Success around the world.
The Alphatec Group was established in 1977. It began as a partnership between two individuals interested in solving machinery foundation problems, and has grown to a group of companies in 10 countries, with more than 4000 contracts completed in 40 countries. Our main business has been contracting; regrouting industrial machinery for which cement-based grouts have failed, and replacing them with permanent polymer grouts, properly designed to perform as the interface between machine and foundation. We also repair machinery foundations, restoring the concrete integrity and its ability to damp out vibrations.
The ALPHATEC ENGINEERING group of companies specializes in alignment and regrouting of rotating machinery. We offer these services to all industries operating machinery on concrete foundations, including petroleum refining, power generation, steel manufacturing, metal forming and processing, pharmaceutical and food processing, chemical processing, material handling, mining, cement manufacturing, glass manufacturing, car manufacturing, construction and engineering, and many others.
On the left, these diesel engine generators in an offshore island power station had been idle for many months because of extremely high vibrations, and terrible mis-alignment of the crankshafts. An Alphatec team was able to restore the integrity of the foundation, re-align the engines, and regrout them within a period of about 3 weeks each. The engines were returned to service and rapidly recouped the cost of the repair work.
In most cases, the main symptom of grout and foundation problems is high vibration levels of the machine itself, particularly when the trend is upward. Other associated problems will be excessive power consumption, high wear rates on consumables like seals and bearings, and unexplained stoppages. Alphatec Engineering can inspect a problem machine at short notice, and give a detailed description of the problem areas – these are rarely confined to one fixed “cause”, – and then propose and carry out a repair which addresses all the issues raised. By using epoxy grouts, with its very rapid cure times, the total machine downtime can be minimized.
The principals behind Alphatec Engineering started operations in Japan in 1974, and thus have more than 30 years experience in machinery grouting and concrete repairs and protection. More than 4,000 projects have been completed around the world, in over 40 countries. Multinational clients include ArcelorMittal, Balfour Beatty, Bechtel, Bridgestone, Chiyoda Corp, Dresser- Rand, Ebara Corp, Endesa, ExxonMobil, Fluor Daniel, GE Power Services, Hitachi, Hyundai, IHI, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsui & Co, Pratt & Whitney, Repsol, SembCorp, Shell, Total, and many others.
We offer both products and services to the industries we serve, but primarily, we offer solutions to problems. Our main products are epoxy resin based grouts with inert fillers for stiffness and heat resistance, which we use to repair cracked or damaged foundations and to install new machinery following the OEM and API RP686 recommendations. In addition to the innovative ALPHATEC® branded resin-based products that we use to solve foundation problems, we have a range of mechanical aids, including the specially designed hydraulic jack system marketed under the ALPHAPAD® trademark.
The Alphatec method of repairing rotating machinery foundation is extraordinarily effective at reducing vibration levels of many different kinds of machine. Reciprocating machinery will typically show reductions in vibration level of 50 to 70%. Turbo-machinery benefits from the Alphatec treatment as well, with many machines showing vibration reductions of between 20 and 50% after pressure injection repairs of the foundation.
The idea of “partnership” lies at the very heart of the Alphatec Group corporate philosophy. Each employee is a partner in the success of the company, and each project undertaken is a two -, three – or four – way partnership in attacking and arresting the deterioration of the plant’s facilities.
We have an on-going policy of providing our customers with the best products available in the marketplace at any particular time. We follow the quality controls and quality reassuring policies that comply with the ISO 9001 in our epoxy resin production center and its application on site. We also search out unusual technologies – the ALPHAPAD system of hydraulically adjustable sole pads is one example – to solve specific application problems. Our alignment equipment for setting up a machine before grouting, is first-class, as are the techniques employed to ensure that the machine is in alignment when running, rather than when stationary. Where the product or technology does not presently exist, the Alphatec Group is uniquely positioned to develop the products, tools, and techniques necessary to meet customer demand.
The integrity of the products we sell, the work we undertake, and the people carrying out that work, is the key to our success over the last twenty-five years. We look forward to continuing this successful partnership during the coming years.
We firmly believe that the era of polymergrouts has arrived. When these materials were first introduced, replacement of failed cement-based grouts and adhesive bonding repairs of cracked foundations were the main applications. Cement grouts continue to be used for the installation of many types of machinery, mainly due to their low initial cost. Increasingly, the overwhelming advantages of polymer grouts for new machinery installation are becoming recognized.
The polymer grouts offered by the Alphatec Group are already extensively tried and proven in many industries around the world – these are not experimental products. There is a growing awareness of the importance of foundations and grout on the long-term performance of rotating machinery.
Many machinery manufacturers are recommending the use of polymer grouts,and a growing number of engineering companies and plant owners & operators are actively specifying their use for the installation of all rotating machinery.
Many of our polymer products are based on the polyether family of resins; mainly epoxies and vinyl esters. The first epoxies were introduced in the 1940s, and revolutionized the way engineers looked at ‘plastics’. The physical properties and stability of the epoxy compound were truly amazing. Since that time – over 50 years ago – there have been many advances in the way the basic resins are used in formulating useful products. It is still possible to buy a liquid resin from one supplier, a recommended chemical hardener from another, and call it a ‘formulated’ product, but its properties will be very limited. Today’s formulator has an almost endless supply of additives & modifiers available, and the original limitations of the epoxy compound – such as low heat resistance – can be greatly improved. Alphatec 130, our high temperature service polymer grout, which will withstand direct contact temperatures of 150º C, is one example of a properly formulated product. Our impermeable vinyl ester linings for steel and concrete are outstanding for their acid resistance. (Contact us for individual Product Data Sheets for specific products, and information on the entire product range).
Interesting and useful information
American Concrete Institute
The American Concrete Institute has published many specifications, recommendations, and reports that relate to the construction of good concrete structures, including machinery foundations. The following are probably most useful:
- ACI 207.1R Mass Concrete for Dams and Other Massive Structures
- ACI 215R Considerations for Design of Concrete Structures Subject to Fatigue Loading
- ACI 308-81 Standard Practice for Curing Concrete
- ACI 351.1R Grouting for Support of Equipment and Machinery
- ACI SP-78 Foundations for Equipment and Machinery
American Petroleum Institute
API is well-known in the Petroleum and Petrochemical worlds as publishers of detailed specifications for plant, materials, equipment, and machinery. API RP 686 now turns the spotlight on the whole question of how to design and construct good, long-lasting foundations for rotating machinery, and how to set up the equipment and grout it securely. It is an excellent guide to this mis-understood subject, and could be usefully applied throughout industry, regardless of field.
Brüel & Kjær – Measuring Vibration
The classical primer on vibration. Answers to some of the basic questions asked by the newcomer to vibration measurement. Over the last decades, a whole new technology of vibration measurement has been developed which is suitable for investigating modern highly stressed, high speed machinery. Using piezoelectric accelerometers to convert vibratory motion into an electrical signal, the process of measurement and analysis is ably performed by the versatile abilities of electronics.