Custom Machining and Manufacturing

We are considering an upgraded material and/or coating for our upcoming blade replacement. What do you suggest?

RTS offers a wide range of in-house, stocked blade material. We work closely with our customer so we can determine operating temperature, atmosphere conditions and steam conditions. This allows RTS to recommend the optimal blade material and/or coating.

We are considering replacing an entire row of blades; during inspection of the rotor groove we noticed extensive wear and damage. If we cleanup and repair the groove will the current design of our blades fit?

Most likely no. RTS will work closely with our customer if and/when a design change is needed. RTS can also supply custom made grove tools to insure a flawless fit when loading new blades. RTS also supplies root plug samples to customers allowing us to confirm proper blade fit prior to manufacturing.

What is the benefit of shot peening steam turbine blade roots?

Since fatigue cracks generally begin as surface imperfections, shot peening can greatly reduce the formation of surface cracks and malformations of the blade root.

Depending on bucket size and shape, RTS can deliver a small row of buckets (under 2” tall) in less than 10 days.

Field Repair

During peak outage season, how would you get qualified repair technicians to my site for any emergent repair work?

RTS is one of the largest non-OEM turbine repair companies in the industry. Our large staff of over 50 certified repair technicians that can show up at a moment’s notice to minimize the impact to your outage schedule.

We have a forced outage and the OEM cannot support us for two weeks. When can you be on site?

We can generally have tools and personnel mobilizing to site within 8 hours of notification.

What are some common types of repairs you perform in the field?

Some of our more common field repairs consist of stud removal, valve, journal, and thrust collar refurbishment, stationary/rotating component repairs, and stationary/rotating seal refurbishment/replacement.


For the last 3 outages, our generator has shown extensive greasing and dusting in the end windings as well as the connection rings. Several times we have had contractors “fix” the issue but it keeps coming back! What could RTS do to make this issue go away, permanently?

RTS would recommend performing a Bump Test to identify any sections of the winding that have systemic or localized resonance issues close to the driving frequency of 120 Hz on a 60 Hz machine. Based on the results, RTS can design a fix including re-blocking & re-tying to change the unit’s resonance band to a higher frequency, far from the units driving frequency. RTS would also apply an end-winding stiffening treatment to re-establish the epoxy bond planes to secure all loose components.

My company has a 30-year old-generator that’s seen a lot of hard years. I am apprehensive about performing Hi-Pot testing on the unit. What would RTS recommend?

Testing at a higher voltage does place higher risk on your unit today and testing at a lower voltage today makes the test less risky today. Low voltage testing does increase risk during future operation. While testing at a higher voltage provides confidence that the unit can run reliably into the future. OEM’s recommend a test value of 1.5xE, but RTS feels that a more conservative 1.25xE in most cases is a good compromise.

My unit keeps tripping due to field ground alarms. What should we do to determine if it is truly a field ground?

The first thing is to determine if the issue is related to the excitation system or the generator. If the unit is brushless, then isolate the rotating diode wheel from the field winding and perform tests on both sides. If the unit has static excitation, remove all brushes and test the field and buswork separately. RTS has a testing protocol for investigating deeper if the issue is in fact within the rotor circuit.

Our liquid cooled generator is consuming a very large amount of Hydrogen, and the plant has noted that a lot of H2 gas has been going out the vent stack. We checked the hydrogen seals on the generator and we don’t see any sign of H2 loss. What else could it be?

Our experience at RTS shows that if the Stator Cooling Water System (SCWS) has leaks, the higher hydrogen pressure can leak into the SCWS. RTS would recommend performing SCWS dry-out and test. This procedure is comparable to OEMs HIT skid testing.

Unit #4 has got unequal resistances between the three stator phases. What could be the issue, and how do we detect the problem?

Once you have ruled out issues with the test equipment and setup, it is a good idea to place the three phases electrically in series. This is done by connecting T2 to T4, and T3 to T5. Then you would inject DC current from T1 to T6 then let that “heat soak” for about 45 minutes with about 1,000 amps per square inch of winding cross sectional area. After about the time has elapsed, a thermography camera should identify any “hot spots”. Often times, high impedance connections are due to loose hardware, bad brazes, or broken strands which can cause high resistance readings.


How can I be sure that I won’t be receiving change orders throughout the job for items I believe should have been included in your proposal?

At RTS, we work diligently to make sure we completely understand what you would like to accomplish during your outage. We believe it is in our best interest, and yours, that the scope of work be clearly defined. Additionally, we want to have identified any areas that may result in a change order if extra work is deemed necessary. This not only helps with an accurate proposal, but manpower, equipment necessities, and schedule as well. We don’t just want to work with you on this job – we want to work with you on all your projects!

How will you keep track of the Time and Material expenses while the job is ongoing so that I know where I am at regarding my budget?

At RTS, we utilize a Daily Cost Update that is sent to you every day by 12:00PM CST. The Daily Cost Update is completed by one of RTS’ Project Controls Specialists, in our corporate office, so you will receive it regardless of how busy everyone may be at the jobsite.

We have a Major Inspection coming up. What should we include in our bid specification?

We work directly with our customers in outage preplanning, work scope development, and outage schedule development which can be distributed for competitive bid. We believe proper outage planning is the key to a successful project, we want to help in any way possible to ensure your success.

