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SKF magnetic bearings delivering optimal reliability 25 years after installation

  • Lugu

    2015 April 07, 14:00 CEST

    SKF magnetic bearings installed in oil-free natural gas centrifugal compressor delivers 25 years of continued operation at the TransCanada - Wolf Lake compressor station in Alberta, Canada.

    Gothenburg, Sweden 7 April 2015: SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings installed in the centrifugal gas compressor at TransCanada Pipelines, Wolf Lake, natural gas compressor station are still operating after a quarter of a century. The compressor station, with magnetic bearings installed in the centrifugal gas compressor, shows overall availability of 98.5% in last five (5) years.  These magnetic bearings were installed in the late 1980s as part of TransCanada's oil-free compressor initiative, and provide high reliability with minimal servicing and maintenance.

    The 25 year operation of the SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings at Wolf Lake compressor station, which commissioned a 25MW pipeline compressor driven by a gas turbine in 1989, underlines how frictionless, oil-free, low maintenance SKF bearings bring enhanced reliability to oil and gas applications. The magnetic bearing technology offers numerous advantages over regular bearings as it eliminates costly and high maintenance oil-auxiliary systems and the associated fire hazards and oil disposal costs. Overall operational costs and environmental impacts of compressor installations are also reduced with the inclusion of dry gas seals.

    “TransCanada Pipelines operates 33 compressors equipped with SKF S2M magnetic bearings. Following 25 years of service, the magnetic bearing technology has proven to be highly reliable for the last 10 years of operation.  This comes after a number of years of continuous improvement efforts carried out jointly by TransCanada and SKF, said Chris Wells Manager Compressor Fleet Maintenance. Although the magnetic bearings require minimal service and maintenance, when called into action SKF has provided timely support and forward-thinking advice. Field service is provided by SKF in Calgary. Overall we are very satisfied with this clean technology and service.”

    The robust SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings widen the operating range of machines, allowing rotation at higher-speeds and the capability to withstand higher operation loads, providing customers with much greater operating flexibility. As a result, SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings have become an industry standard and a preferred customer choice for most oil and gas applications. This is why SKF recently celebrated the commission of its 1,000th S2M Magnetic Bearing System for this segment.

    With more than 130,000 units in operation across many industries, SKF has unparalleled experience meeting customer needs in active magnetic bearings solutions; from smaller semi-conductor manufacturing equipment, requiring precise operation in demanding environments, to heavy duty turbo-machines in oil and gas. 

    Aktiebolaget SKF

    For further information, please contact:
    Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722;

    SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2014 were SEK  70,975 million and the number of employees was 48,593.

    ® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

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