It finally happened: the highlight of all user conferences was held February 6 - 8 in Vienna. That was the international GT26 gas turbine conference, a major one in the field!
It is customary at the Gasre / GTUsers.com gas turbine end user meetings, that the first full day is dedicated to an end user day. The end user day consists of short 10-15 minute plant technical presentations on noteworthy events and lessons learned. Each short presentation is followed by a five-minute discussion.
Dalia Power Energies Ltd.'s Cheef Engineer, Yuval Peleg, discussed the measures to be taken for high availability of operation and what their experiences were. His topic, which is visible in the image below, was "Common Failure Mechanism during Warranty Transition Period."
Among the many end user presentations was also Inthat Onguttumporn from EGAT, who covered the improvements made to their North Bangkok plant.
OEMs get heard and challenged
End user meetings are great opportunities for OEMs to get in direct touch with gas turbine operation and maintenance managers. Both Anasaldo Energia and GE had their dedicated conference days, and Arnold Group had their own time slot in the conference program.
The power of the GTUsers.com end user platform became visible with the Q&A session, where Ulf Schirmeister from Ansaldo Energia gave detailed answers to questions that end users had posed via the GTUsers.com website prior to the conference in Vienna. The GTUsers.com forums are great for end users to discuss issues for free. However, face-to-face meetings every now and again are invaluable to really get to the bottom of things.
OEM's need to be ready for some touch questions despite the possible end user platform questionnaires prior to end user meetings. GT26 user group Chairman, Mr. Andy Marshall, challenged Ansaldo experts Leone Tessarini and Ulf Schirmeister by posing tough questions during the Ansaldo Day of the conference.
Vendor fairs are another important and recurring thing during end user conferences. Vendors and OEMs get a lot of attention during coffee breaks and exhibition opening times.
This year's vendor fair was exceptionally large. A great number of service providers could show their capabilities to end users during vendor fair breaks.
There is something to be said also for times outside the structured conference program. Dinners after actual conference days are a great way to unwind and to network less formally.
Ansaldo Energia offered an evening boat cruise, and the GT26 gas turbine cake climaxed the GE dinner.