The BETA Bulletin is our technical newsletter geared to engineers and managers involved in design, operations, reliability, and integrity. Our focus is on advanced vibration and dynamics affecting the piping system, pumps, compressors, foundations, and related topics.
Beta Machinery Analaysis

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Training1  Training Schedule - Spring 2015 
BETA provides a variety of training sessions. Some are managed internally and others are coordinated
Training Courses 
by the Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC) and by PEICE.

We regularly provide customized courses for our clients around the world on request and we also have a variety of free training videos and technical articles on our website.

Spring courses are below. For our full schedule see our website
Compressor Station Vibration and the Impact on Performance, Cost and Reliability (2.5 Days, GMRC)

DENVER  April 29-May 1, 2015 MORE INFO
This course focuses on vibration issues affecting compressor stations, including piping systems. Using a series of interactive case studies, participants gain an understanding of vibration issues and solutions at the design stage, as well as during commissioning and troubleshooting.
Compressor Vibration: Techniques to Ensure High Reliability and Integrity (Advanced) (2 Days) 
CALGARY  May 5-6, 2015 MORE INFO


This class covers vibration, dynamics, torsional, surge, resonance, troubleshooting, and related integrity/reliability management. The first part of this course addresses key design concepts necessary to avoid problems relating to resonance and dynamics. The second part is focused on field troubleshooting issues.
High Speed Package Design
(3 Days, GMRC)

HOUSTON  June 16-18, 2015 MORE INFO 

This workshop for operators provides procedures and references for selecting, specifying, procuring, applying, and operating high-speed units. It includes a comprehensive and detailed guideline for designing and building high-speed compressor packages that meet end user and equipment OEM expectations. BETA, along with four other reputable firms, are the instructors for this course.
Piping Vibration: Avoiding Fatigue Failure (1 Day) 
HOUSTON  June 10, 2015 MORE INFO
Vibration in process piping systems is a significant integrity issue. Recent piping failures have resulted in serious safety incidents, fires, spills, down time, and legal implications for operators. New guidelines and standards are now being used to mitigate and manage this risk. This course is aimed at engineers and technical managers responsible for piping and integrity issues and covers the new guidelines, as well as practical approaches used by global operators.

CALGARY  May 20-21, 2015 MORE INFO 

HOUSTON  June 8-9, 2015 MORE INFO   
This course is geared to anyone interested in learning more about reciprocating compressors, the work horses in the gas industry. Participants are provided with an overview of the operation and components of a reciprocating compressor.
Reciprocating Compressor Performance
(2 Days, PEICE) 

CALGARY  June 1-2, 2015 MORE INFO 

This course is geared to professionals involved in assessing performance of reciprocating compressors. The course is based on actual case studies in which attendees actively engage in resolving problems using mathematical calculations . It is applicable for those involved in sizing compressors, and in troubleshooting problems.

Research2  Update on BETA Research and Innovation

This is an update on some of BETA's internally funded projects and those funded by the Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC).   


BETA Developments

Vibration Pipe Clamp Developments include new products that solve vibration issues and new software capabilities that   directly benefit our productivity. READ MORE 


Pipe Clamp Designs for Vibration Service BETA's engineering has resulted in a portfolio of pipe clamps that are used in vibration loads and can address thermal issues as well. These field-proven clamps are now utilized on a wide range of projects. READ MORE 

BETA Vibration Absorber 

Vibration Absorber As a result of recent research, BETA offers this solution to address resonant vibration issues on existing compressors, pumps, and piping systems. Field testing is complete and the products are now being applied to challenging field issues. READ MORE  


Asset Vibration Integrity Database This database, based on years of development, is used for facility-wide vibration assessments and Asset Integrity Management (AIM) Programs. Effective management of vibration risks requires this type of tool and BETA's approach provides significant advantages for owners and operators during design, inspections, and operations.


Troubleshooting with DataMiner? Post Processing Tool BETA developed a successful data mining processing tool to greatly improve the efficiency of a design project. Thousands of data points can be quickly assessed and evaluated to better understand vibration risks - saving owners and operators time and money. Later in 2015 BETA will release Troubleshooting DataMiner, which provides the same benefits for field vibration data. This software eliminates weeks of post processing time and allows BETA's analysts to quickly and more accurately pinpoint risk areas and problems.  


Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC) 

Predicting Power Loss In Compressor Manifolds (Phase 2)

This project defines a new approach to accurately calculate the dynamic losses, and other important consideration when sizing a compressor. READ MORE 


Damping Solutions Testing is complete and a number of new solutions are identified to help manage resonance and vibration. READ MORE 


Pipe Support Stiffness Piping designs currently assume a "stiff" support. This project confirms that this is a poor assumption, and provides much more realistic stiffness assumptions for piping systems. These results will benefit all new piping designs. READ MORE 


Torsional Effect of Motor Magnetic Field This project is defining a method to address the stiffness and damping due to the motor's magnetic field across the air gap. This affects the torsional stresses in a motor-compressor system. READ MORE 


Mechanical design for PAN system BETA leads the mechanical design and testing for this significant project. READ MORE 


Other Research

For the API 688 committee, European Forum of Reciprocating Compressors (EFRC) and other standards groups, BETA is providing a draft standard for evaluating vibration on Small Bore Connections. This builds on our field research program, and past technical work. READ MORE 

Expert3  Ask the Expert: Piping Vibration Specifications and Approach

Piping vibration, including fatigue failure, is an ongoing headache in our plant. Whose responsibility is it to prevent piping vibration problems throughout a facility?  


