Current events and news are the basis for the accumulation of knowledge. Van Meer wishes to use news and information meetings to inform interested parties about the latest innovations and developments. In our news section we focus on current and diverse topics and subjects relating to rotating machines, frequency controls and field services. The following is a summary of recently posted messages.
Van Meer and Siemens join forces to supply industrial and maritime drive systems
Van Meer, a renowned propulsion specialist with offices in Tholen (the Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium), and Siemens Belgium are joining forces. From now on, Van Meer is an official Siemens Solution Partner. With this partnership, both technology companies want to provide support for the maritime sector throughout the entire drive life cycle (from new drives and retrofitting to maintenance and repairs) among other things. End customers will thus be able to benefit from a flexible, local service, backed by a global approach and cutting-edge product development. The Van Meer family enterprise started in 1991 as a conventional repair company for industrial drives. Soon the company developed into the leading expert in rotating equipment, drives and the field services that go along with it. Today, a team of more than 50 employees is at your disposal on two locations: Tholen in the Netherlands and Antwerp in Belgium. “Our goal is to 'unburden' our customers", explains manager Luc van Meer. “That's why we offer customer-specific solutions from a to z: from purchase and commissioning to maintenance and repair.” The ship as a factory Van Meer mainly supplies customers within the industry. It soon became clear, however, that the maritime sector needed a reliable partner for the construction of new drive systems and their retrofitting, as well as for service and maintenance solutions. Luc van Meer: “A ship is actually a factory in itself, and just like in the industrial sector, the drive is the beating heart of it all. Moreover, the electronic drive systems of all ships built between 1995 and 2000 will soon need retrofitting. As a result, we can support more and more customers from within the shipbuilding industry.” Local vs. global Van Meer's ability to offer tailor-made solutions in a clearly defined niche sector has caught Siemen's attention. “We are always looking for local partners who are experts in their field and are in touch with the market", explains Yves Vandorpe, Business Unit Manager at Siemens. “This offers end customers many advantages: they can count on a flexible, local partner with expertise on the one hand and the support of a global player in the field of drive technology on the other. Another advantage is the worldwide Siemens network, which means there is always someone in the vicinity with knowledge of the installations and components - wherever a ship is moored. Van Meer also has a large number of standard drives in stock. “This stock allows us to intervene quickly in the event of problems," says Luc van Meer. “We often even manage to install a 400kW drive within 24 hours.” Knowledge building The partnership with Siemens is also beneficial for Van Meer. Luc van Meer: “Within the world of drives everything is changing rapidly, and those who can't keep up with the latest technologies will be eliminated. That is why we continue to invest in employee training. As a Siemens Solution Partner you have access to an impressive knowledge database of e-learning, seminars and other training courses. You will be the first to be introduced to the latest products and drives, so you’re always one step ahead of the competition.” Moreover, the partner programme is characterised by a global approach, which enables Van Meer to considerably increase its potential. The focus on maximum quality, availability and a minimum time-to-market also matches the company’s ambitions perfectly. Six years ‘in the making’ It is no surprise that Siemens and Van Meer decided to join forces. The technology companies learned about each other six years ago when Van Meer won a contract with a major player in the chemical sector. “Over the years we were able to establish a healthy business relationship", Luc van Meer continues. “A close partnership requires time and commitment. Everything has to be strategically defined and you have to get to know each other's strengths. Customers today can sense that we are backed by a global company, which lowers the threshold for doing business.”
