Motor reliability is crucial in any industry, but it is extremely important in oil and gas operations in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. Every minute of uptime counts and lost production time carries expensive consequences. Any equipment failure or delay in schedule, from crude production to refined delivery, affects the entire operation. Since the oilfield operates 24/7, constant monitoring and preventative maintenance of pumps, compressors and other system components is extremely important to provide maximum throughput and uptime.
For over 85 years, one company – just 60 miles from the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale – has led the electric motor repair, rewinding and load testing industry to become the recognized expert in root cause motor failure diagnostics and necessary repair. Producers, drilling rig operators and plant managers throughout the United States rely on Bradleys Inc. for state-of-the-art motor repair, rewinding and load testing.
Built in 2010 and expanded in 2013, Bradleys’ corporate campus, located in Gregory, Texas, encompasses nine acres with a 110,000-square-foot shop facility including 30,000 square feet of climate-controlled storage. Bradleys’ climate-controlled storage is maintained at 50 percent humidity at ambient temperature. Oilfield insiders in the know store critical spare motors, vertical motors, pumps and other equipment in the facility to protect and access it quickly and efficiently. Bradleys’ ability to provide repair and testing on some of the largest motors in the nation with the use of its 100-ton bridge crane is a major asset to plant managers and operators across the country.
“The explosive growth of the Eagle Ford Shale and related industries in South Texas has provided a wealth of opportunity for Bradleys,” President Jim Williams says. “Our focus is to exceed our customers’ expectations every time whether we are repairing, load testing or providing field service on small to large motors, vertical motors, electric generators and pumps, most commonly used in the petroleum exploration and refining industries.” An ISO 9001:2008-certified company, Bradleys’ serves the on- and offshore petroleum industry, refineries, manufacturers, wind energy producers, wastewater management, utilities and the mining industry. “Because South Texas is pro-business and enjoys low energy costs, several major plants are currently being constructed in our backyard, including Tinian Corporation’s subsidiary, TOOR America. It is considered to be the largest single investment by a Chinese company in an American manufacturing facility,” he says. TOOR American will meld scrap steel and pig iron into 500,000 metric tons of seamless pipe annually for the oil and gas industry. Also currently being constructed are a gas liquefaction plant and an Austrian steel plant in the area.
“Our unique capabilities in repair, rewinding, load testing and root cause motor failure consultation on small to ultra-large electric AC and DC motors will be of great benefit to these facilities,” Williams said. Bradleys’ ability to load test motors up to 7000 HP sets it apart from its competitors and many motor manufacturers, as its load testing capabilities often exceed those available by the manufacturers themselves. Bradleys has also remanufactured and reverse-engineered many of the largest motors in the country.
Precision torque and power input measurements assess an electric motor’s performance. Bradleys’ state-of-the-art, in-house load testing control room offers remote monitoring of live data collection and live video stream. Its customers’ load test is managed by electrical and mechanical engineers, as well as experienced load-testing staff experts.
Bradleys’ dynamometer has a torque measurement device capable of measuring 38,000 foot/pounds at 3600 RPM with a .01 percent accuracy on a motor load test. The dynamometer set up has several available combinations of speed and horsepower. Bradleys can perform a motor load test up to 7000 horsepower AC or 4500 AMP, 750V for DC motors. Data collection includes 12 temperatures, power, HP, efficiency, power factor, torque, speed, currents and voltages.
“Vertical motor load testing will be available to our customers in first-quarter 2014,” says Williams. Vertical motors are used to drive the pumps that bring production fluids to the surface in the oilfield. “There is great demand for vertical motor load testing in the Eagle Ford Shale and as a company, we routinely invest in the latest systems and technology as well as evolve our processes to meet our clients’ needs.” For those clients that wish to monitor their motor testing and repairs as the motor travels through the repair process in the Bradleys’ facility, the firm offers remote access monitoring. This is a major benefit to clients whose day-to-day schedules are simply overwhelming.
“Restoring our clients’ motors to better-than-new condition, quickly and cost effectively, to minimize downtime or prevent downtime is one of the successes of which we are most proud,” Williams says. “I find that most motor failure can be prevented by ensuring your motor is placed in the right application, and with a strong preventative maintenance program,” he says. “We’re addressing those issues head-on with our customers, offering training in our training facility by our experts and consulting with customers on-site in their facilities.” Williams is in great demand as an expert witness to motor repair and testing.
With over 100 professional motor repair and testing experts on staff, a comprehensive training program for employees and customers alike, and one of the highest safety ratings in the electric motor repair industry, Bradleys is most often the top choice for reliability managers and engineers for preventative maintenance and field service. Field service capabilities include installation, on-site repair, testing, cleaning and maintenance, laser alignment, vibration analysis, dry ice blasting, thermography and plant turnarounds. The Bradleys staff excels at emergency response, on-call 24/7, 365 days a year. It is the company’s dedication to customer uptime, attention to detail, and knowledgeable, professional staff that makes the company a critical partner to the most notable companies in the shale play.
Bradleys also serves the mining sector, testing and repairing DC motors commonly used in mining applications, the wind energy industry’s generator needs and pump repair needs in wastewater and manufacturing plants. The company is known for its investment in state-of-the-art technology that enables it to repair and test motors and generators faster than its competitors, even in difficult conditions and environments.
Bradleys is a historic player in the industrial sector, but its operations and corporate commitment are anything but dated. While constructing the facility, the company embraced green technology and building practices, powering its facility with wind energy, using green chemical solutions and disposal methods, and investing in a water recycling and treatment system. Its commitment to its employees and their well-being is also notable. The company has a comprehensive wellness program and professional gym on site, with a full-time wellness manager and personal trainer. Its workforce development program is very successful in increasing staff productivity and a model for other companies. Bradleys’ wellness manager often consults with other companies on the design and implementation of their wellness programs.
Bradleys’ achievements were recently recognized by Baylor University as a finalist in the Texas Family Business Awards and by TECO Westinghouse with awards for outstanding service, delivery and quality for the past several years.
“The Eagle Ford play has impacted and enhanced the way we do business,” Williams said.
“We will continue to tailor our services to serve our friends in the oilfield, while also being committed to serving the needs of our core client group in other industries, as well as our employees and our community.”