She runs a tight ship, which is especially valued because her role is critical in the project execution process. Sue has proven to be a tough act to follow, just ask her fellow staff-mates who recently covered (or tried to) her department during a short absence. Everyone was happy to have her back in the office for sure! Sue is married and has several young nieces and nephews whose pictures adorn her office. They are clearly her pride and joy.
Norm St. Pierre has been the Bachmann facilities custodian approaching 11 years now, but he is so much more than that. He represents the pride and spirit of Bachmann. Just like ‘Norm’ from Cheers, we all love to chant his name when he walks into a room. When he isn’t taking care of the building, he is assisting Eric out in the warehouse or doing whatever he can to fill the needs of the organization. Norm loves his grandchildren and spends a great deal of time sharing stories of all their sporting activities.
Wendy McGraw has been employed at Bachmann Industries only two months longer than Norm. She is an especially important ‘cog’ in the Bachmann wheel. Wendy holds her PHR certification and manages all the human resource functions, acts as the customer service representative, processing orders and sharing in the accounts receivable and accounts payable functions among many other administrative tasks. Wendy is the youngest of four sisters, is married with a young daughter, and enjoys spending time with her family around her new pool.
Patty Fecteau, the lead staff accountant, has been with Bachmann just 6 relatively short years, but she is as cemented into the Bachmann culture as the rest. Patty takes pride in the vast responsibilities of her accounting work. We typically find Patty buried in piles of paper as she reconciles and manages the Bachmann accounts, expenses, and projects. Patty is one of five sisters, grew up in a military family, and settled in Maine when her father retired. She is married with one adult daughter and a grandson who is the light of her life. Patty is also extremely active and participates in a worthy triathlon each year, Tri For a Cure.
Now this is an Expansion Joint ! This replacement Fluid Catalytic Cracking Regenerator Standpipe Expansion Joint, coming in at 32.5 feet long, 62 inches in diameter and weighing over 61,000 pounds, was shipped earlier this year to a North American refinery. Bachmann converted and upgraded the existing hot wall design to a cold wall. The design also included pantograph linkage to equalize bellows movement, slotted hinges to carry weight of the center section and gimbal box with pinned end spool connections to allow for out of plane lateral movements.
Gary Muzzey and Brian Garrison both joined our company earlier this year as members of the Bachmann Sales & Marketing team; Gary as an Aftermarket Applications Engineer and Brian as the Company’s North American Business Development Leader. They each bring an immense amount of energy and talent to our Company.
Gary comes to us with a B.S. in Engineering Physics and an M.B.A. Having over 20 years of experience working in various engineering, sales, and product manager roles, primarily at a New England based industrial heater company, Gary is a great fit for his new role at Bachmann Industries Inc.
Growing up in New Hampshire where his family owned and operated Muzzey’s Sales and Service, a well-known RV & Camper dealership, for over 25 years, Gary was well acquainted with the family business life-style. He lived in New Hampshire until relocating to Maine in 2014, where he and his wife, Lynn, are now the proud parents of a precocious cat named Fred.
In his spare time, Gary enjoys fishing, golf, traveling and reading. When asked what he enjoys most about his new role at Bachmann, Gary explains it is the balance between engineering and sales where he can best utilize his skill-set to creatively help customers solve their problems.
Brian’s connection to Maine began over 100 years ago when his great grandparents met in Maine before moving to Indiana where they raised their family. Growing up in Indiana, then attending college and spending his young adulthood in Arizona, Brian’s story comes full circle back to the State of Maine where he met his wife of 19 years and eventually relocated – at his wife’s urging – just 5 years ago.
Brian has a long career in the semiconductor industry, with 20 years of it operating as a high achieving sales leader for companies ranging in size from $3 to 130 Million in annual revenues. Brian reports being very enthusiastic about the opportunity to now work for Bachmann Industries: “I have never worked with a more experienced and talented team. There is a pride in working here that gets me excited about each day.”
Married with 4 children and 3 grandchildren, Brian and his wife enjoy spending time each summer on Campobello Island. He also has a lifelong interest in music, was part of a high school rock band, and still enjoys writing music, singing and playing guitar.
2018 was an exciting and accomplished year for the Bachmann Team. Following its August 2017 sale and relaunch of its original brand name, which has proven a tremendous success, Bachmann has been full steam ahead. 2018 saw an abundance of orders from new and existing customers alike. Beginning almost 40 years ago, Lothar Bachmann instilled a culture of Passion and Pride with a Can Do attitude, while remaining Open & Honest and always retaining a strong Sense of Family. With these cemented core values and a long-standing history in the industry, the Bachmann name has long been synonymous with customized high quality and superior personalized service. Although there were several new equipment orders requiring precise technical skill and expertise to meet challenging operational demands, all of the completed orders in 2018 were a reflection of exactly why the industry puts immense trust in Bachmann solutions. There were far too many successes to highlight them all, but below are three, fully completed and delivered projects, representing some of Bachmann’s greatest accomplishments of the year.
