Next Level for GE Energy’s Nevada Condition Monitoring

August 23, 2011 / Elizabeth Buckley, Commercial Property Analyst

GE Energy (NYSE: GE) has taken a higher step in asset monitoring through the acquisition of Commtest, a provider and designer of machinery health information systems.

Next Level for GE Energy’s Nevada Condition Monitoring

Following GE’s announcement of a 300-megawatt (MW) grid-connection agreement with Romania’s grid operator Transelectrica, and a joint venture with German wind farm developer Prowind GmbH, which is expected to aid in the expansion of Romania’s wind power sector, GE Energy’s Bently Nevada condition monitoring will now associate Commtest products with its portfolio and enhance its product line.

Bently Nevada provides machinery protection and condition monitoring for refineries, petrochemical plants, power plants and wind farms. With more than 50 years of experience, Bently Nevada has been in the business of improving the reliability and performance of critical production assets like turbines, compressors, motors and generators.

In a statement, GE Energy said: “As a major component of predictive maintenance, condition monitoring is essential to increase asset longevity. Through condition monitoring, plant managers constantly receive data that provides input about the health of their machinery.

“For example, by knowing the vibration behavior and temperature of certain assets, managers can make strategic decisions about preventative maintenance to avoid asset fatigue, breakdown and failure. This is especially critical in the oil and gas and power industries where failed assets potentially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a day in lost production revenue and increased operating and maintenance costs.”

“The acquisition of Commtest allows us to significantly upgrade our portable vibration data collection and analysis capabilities,” said Art Eunson, general manager for GE’s Bently Nevada product line.

“Bently has an extensive portfolio of continuous monitoring solutions, sensors and transducers, software and supporting diagnostic instillation services, but the Commtest acquisition will help us bring our customers a more integrated offering that takes into account the health of the entire plant.”

Commtest, which is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, produces vibration analysis and monitoring equipment.

Vibration analysis detects early signs of impending machine failure, alerting managers to direct repairs and make replacements before they encounter expensive breakdowns.

The vbSeries are an improvement over traditional, portable walk-around routines.

“They offer ease-of-use, cost-effectiveness and up-to-the-minute data collection. The acquisition of Commtest—the latest example of how GE provides end-to-end offerings—provides GE customers the benefits of highly reliable and accurate machinery condition monitoring for the total plant,” GE Energy said.

“With any acquisition, we look for companies and products that have a natural fit and will enhance the solutions we are currently offering,” Eunson noted.

“The vibration and monitoring equipment provided by Commtest elevates the Bently offering.”

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