Siemens & Van Meer conclude technology partnership with Huisman
Siemens to supply the drives for Huisman installations over the coming five years. Last week Huisman concluded cooperation agreements with both Siemens and Van Meer. The technology partners will be trilaterally further developing their market position in the maritime and offshore sector. The contract was signed at the Huisman Innovation Tower (HIT) on Huisman’s wharf in Schiedam. In this 90-metre tall test drilling tower Huisman develops, tests and demonstrates equipment and systems for drilling towers. The HIT is also used for training operators. Safe and pioneering Huisman is known worldwide as a supplier of safe and pioneering heavy construction installations. The most important products are cranes, offshore and onshore drilling gear and pipe laying systems. All engineering and the writing of the software take place in-house. Huisman supplies the installations on a turn-key basis with its co-operative ties with technology suppliers and system integrators. Technology partnership Following the signing of the contract, Siemens again becomes the ‘preferred supplier’ of drives for the Huisman installations in consultation with the customer. The drives have become more compact and more efficient in recent years. Siemens supplies standard drive cabinets, and system integrator Van Meer will be building the specials based on Siemens modules. The tripartite cooperation is a win-win situation for all parties concerned and an example of the technology partnerships that Siemens works for. Robert Lahr, Business Unit Manager OEM at Siemens: “We can gain competitive power by joining forces with partners in the long term. We are happy that an innovative company such as Huisman is also involved.” Pim van Os, Controller Process Industries and Drives at Siemens: “Open communication and short lines are important to make this cooperation a success. Combining the technical knowledge of the parties involved is also essential to secure the best solution for the customers.” Icing on the cake For system integrator Van Meer, signing the contract was ‘the icing on the cake’. The company with establishments in Antwerp and Tholen has already been building various panels for Huisman in recent years, as well as the panels for the HIT drive system. “We are also committed to long-term cooperation with our partners,” explains CEO Rob van Meer. “As a family concern we are also always in search of the best solution. We are particularly pleased to concretise this in a contract with Huisman. We see it as a mark of trust and will be working on the further transparent exchange of knowledge.” New opportunities Huisman selected the cooperating partners based on their knowledge, quality, service, efficiency, price and method of cooperating. CEO Joop Roodenburg talks of refreshing cooperation in a challenging market. “The supply and the prices in the offshore sector are low. New opportunities are arising again as the oil price increases. We have invested heavily in innovative technology in recent years. Our drilling towers are automated, so people are no longer needed on the drilling floor. Our systems are particularly envied in the deep water market. The potential lies particularly in semi-submersibles, the half-sinkable platforms. If we can secure more orders, our partners will also benefit from this. We can forge ahead with greater cost-efficiency with Siemens and Van Meer as partners.” Successful pilot project Huisman, Siemens and Van Meer have already successfully tested their cooperation in recent months. Huisman has built four identical cranes each with a hoisting capacity of 2,200 tons for two ships from OOS International in Serooskerke. The drive system for the first crane has already been completed and is currently being fitted. The other three cranes are then set to follow.
Van Meer builds drive system in record time!
Van Meer once again demonstrates the flexibility of the organisation. We came to the rescue of a customer by supplying a completely custom-made control cabinet in just four workdays. On the Monday morning Van Meer was informed that a frequency converter at a waste materials terminal in West Brabant had fully burnt out. To reduce the costs of the rental unit the request was to build a new frequency converter into a modular Eldon cabinet as quickly as possible. On the very same day, a drives engineer proceeded to the site to examine the situation and establish the wishes and needs of the customer. It was then agreed that the newly constructed cabinet could be supplied on the Friday. With this pledge as inspiration, our own engineering department immediately created the 3D drawings and 2D diagrams. Direct communication between Van Meer and the customer resulted in the approval of the drawings, and the cabinet with frequency converter could be supplied in less than five workdays. The control cabinet could already be delivered on the Thursday thanks to the flexibility of Van Meer, the excellent communication with the customer, and the dedicated deployment of the engineers at the Drives department. This resulted in great satisfaction at our customer and obviously for the appropriate pride at Van Meer.
Construction of new switch box for 315 kW frequency converter
The Van Meer Drive Service team designed and built a new switch box for one of its customers in a mere two weeks. The frequency converter was originally only due for an overhaul, but because of its critical nature it was completely refurbished. However, the cabinet had to be transported to Austria as a rush order, so planning and timing became critical factors for the Drive engineers. Our customer is a specialist in underwater solutions for the maritime and energy industry. One of their installations was to be used for an order in Austria where a water reservoir had to be dredged. Before starting the work they called in Van Meer to carry out a thorough mechanical and electrical overhaul to guarantee reliability. INSPECTION The installation was first subjected to a mechanical inspection: two 75 and 250 kilowatt electric motors were overhauled and an 18 kilowatt brake motor was refurbished. At the same time our Drive Service team checked whether the installation was electrically in good working order. The check revealed that the frequency converter (315 kW) was due for replacement. The converter indeed controls the most critical part of the whole installation: a 250 kW booster pump. Its infallible operation is therefore crucial. TIMING After consultation it was decided to replace the converter with a new ABB ACS880 drive. Considering the start of the order in Austria was approaching, our Drives team had to get down to work straight away. In less than two weeks the engineering and the construction of the new switch box had to be complete. 23 March. Agreement of the customer, start of engineering of switch box and control panel. 30 March. Drawings approved, preparations started up and material ordered. 31 March. Start of construction of the new switch box at the Van Meer Drive Service Centre. 04 April. Switch box is completely finished and ready for final inspection by the customer. 05 April. Final Acceptance Test (FAT) by the customer with approval. The cabinet was made ready for transport immediately after agreement and supplied to the customer by Van Meer. The whole project was completed and approved within the required period. Our customer could transfer the installation to Austria in good time for the work to start.