STACK CAP IMPLEMENTATION
A North American charcoal company, exploring ways to gain economic and environmental efficiencies, hired Bachmann to design and supply a stack cap for heat retention during the plant’s shut-down and restart cycles. The expectation was that by closing the cap during furnace shut down, heat would not be entirely lost up the stack, thereby allowing for a quicker start-up, utilizing less fuel. With a fall delivery, the plant is in its early stages of analysis but the prognosis looks very promising. In fact, there are current efforts to explore possible modulation and flow-control enhancements to further increase efficiencies during operation.
GUILLOTINE ISOLATION DAMPERS
When a mid-western power production facility faced ongoing problems with louver dampers supplied by a Bachmann competitor, they turned to Bachmann for help. Back in 2016, Bachmann serviced the louvers, which were chronically jammed up in the ash accumulation, causing both damage to the louvers and preventing full isolation in the closed position. At the time, Bachmann urged the customer to consider a Guillotine design more suitable to their particular operational environment. Pleased with Bachmann’s approach during the service, the customer headed Bachmann’s recommendation and, in 2018, purchased 12 Isolation Guillotine dampers as a replacement solution, which guaranteed full and safe isolation as well as eliminating any ash related jamming issues. The dampers were delivered and are now fully operational.
METALLIC EXPANSION JOINTS
2018 was a big year for expansion joints at Bachmann Industries, particularly at refineries in the US and Canada. Several large orders with long delivery times are scheduled to ship in early 2019, but one of Bachmann’s earlier orders was for this refractory lined, large, 240” diameter x 29” Flue Gas cooler inlet expansion joint, designed for 3 psig @ 1950 F. Bachmann implemented design upgrades to address corrosion concerns common in cold climates with large seasonal temperature variations and facilitated shipping this 20 foot wide load to site in one piece reducing installation costs while maintaining the integrity of the part by the avoidance of field splices. This joint was completed and shipped to a refinery in Canada in July.
Although Lothar’s days as the patriarchal leader of Bachmann Industries came to an end in 2003, where he was destined to spend the final 4 years of his life fighting MDS and Leukemia until his eventual death in 2007, his tenacious and dedicated spirit and the fervent cultural legacy he created continues to emanate the same halls some 15 years later.
Lothar was born, raised, and schooled in Germany before immigrating to Canada in 1960. He worked as a mechanical engineer where he proved his technical expertise early on with his work on a custom designed & engineered manned diving bell, which demonstrated true innovation in the field at the time. This lead to advances in his career which ultimately took him to Maine in the early 1970s where he started Bachmann Industries, and over the next three decades, he created a distinguished and worldwide presence in high performance flow control equipment.
In addition to being named to the ‘Who’s Who of American Inventors’ in 1991, Lothar also received the SBA’s Maine Businessman of the Year Award in 1996. Throughout his entrepreneurial and ingenious life, Lothar was granted 22 patents, with most of them directly related to his 30 years at Bachmann. Some of these patents include: “Double louver damper,” “Fabric expansion joints for exhaust systems of gas turbines,” “Expansion joint with thermal transition connector,” “Guillotine dampers with blade sealing means accommodative of thermal expansion forces,” and “Composite blade for dampers for ducts of large cross sectional areas.” But arguably the most financially successful of Lothar’s patents was the “Dual damper diverter,” which was the result of a novel 4-port diverter system for use on SCR systems (Selective catalytic reduction) during the EPA mandated DeNOX Clean Air program of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Lothar had the vision to realize the market potential for a truly differentiated approach and through his tenacity and relentlessness, he launched Bachmann Industries to the front and center during that critical time period in the Utility market.
Barely a day passes where Lothar’s name is not mentioned during the course of the work day. He set high standards for the company and the people who represent the Bachmann name. He certainly built a legacy to be proud of. As Mike Sellinger, the current President / CEO of Bachmann and former Lothar disciple, shared while speaking at his funeral: Lothar made his business more than a place to work. He made it a way of life. He claimed it was about enjoying what you do, being confident in what you do, and believing that success is the only possibility. Lothar frequently expressed gratification and pride with his company. While out on the road, he would often say: “From out here, we do have quite the impressive company.”
As Lothar’s spirit lives on, his core values of ‘Can Do’ attitude, Openness & Honesty, Pride, Passion for our business, and Family remain essential for the Company’s every day mission and focus.