The ownership of vibration problems on process piping is a common issue for the plant owner. At the design stage, machinery packagers usually consider vibration within the skid or package boundaries and do not consider the effect of both mechanical and acoustic excitation forces on the connected piping. Numerous excitation mechanisms resulting from flow through the piping itself, such as turbulence and vortex shedding, are frequently ignored in the original piping design as only static  Refinery loadings are considered.


At the operational stage, 20% of all hydrocarbon releases are due to fatigue failure, yet this issue is overlooked by integrity inspection programs that concentrate on corrosion and material degradation. If the rotating, static/piping, structural, and integrity disciplines are not working closely together, these potential design gaps can result in fatigue risks going unnoticed, leading to potentially catastrophic results.


Vibration is a plant-wide issue and can be managed using a risk-based approach. It is typically included as a design requirement in new plants and can be assessed on a plant-wide scale through the use of industry accepted guidelines such as the Energy Institute Avoidance of Vibration Induced Fatigue Failure (AVIFF) Guidelines.


BETA is increasingly working with the integrity disciplines in managing this issue and provides a program that easily integrates into owners' existing integrity management plans to provide measurable reductions in fatigue risk. BETA's program considers all excitation mechanisms across all areas of the plant to provide a complete solution to mitigate reliability and integrity vibration risks.


More information on providing an integrated approach to managing vibration risks can be found on our website: An Integrated Approach to Manage Vibration Risks


Paul Crowther, MEng, CEng, IMechE, is a Principal Engineer in BETA's Vibration Integrity Group. Paul can be reached at, or 403-245-5666.

Surge4  Challenges with Surge Control Studies 

Centrifugal Compressor
It is well known that in certain situations, a centrifugal compressor system could go into surge. What is less well known is why specific surge control valves and piping characteristics still allow severe surge events to occur, and how to best ensure these situations are properly addressed in a surge control design.

BETA's recent article, written by Kamal Botros and Kelly Eberle in the January-February 2015 issue of COMPRESSORtech2 magazine provides an example of how incomplete analysis could result in costly surge events and the best way to prevent them.

News5  In the News

BETA is pleased to announce two additions to its leadership team. The new personnel reflect BETA's growing business in China and Southeast Asia, and its expanded services in piping vibration and integrity.


Andy Li, PEng, BSc, General Manager China

Andy Li Andy Li ( ?? ? ) is responsible for supporting BETA's China customers including application support, project delivery, service delivery, and staffing. Andy will manage and support BETA's business activities throughout China. His focus will be to help our customers achieve high reliability and integrity in their production assets, and avoid vibration and downtime related problems.


Andy has a wealth of technical and application knowledge in the machinery and petroleum industry, both with onshore and offshore facilities. He has a strong technical background with compressors, engines, turbomachinery, and reliability. Li's breadth of experience and leadership ensures timely response, knowledgeable support, and successful project execution.


For application questions or project support, Andy can be reached by email, or by phone +86 - 137 0107 8772.


Paul Crowther, MEng, CEng, IMechE, Principal Engineer

Paul Crowther, Principal Engineer Paul is a Technical Authority in BETA's Vibration Integrity Group, which involves design, inspection, and consulting services related to static and transient piping vibration for onshore and offshore facilities. This includes requirements defined by the Energy Institute guideline (Avoidance of Vibration Induced Fatigue Failure), as well as many different advanced analysis services.  


Paul is a Principal Engineer, with over 14 years of experience in advanced engineering analysis in Europe and the Middle East, where he has supervised large scale piping vibration projects. He is actively involved in industry committees, research, supervision and specialized engineering projects.

Paul is currently working in BETA's Calgary office and will relocate to Malaysia in late 2015.  


For piping integrity questions, Paul can be reached at, or

Optimized Skid Design for Compressor Packages

This article, one of the top ten downloaded articles in 2014 in COMPRESSORtech2 magazine, highlights the issues involved in skid design for vibration-related loads (compressors and pumps). When designing a structural steel skid (baseplate) for a compressor or pump package, the design must balance stiffness, mass, and cost. High stiffness will help avoid alignment problems due to skid deflection during transportation and installation. Heavier skids tend to have lower overall vibrations, but can have high deflections when lifted. The challenge when optimizing the design is to know where steel can be added or removed to maximize the stiffness and minimize the costs. READ THE FULL ARTICLE 


Website News is now available in Chinese and


Events6  Upcoming Events

Feel free to email me with your suggestions on how we can better support you with relevant technical information and application support.


Hilmar Bleckmann
Beta Machinery Analysis
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