Van Meer supplies total package for centrifuge installation renewal
All services that Van Meer has to offer combined in one project. That is what we achieved at one of our customers. The delivery of new electric motors with custom-built control cabinets and complete on-site installation, both mechanical and electrical. Our customer operating the food industry has different centrifuges at its factory, with four still working with antiquated DC motors and controllers. This has now all changed. All four were completely refurbished with the help of Van Meer. Each centrifuge was given a new 250 kW IE3 High Efficiency electric motor to be controlled by the latest ABB ACS880 regenerative frequency converter with associated auxiliary cabinet. We took care of the assembly of the motors on site and brought the converters into operation at the company. This total package is exactly the added value that Van Meer offers: Rotating equipment, Drives and Field services in one partner. ROTATING: 4 new motors Each centrifuge is driven by a 250 kilowatt electric motor with forced cooling. Van Meer supplied five new IE3 High Efficiency motors to replace the older versions, with one as a spare motor. An additional adaptation was required for the renewal of the motors. The shaft in the new motors is longer than the previous one. So Van Meer made lantern rings to bridge the longer distance between the centrifuge and the motor. The motors now consist of three parts: a lantern ring at the front, the motor itself and forced cooling at the back. Photo 1: Our Rotating Engineers prepare the motors for assembly. DRIVES: 8 new cabinets The direct current controllers present today have proved their worth after approx. 25 years. Van Meer has now built eight new cabinets: 4 regenerative frequency converters with 4 auxiliary cabinets. The auxiliary cabinets were designed by our customer and we built them. Besides construction, Van Meer also took care of all engineering for the four converters. The construction process for the frequency controllers and the auxiliary cabinets took approximately four weeks. During this period we invited the customer to regularly come along to follow progress. With these interim controls the turnaround time can be shortened and the ultimate final inspection or FAT (Final Acceptance Test) usually takes place faultlessly. The cabinets were subject to a loaded test at our new drive service centre before being transported to the customer. Photo 2: Drive engineers put the finishing touches to the assembly of the frequency converter cabinets. FIELD: Two teams for installation and bringing into operation Finally, two Van Meer field teams took responsibility for the installation of the motors and bringing the cabinets into operation. The motors being vertically installed (V1 position) meant the cooling and lantern ring could only be assembled on the motor on location. This facilitated the hoisting work. A team of technicians from the customer disassembled the old motors. The Van Meer Rotating Engineers then took over assembly of the equipment. As soon as the control cabinets had also been supplied, the technicians at our customer ensured the appropriate placement of the cabinets and the connection of the wiring. Once that had been completed, a second Van Meer field team arrived on-site to bring the cabinets into operation and test them. The connections were checked, and the cabinet was made live to check the operation of the components and set the parameters. Then the cabinets were subjected to a test run and accepted by the customer. Van Meer will now monitor the drives each year for cleaning and inspection purposes. Photo 3: summary of the four centrifuges. TOTAL PACKAGE This cooperation is a nice example of what Van Meer can do for its customers as a partner in the realisation and support of complete drive processes. It starts with clear arrangements that are converted into a flexible time and maintenance schedule that takes account of the desires of our customer with respect to processing times, materials, etc. A constant flow of information between both parties is the common thread throughout the whole process up to actual acceptance itself (and afterwards). The result? The completed project revolves around user-friendliness, maintenance, quality and the standardisation of components and materials. With the service and support that we offer following completion, we also guarantee the reliability of the installation and sustainability in the longer term. Van Meer thanks all the parties involved in enabling the publication of this article.
Urgent bearing change on 1600 kW motor during crash stop
Three Van Meer service engineers replaced the bearings in a 1,600 kilowatt electric motor at a Dutch waste processing company during a crash stop. The motor was to run for a further ten days up to the planned stop, but action had to be taken sooner to avoid serious damage. Some six weeks ago our customer observed that one of the motors at the factory was no longer operating as it should. The customer reported this to Van Meer, so we sent a service engineer on site to inspect the motor. Our vibration measurements confirmed the presumption of our customer: starting bearing damage on the non-drive side of the motor. Damage progression It was decided in consultation with the technical supervisor to monitor the motor over the coming weeks by including it in a measurement programme to be carried out by Van Meer before the impending stop. The motor was measured and controlled each week to establish the progression of the damage. Figure 1 Vibration values per time of measurement As can be seen on the graphic by the values measured by Van Meer, the vibration values continued to increase (1). In mid-August the motor was again lubricated (2) but this did not help. The negative progression consequently deteriorated further (3). Crash stop Because the bearing vibration continued to increase, we advised using the interim crash stop (planned for the next weekend) to preventively replace the bearing. A complete stop was planned at the factory two weeks later, but the engineers from Van Meer could at the time no longer guarantee that the motor would run for a further ten days without further damage being caused. During the night-time crash stop three engineers proceeded on-site to renew the NAZ bearing in the motor. Investigation The investigation ultimately showed that the bearing was already at damage stage 3 (nearly 4). Should stage four be reached, consequential damage to other components would be unavoidable. This could have caused damage to other bearings or in the worst case the rotor could have fallen through the bearing and caught the stator winding. Serious consequential damage could fortunately be prevented thanks to the early observation and the message from the customer, and cooperation with the diagnostic service engineers from Van Meer.