San Diego, California, U.S.A., facility described as a “one stop shop” for LM2500 services
Building on more than 50 years of serving the industrial gas turbine, military and commercial airline industries, Chromalloy announces the launch of its new LM2500 Depot. Based in San Diego, California, U.S.A., the new facility will offer services for the LM2500 range from Level I and II (field inspection and repair) to Level IV (shop overhaul and repair). A lease engine program will be in place by the end of 2009. In addition, test cell capabilities are also scheduled to come online by the end of 2009. Once the test cell is in operation, this facility will have the only independent test cell in the western part of the United States for LM2500 gas turbines, providing core engine testing and troubleshooting.
This new facility plays a key role in leveraging the strength of Chromalloy’s network and will ultimately be positioned to offer its services internationally, beginning in 2010. Andrew Farrant, vice president of marketing and corporate communications, explained that since January 2009 the company has been striving to build its brand with increased customer involvement and concerted marketing efforts. The company is transitioning from one composed of a group of individual businesses, into a world of its own. “This is important to our overall strategy. The value proposition lies in the strength of its business units,” Farrant said. “Chromalloy is a high-tech company with phenomenal capabilities. Our value proposition is tied to reducing operating expenses for gas turbines and extending the life of existing engines. Fundamentally we provide a safe, effective and proven alternative to OEM services,” Farrant added.
Chromalloy is the largest business unit of parent company Sequa, which was acquired by The Carlyle Group in December 2007. Carlyle’s goal is to build the long-term value of Sequa through synergies, process improvements and investments. In early June2009, Chromalloy announced a new global sales structure in which each region will have a designated Chromalloy sales leader. Previously, the company operated with a network of sales representatives based at individual facilities. This new structure centralizes the sales force while keeping focus on key markets, customers and regions. Chromalloy’s global sales structure, coupled with the recently announced new LM2500 Services Depot and the efforts of the individual Chromalloy locations each chartered to conduct specific services along with the recent rebranding efforts, are essential elements of a new strategy that builds on an established and rich history while simultaneously positioning the company into one global operation.
Established in 1951, Chromalloy initially specialized in protective coatings for turbine airfoils. Over time, the company evolved into developing advanced repairs as a means to minimize the need for replacement parts. In the 1990s, investment casting technology enabled Chromalloy to offer nozzle guide vane advanced air foil replacement (AFR). At the 2003 Western Turbine User’s Conference, Chromalloy announced that it had engineered and was manufacturing LM2500 and LM6000 HPT (high pressure turbine) Stages 1 and 2 vanes and blades. In April 2009, Chromalloy announced a US$16.5 million investment to expand its Tampa, Florida, U.S.A., engine component production to offer additional casting capabilities.
Facility enhancements will be completed by the end of 2009, with production ramp-up occurring in early 2010. Chromalloy has more than 30 operations and sales offices in 14 countries with over 4000 employees. Joe Lesch, vice president of aeroderivative gas turbines for Chromalloy provided D>W with a detailed description of the “one stop shop” services offered at their new LM2500 Depot. Specifically, the depot offers services for the LM2500 ranging from field inspection and repair to shop overhaul and repairs. HPT module exchanges with three- to four-day turnaround times are also available.
Field service is available with fast dispatch to any location in North America and South America. Other services include engine troubleshooting, borescope inspection, HPT/top case repairs, combustor and TMF replacement, as well as Tiger diagnostic analysis for trend monitoring, heat rate performance and other performance-related reports. The depot also offers gas generator overhaul. Prior to the addition of the LM2500 Depot, “coatings, component repairs, and new parts have been the core of Chromalloy’s business,” said Lesch. They are one of the world’s largest providers of Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition (EBPVD) Thermal Barrier Coatings.
Chromalloy provides advanced coating services to all the major OEMs and is also the single largest provider of low pressure plasma spray ceramic coatings for turbine applications. Lesch affirmed that Chromalloy has invested over US$75 million in EBPVD Thermal Barrier Coating development and technology. From inlet guide vanes to the turbine exhaust case, Chromalloy specializes in the repair of major components supporting both the heavy industrial and aeroderivative gas turbines. On the aeroderivative side, they support engines manufactured by all major engine
manufacturers including Rolls-Royce, GE and Pratt & Whitney. They provide support specifically to the GE LM1600, LM2500, LM5000 and the LM6000. Patented and proprietary processes define Chromalloy’s capabilities. In fact, Chromalloy’s blade tip weld repairs utilize their patented laser powder welding techniques. In addition to advanced repairs and protective coatings, Chromalloy manufactures new replacement parts for LM2500 and LM600 series gas turbines including HPT S1 and S2 blades, HPT S1 and S2 vanes, and HPT S1 and S2 shrouds. Lesch further explained, “Chromalloy is the only industry provider of cradle to grave ‘hot section’ new manufactured parts.”
Overall, Chromalloy’s approach is to partner with its customers to deliver solutions that reduce operating expense and extend the life of gas turbine engines. Chromalloy offers its services to third parties, including other overhaul depots, as well as directly to power plant operators, management and maintenance personnel. According to the company, it is the largest independent gas turbine component technology company as well as the largest independent service supplier in the United States for LM2500 and LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbines. “We have over 34 years in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of commercial aviation gas turbines, plus 20 years of experience repairing LM2500 engine components and 15 years repairing LM6000 engine components. We were the first manufacturer of single crystal, HPT vanes and blades for the LM2500 and LM6000 engines,” concluded Lesch.
Chromalloy’s depot services provide many advantages including reduced total cost of ownership, faster turnaround times and HPT module exchange for the LM2500. These advantages will translate into extended time between overhauls and diagnostics, which reduces maintenance costs. The San Diego location provides a single point of contact with workmanship guarantees for repairs and new parts as well as comprehensive warranty coverage for the engine.