Story #2

Enhancing sustainability and reliability in compressor systems

At Burckhardt Compression, we are committed to advancing sustain­ability and reliability for our customers. Around 99% of greenhouse gas emissions from compressors occur during their use phase. Addressing this challenge requires a multifaceted approach.

One pivotal lever involves increasing in compressor efficiency, ensuring minimum energy consumption for the quantity of gas required in the production process. 

A second lever lies in aging infrastructure. Issues such as gas leakage and reduced reliability become more prevalent with older compressors. 

To combat these challenges head-on, we launched BC ACTIVATE, an innovative program tailored specifically to enhancing sustainability and reliability in compressor systems of any brand.

How BC ACTIVATE works:

  • Advanced measurement, analysis, and recommendations: Our team utilizes cutting-edge measurement and analysis techniques. Through rigorous evaluation, we identify optimization opportunities for each compressor.
  • Performance enhancement: Addressing these optimization opportunities leads to improved performance, efficiency, and overall sustainability. Whether it is mitigating inefficiencies, minimizing gas leakages, or enhancing energy utilization, BC ACTIVATE delivers tangible results.
  • Comprehensive assessment: BC ACTIVATE adapts seamlessly to compressors of any type, age, or duty. Whether the customer manages a single compressor or an entire fleet, our program ensures optimal performance.

Case study: reduced gas emissions, energy consumption, and extended lifetime

One of our customers, running a petrochemical plant, was faced with the low reliability of a dry-running ethylene compressor for years. Components of the compressor failed after approximately three months. The Burckhardt Compression experts ran a BC ACTIVATE assessment. After thorough evaluation they were able to identify the issues in the system: a poor tribological system selection (suboptimal matching of ring material and counterpart surface). 

Our experts were able to update the compressor system with new sealing elements, the application of new piston rod and cylinder liner surfaces and a new coating, tailored for dry-running services. The result was: 

  • Increase of sealing element lifetime from three to 24 operating months, significantly reducing the maintenance intensity
  • Notable increase of stability of compressor gas output, reducing the specific power consumption (kWh/ton gas) of the compressor by more than 10%
  • Reduction of the number of shutdowns and related gas emissions

BC ACTIVATE enables our customers not only to solve reliability issues, but can also have a significant impact on the emission footprint of their compressor systems.

First six months show enormous potential for our climate and for the Services Division

Since the launch of BC ACTIVATE in September 2023, the Services Division has analyzed more than 50 customer compressors in refineries, petrochemical plants, and onboard vessels. The team was able to identify a significant sustainability and business potential:

  • Energy savings of about 5 GWh per year, representing yearly energy cost savings of about CHF 500’000, as well as indirect CO₂ emission reductions
  • More than 3'700 tons of direct CO₂e emission reduction per year, representing a sizeablerelief for our climate and a potential yearly value of about CHF 150’000 for customers, using Euro 100 per ton CO₂ as a reference
  • Several millions of Swiss francs in opportunities for revamp and upgrades of compressors to achieve these savings

What our customers say:

“We were struggling with the short lifetimes of the piston rod and packing rings. Burckhardt Compression’s solution with the right selection of material helped us to increase compressor availability significantly. Thanks to their analysis, we now better understand the component failure modes. Our second compressor, which was plagued by the same issues, is now being revamped by Burckhardt Compression, too.”

Polyethylene (PE)/Polypropylene (PP) Producer, South Africa

“Joint work with Burkhardt Compression’s specialists during the assessment of our compressor fleet of the polyethylene (PE) plant made it possible to identify technical solutions, the implementation of which greatly contributed to reducing the number of shutdowns, increasing the reliability and stability of the operation of compressors that are critical for our production.”

Polyethylene (PE) Producer, Caspian Region

“We liked the systematic approach by Burckhardt Compression to analyze the issues and identify the causes of low reliability of some of our compressors. As a result, several improvements were identified and evaluated in terms of their effectiveness, implementation time, and cost, giving us the best solution to eliminate some of the bad actors. After the implementation, we have seen clear improvements in compressor reliability (higher meantime between failure and fewer unplanned equipment stops) along with operational improvements (e.g., reduction in discharge temperatures by 15–20°C).”

Crop Protection Producer, Switzerland