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New repair method of heavy machinery and equipment foundation, exemplified by the GMVH-12 motor compressor.
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Application of our own and modified shipbuilding technologies in the polish gas industry.
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Application of our own and modified shipbuilding technologies in the polish gas industry

W這dzimierz Ko這dziejski *, Ryszard Klimczak *, Adam Nowakowski **

* W這dzimierz Ko這dziejski and Ryszard Klimczak are co-owners of Zak豉d Konstrukcji i Ekspertyz TECHMARIN Sp. z o.o., 72-600 安inouj軼ie, ul. Karsiborska 4A, phone/fax. +48 +91 3215694, 3224700, +61 8219731, 0-602 199768, e-mail:,

** Adam Nowakowski is the Manager of Division for Underground Gas Stores and Gas Pumping Facilities in the field of Gas Transmission and Underground Gas Stores, 01-224 Warszawa, ul. Kasprzaka 25, phone (+48-22) 6918273, e-mail:


    Since 1989, Zak豉d Konstrukcji i Ekspertyz "TECHMARIN" Sp. z o.o. has worked in co-operation with Polish Baltic Shipping (Polska 疾gluga Ba速ycka) in Ko這brzeg, Euroafrica Szczecin, 安inouj軼ie Shipping (疾gluga 安inouj軼ie), Commerical Port (Port Handlowy) in 安inouj軼ie, ABB Zamech, ALSTOM Power and numerous power plants in Poland.
    In 1991, co-operative links were established with the Polish Oil and Gas Company, (PGNiG) which resulted in our acquiring tried-and-true shipbuilding technologies. In 1992, TECHMARIN proposed to PGNiG (i.e. KRIO Gas Denitrification Plant) application of an innovative foundation repair solution for 100-ton GMVH-12 gas compressor sets. Since then, several protection systems designed by TECHMARIN have been applied in PGNiG in its own Plant, in which technical problems have been encountered.
    Over a period of 10 years, joint undertakings have resulted in measurable financial benefits, including enhanced reliability in machines and devices, reduced electricity consumption, and less additional costs caused by equipment breakdowns. In practice, the applied solutions have proved the worth of joint know-how and concepts for solving technical problems. Consequently, the functionality of systems for carrying gas have improved, and the security of operations performed and of all plants have increased considerably.
    Based on its long-term co-operation with TECHMARIN, the Polish Oil and Gas Company has demonstrated and proved that technical solutions coming from other industries can be adapted and applied successfully by an outsourcing company in order to fulfill the requirements of the investor. However, the company must have long-term experience in carrying out work in heavy industry. The considerable trust of PGNiG in TECHMARIN, built on accurately and safely accomplished tasks, demonstrates how co-operation should be established between a large Polish company and a small but specialised company to their mutual benefit.


    PGNiG and its team have applied Polish know-how and domestic technologies that are based on top quality Polish products. These features have been matched with the long-standing experience of TECHMARIN - confirmed by an ISO 9001 certificate - to develop a solid technical base permitting a flexible and fast response to all the needs and technical problems of PGNiG's facilities.
    Apart from changes in gas compressor foundations, new and standardised pipe and pipeline supports and holders have been installed, as well as supports and holders for other devices, e.g. gas filters or anti-fluctuation bottles. By merging the foundation engineering with technology for mounting pipelines, a new device and installation protection system has been developed in order to considerably reduce vibrations, which were destructive to both compressor systems and all co-operating devices. The first such integrated system was developed in the Lower Carpathian Region in the South of Poland (Photos nos. 1, 2).

Photo 1. Standardised pipeline holders
(Gas Pumping Facility in Ma熥owice - T這cznia Gazu w Ma熥owicach)

Photo 2. Vibration-proof protection and a large pipe elbow holder - fragment
(Gas Pumping Facility in Lubacz闚 - T這cznia Gazu w Lubaczowie)

    These and other examples of co-operation between PGNiG and TECHMARIN provide a sound basis for further activities.

Foundations of heavy machines and devices as a vibration protection system

    Traditional foundations of heavy machines and devices consist of concrete blocks with steel washers (Illustration no. 1).

Il. 1. Cross-section of the original Halberstadt compressor foundation
and a cross-section of the new holder

    The surfaces of foundation arms that support large piston compressors (2.5 kW) cannot be adjusted easily and are permanently attached to steel washers placed in concrete. Obsolete technology that involved using metal levelling washers has been replaced with a new technology. The application of chemosetting plastics, designed for the foundations of the above-mentioned machines, has made it possible to operate gas compressors in a completely different manner, one that is reliable and secure.
    The patented foundation technology aims at creating operating conditions for machines that are as close as possible to the assumptions of the manufacturer. Machines designated for repair are disassembled or put aside. The old reinforced-concrete base is adapted to fit the steel structure, which is the machine's new foundation. The cut concrete base is supplemented with a specially designed foundation frame (Illustration no. 2). Its light weight and shape ensure solid support for the machine, which weighs over 80 tons (Photo no. 3).

Il. 2. GMVH 12 compressor foundation before and after modernization

Photo 3. Foundation frame and GMVH 12 compressor during renovation

The frame's parameters cause a differentiation in vibration. The foundation frame is anchored to the ground. The machine is placed on the frame, whereas the frame and machine are set by means of adjusting screws, which ensure unimpeded and unrestricted installation of the machines. After being so prepared, the set is placed on EPY material. This replaces the above-mentioned steel-washer technology. Then, the entire set - assembled by means of specially designed screws - is hooked up to the technological system (Photo no. 4).