We have already awarded our upcoming outage to another vendor and would need an independent owner’s representative. Can you help with that?

We have a staff of Project Managers, TA’s (Technical Advisors) and Supervisors familiar with many different OEMs. This ensures RTS has the proper expertise for your unique outage needs.

We would like to self-perform our outage but would need additional supervision and TA (Technical Advisor) services. Can you help with that?

We have OEM-trained Supervisors and TA’s (Technical Advisors) available for your unit. In addition we have OEM-experienced Craft Labor that can be used to augment your staff to ensure a Safe and Quality first outage execution.

What will you do to minimize the chances of a safety incident while you are at my facility?

At RTS, Safety is our top priority. We will be checking for potential safety hazards during an initial meeting at your facility or walk-down of the unit. We will work with you on a plan to minimize the risks of those hazards. Each morning, before work begins, the entire RTS Field Services team will have a meeting to perform a JHA (Job Hazard Analysis) to identify any risks that may exist during that day’s scheduled activities. At the end of each shift we perform general housekeeping activities. Not only because we are guests at your plant, but because a turbine deck is much safer if it is kept clean and clear of obstructions.

Total Outage Management

How can you make sure you will meet my outage schedule and there won’t be any delays?

At Reliable Turbine Services, we utilize Microsoft Project to create a comprehensive outage schedule before the job starts. We will identify and discuss possible areas of conflict then work toward a contingency plan, with you, to ensure everyone is prepared. If the scope of work changes during the job, RTS has the repair and manufacturing capabilities to ensure any emergent situation may be quickly resolved. Our different divisions – OCIC, Repair, Manufacturing, and Generator Services will work together to ensure you receive the most efficient schedule possible.

Your schedule is a top priority to everyone at RTS.

What makes you any different than other companies that can come here and inspect my equipment?

We offer a complete outage service package. As soon as you are ready to discuss your project we will outline the services you would like performed then develop a plan to maximize the benefits for performing the proposed work.  At RTS, we don’t feel an outage should be a strenuous experience for the plant personnel with long hours and no days off. RTS can offer you a single point of contact for your outage. With our parts reverse-engineering and manufacturing capabilities we can manufacture most parts that may need to be replaced during the outage. We can bring our qualified technicians to your site, or bring your equipment to our shop, to perform almost any repair required.

RTS can perform any maintenance on your generator, as needed. Your electrical engineers will be in direct contact with a designated RTS Generator Specialist to make sure your generator is operating efficiently. These services are wrapped into RTS’ Total Outage Management philosophy. This will give you the peace of mind that one company is taking responsibility for your outage. This allows us to offer you the most efficient outage schedule, eliminate change orders that are typical when hiring multiple companies for a single outage, and free you up to do whatever it is that you may need to do. We truly care about all of our customers and we want you to choose RTS for all of your equipment maintenance needs.

What type of equipment do you work on?

We provide inspection, maintenance, and repair services on most equipment that you may have at your facility. We perform projects on Steam Turbines from 5MW to over 800MW. Some common turbine designs that we work on are Allis Chalmers, Alstom, GE, Fuji, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Siemens, Westinghouse. We can also perform work on many others. Our Generator Services group has a strong background and can perform test, inspect, and repair on almost all generators from any OEM, gas or steam driven. We also perform maintenance on various other BOP (Balance of Plant) equipment such as fans, gearboxes, pumps, motors, mechanical seals, heat exchangers, seal oil systems, control oil systems, lube oil systems, valves (gas, steam, water), and much more.

What will you do if something unexpected happens during the outage, such as a long lead time turbine part needing to be replaced?

A main benefit from offering multiple services such as repair and parts manufacturing is the fact that our field service teams work together with our repair and manufacturing facilities. This minimizes the impact of an unexpected part replacement or repair. We can quickly ship your damaged part to our manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas to be reverse-engineered and begin manufacturing a new part or our Sullivan, MO facility to be repaired. Having these capabilities backing our Field Service teams is what makes an RTS outage so efficient.

Turbine Repair Services

When performing field repairs to my turbine rotor wouldn’t you have to ship the rotor off-site for balancing?

RTS has Portable Slow Speed Balance Machines with capacities of up to 200,000 lbs. that can ship to your site. Our technicians can perform the balance at your facility and provide full data reports.

Do I have to get my parts NDE and blasted prior to sending them to your repair facility?

No, we can provide that service to you. We have a 14’ x 14’ x 26’ Deep Sandblast booth at our facility and we can also perform all of the NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) activities on your components here as well.

How long is the wait time to have a repair performed during peak outage season?

We have an excellent scheduling system in place to provide our customers with a quick turnaround time, even during peak outage season. The repair facility operates 24 hours a day to make sure our customers receive their repaired parts as quickly as possible. RTS want to help you minimize your outage duration.

What types of repairs can you perform at your facility?

Our shop is fully equipped to handle large steam turbine rotors, shells, casings and all related component repairs. With a complete large capacity welding and machine shop, we provide our customers full-service repair solutions; from incoming inspections to executing extensive repairs.

Where is your shop located?

Our repair facility, located in Sullivan, Missouri is just Southwest of St. Louis. Being centrally located allows us to quickly and efficiently service our customers. Our facility is conveniently located ¼ mile off Interstate 44 to allow for easy truck access to get your parts into, and out of, our shop as quickly as possible.