Parsons Peebles: A Century of Excellence in Motor and Generator Production

A robust venture

Founded in 1898, Parsons Peebles has a proud history of motor and generator production stretching back for over 100 years.

The company was purchased by Clyde Blowers Capital in January 2013 and following a period of significant investment, has continued to grow into a world leader in the service and manufacture of bespoke, ‘non-catalogue’ electrical machines. Throughout its history the company has been based in various locations near the east coast of Scotland and is today headquartered in the town of Rosyth, from where it produces and services machines for the oil and gas, power, mining and industrial sectors. “We specialise in electrical machines that are used in arduous environments and need to operate extremely reliably in mission critical applications,” says marketing director Robin Tait. “We are in expansion mode at the moment focusing on more effectively servicing our large installed base by investing in new personnel and equipment. Within the North Sea we have machines running on most of the platforms and we’re well placed in Rosyth to ensure quick supply and service. We also have personnel covering our European customers and a new office in the Middle East.”

One development that will be of interest to all clients of Parsons Peebles, particularly those operating within the North Sea, is the opening of the company’s new storage facility, which allows clients to protect their investments by storing equipment in optimal conditions and therefore guard against damage and corrosion. “This storage facility is environmentally regulated and manned by our own specialist storage engineers. It just takes all of the hassle out of the storage of equipment and protects our customers’ valuable assets. You could liken electrical machines to eggs – if you do not handle them correctly they break and if you do not store them correctly they go off.” Robin explains.

“We have put together a campaign based on that theme to raise awareness of the importance of this issue. It is amazing how many contractors store equipment incorrectly. Many times we repair damage caused by equipment that has corroded due to lack of a shaft rotation regime or has bearing or coil damage due to a less than optimal storage process. These repairs are often expensive and come at the worst possible time, when a machine is required quickly to be put back into service,” he continues. “So we have invested in a large facility that is ready to receive these machines and is ideally located for the offshore industry here in Scotland and further afield.”

The 20,000 sq ft. storage facility enjoys ready access to major motorway links and with a lifting capacity of up to 50 tonnes, the safe and timely return of clients’ assets is guaranteed. Customers’ machines, documentation and associated components are ensured to be available on demand, along with a full range of spare parts, components and sub-assemblies, while the company’s highly skilled experts follow a strict set of procedures that include pre-storage assessment and regular checks. Parsons Peebles can also full-load test motors to fully simulate site operating conditions to provide the ultimate insurance that a machine will work first time when installed in the field.

Increasingly within the oil and gas industry the maintenance of machines and equipment is becoming an important area of interest as the price of oil continues to fall and operators seek to lower their operating costs, as Robin elaborates: “Until recently the market was booming, but the falling price of oil is creating a challenging market for everyone. However, this brings opportunities too because Parsons Peebles can reduce the total cost of keeping our customers’ fleet of electrical machines running effectively. We have solutions from supply of simple parts to complete asset management. We also specialise in drop-in replacement machines. For example if an old machine fails we can supply a replacement that slots right into the same space profile and fits existing terminal box, bolting down and cooling connections. We can effectively supply the latest machine technology without the need for complex site modifications. We’ve got numerous examples where we’ve been able to engineer a solution even more quickly than a standard catalogue machine, but tailored to best suit the site and electrical infrastructure.”

In response to growing demands, Parsons Peebles is also increasingly providing motor and generator rewinds at the customer installation. In difficult environments such as offshore platforms the time, logistics and costs associated with bringing back large pieces of equipment makes “in-situ” repair and rewinds very attractive. Through its team of dedicated service technicians and project managers Parsons Peebles is able to replace and rewind motor and generator electrical stator coils, returning critical machines to service quickly and cost effectively. A key aspect of this service is the emergency response manufacture of coils from its UK based sister company, Preformed Windings.

As the business continues to grow, Parsons Peebles will also seek to increase its sales in new build machines. An important factor in this will be leveraging their supply chain and more effectively sourcing components whilst ensuring that its traditional high standards are maintained. “Up until now we have been focused on the after sales market and we are now significantly investing in making our new machines more competitive,” Robin concludes. “We want to engage with new clients and our message to readers is let us quote you for your new machines – we’re confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the value of our offering.”

Parsons Peebles

Services: Manufacturer of bespoke motors and generators