Photo 4. GMVH 12 motor compressor after the replacement of the foundation

Holders and pipeline protective elements

    The pipelines and machines placed on them are among other protected elements. The disassembling pipeline holders applied to date (Photo no. 5) not only continued to cause damages to the pipes, they also make it impossible to monitor the condition of the pipes and changes in their thickness in the support points.

Photo 5. Old pipeline supports

A solution was proposed by TECHMARIN and approved by PGNiG that involved the repair and change of the pipeline holders (Photo no. 6), supporting valves, anti-fluctuation bottles and gas filters, which enabled periodical inspections to be carried out and the condition of pipelines in support points to be examined.

Photo 6. General view at the area with the pipeline holder system
in the Gas Pumping Facility in Jaros豉w (T這cznia Gazu Jaros豉w)

The installed supports and holders can be regulated and disassembled, while an elastic insert is the only replaceable element. These inserts separate and initially dampen vibrations, and compensate for the lengthening of the pipelines - yet they do not damage the concrete bases. After cutting the damaged head of the concrete base, new, regulated pipe holders are installed by means of the foundation material, which ensure a firm grip and support for the pipelines (Photo no. 7).

Photo 7. Supported and gripped pipeline

No bending of the pipelines occurs, which used to be a common phenomenon in the case of the old-type of holders. In addition, pipelines often used to be loose. The applied patented system of supports keeps the pipelines in the correct position and does not emit additional vibrations to the pipeline system. The possibility of the pipeline or the valve loosening has been reduced. In the event that the movable support gets loose, the burden is taken over by the nearby supports. The service team periodically adjusts and inspects the correctness of the positioning of the support, and assembles the system. Such a system for supporting dynamic and long pipe sections minimises uncontrolled effects: loose elements, abrasions, etc. A considerable reduction in pipeline vibrations has been observed and - most importantly - the danger of damage caused by the friction of steel elements has been eliminated. This solution is subject to a patent.
    The installed supports are serviceable devices. This means that it is necessary to perform periodical technical inspections in order to tighten the holding down bolts and foundation bolts, as well as to examine the condition of the elastic insert.
    Old-type holders constituted the main destructive feature for the pipes; i.e. they adversely affected the vibrating pipes by means of abrasion and permanent corrosion. Some supports had been torn away.
    The renovation of supports conducted resulted in concrete foundations in good condition, which no longer reveal any considerable damage. Vibrations generated by motor compressors and transmitted through collectors to the foundations and holders were reduced, and do not pose a danger to the machines or service teams. The installed supports and holders make it possible to carry out technical inspections and maintain the pipelines. Therefore, the mechanical degradation time in the support points was slowed down to a minimum.
    Another system consists of special supports that hold anti-fluctuation bottles (Photo no. 8). Owing to their construction and installation, it is possible to carry out periodical technical inspections without the necessity of the very troublesome and laborious disassembly of the heavy bottles.

Photo 8. Old supports and new holders of the anti-fluctuation bottles

Conclusion and recommendations

    Changes in the work environment and regime of the operations of machinery before and after the modernization have been analysed and tested by the following institutions:
Polish Shipping Register in 安inouj軼ie (Polski Rejestr Statk闚 w 安inouj軼iu)
Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Office in Kalisz (Wojew鏚zka Stacja Sanitarno-Epidemiologiczna w Kaliszu)
Military Technical Academy in Warsaw (Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna w Warszawie)
Inspectorate of the Polish Naval Academy in Gdynia (Inspektorat Akademii Marynarki Wojennej w Gdyni)
State Labour Inspectorate in Warsaw (Pa雟twowa Inspekcja Pracy w Warszawie)
Technical University in Szczecin - Machinery Construction Faculty (Politechnika Szczeci雟ka Wydzia Budowy Maszyn).

    The above institutions were acting at the request of the investors. Opinions issued by these institutions provide the best available certification of the adequacy of the solutions proposed and ultimately implemented. The performance of the patented vibration-proof protection systems demonstrated a considerable reduction in vibrations (Illustrations nos. 3 and 4) emitted by these machines to the ground and other neighbouring facilities.

Il. 3. Vibration amplitude reduction for one direction (in %) for the GMVH 12 motor compressor no. 1 at the Gas Pumping Facility in Odolan闚 (T這cznia Gazu Odolan闚)

Il. 4. Vibration dumping of the Halberstadt compressor foundation

Tests confirmed the adequacy of the applied solutions in many cases. Large machines, which had been operating for almost 20 years, after renovation were assessed as satisfactory, whereas before the replacement of the foundations, the condition of some of them was found unsatisfactory (Illustration no. 5). Most of the solutions applied by us are under patent.*

Il. 5. Conditions of different class machines according to the effective speed of vibrations
- diagram (shows the importance of renovating the foundation of the GMVH 12 motor compressor)


    The application of obsolete construction technologies, especially in terms of inadequate foundations for mechanical devices, have caused a number of problems in the operations at PGNiG facilities. The meeting of open-minded teams from two companies that for many years operated in entirely different technological regimes, led to the construction of modern protection systems for Polish gas industry. The scope of their activity focuses on gas transmission. As a result of long-term co-operation, a method was devised that aims at accomplishing complex tasks in continuous operation plants without causing stoppages in operations.
    The common feature of the discussed solutions is the elimination of concrete-steel contact. This was achieved e.g. by the application of an adequate foundation material. The EPY material demonstrates a considerably higher vibration dumping decrement than steel. However, the most important aspect of the common solutions is a systemic profile and a steel structure that is individually designed for each particular problem. Due to the selection of materials, construction solutions and engineered foundation technology, previously unreliable machines have begun to function properly. The functionality of the solutions is another feature of the developed technologies. These results are from field investigations that have revealed the most problematic functionality-related issues.

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