Through nearly one hundred years of operation, Kingsbury engineers have amassed a wealth of information about bearing performance from thousands of field installations. But Kingsbury engineers never stop pushing the limits of bearing performance, searching for solutions to the challenges posed by high speed machinery in today's increasingly demanding oil and gas applications.
Joseph Wilkes, Kingsbury's Vice President of Engineering, sums up the role of research and development best: "Our customers are demanding lower vibration levels, and there is more focus and analysis of the various frequencies that make up the overall vibration level. Ten or more years ago, many considered vibration as a single value, where now they are looking at the subsynchronous, synchronous, and supersynchronous frequencies much more closely."
According to Scan DeCamillo, Kingsbury's manager of Research & Development, "Turbomachinery is increasing both in size and in speed, which imposes great demands on bearings and machine dynamics. Since the industry began demanding greater machine efficiency several years ago, Kingsbury's direct lubrication designs have proved invaluable in maintaining low pad temperatures and improved efficiency. However, stability and vibration challenges have also surfaced. Our R&D efforts have allowed us to address vibration issues through patented designs, while maintaining the benefits of direct lubrication bearings."
Advanced, high-speed data acquisition equipment in Kingsbury's R&D facility allows our engineers to replicate, study and develop solutions to these pressing issues. Pad flutter and high sub-synchronous vibration, for example, can cause pivot fretting and wear, leading to increased bearing clearance and alarms over time. Instead of simply treating the symptoms, Kingsbury's engineering staff developed unique axial and radial SSV features that actually eliminated the source of the problems.
This approach exemplifies Kingsbury's commitment to eliminating bearing issues before they become problems, to enhance machine efficiency and minimize downtime.