Kevin RoyLead Engineer Parts Division
I attended Clarkson University for my Bachelor’s Degree and then Georgia Tech for my Masters in Mechanical Engineering. I began my career in GE’s® Edison Design Program.
I worked on rotational assignments for Gas, Wind, and Steam Turbines and then took a long-term position designing Steam Turbine High Pressure casings where I learned a lot about high-temperature material behavior. I then spent several years at Dresser-Rand® designing Industrial Steam Turbines before I joined MD&A in 2015.
What do you do here at MD&A?
I am a Lead/ Design Engineer within the Parts Division. Our group is responsible for reverse engineering OEM parts, quality inspection, Modeling/Drawing creation for all parts, and design of new parts/part upgrades. We also provide technical support throughout the business.
What has been your favorite project at MD&A?
A customer approached MD&A looking for a resolution to cavitation issues on their Boiler Feed Pump Bypass Valve, resulting in severe damage to OEM valve body and internals. The design team developed valve trim material upgrades and hardened seats to combat possible damage from cavitation.
In addition, the team designed, tested, and provided an in-person demonstration of new assembly tooling for the customer. Owning the project soup-to-nuts was a great learning experience and an opportunity to develop value for a customer.
What is the most interesting challenge you come across?
Improving and upgrading OEM parts to solve operational issues is always challenging. We often don’t have the luxury of a blank slate and are constrained by space and mating components that already exist at the site.
Oftentimes, our broad experience helps us leverage more effective designs from other OEMs, yet other times we must think completely outside the box to resolve the issue.
It’s very rewarding when our team creates a solution that can be implemented without modification to mating parts. The Triple Bypass Main Stop Valve and Guardian/Vortex Shedder Packing Designs are two great examples of drop-in upgrade solutions.
How does the patented, combined Guardian Packing/Vortex Shedder (Advanced Sealing System) maintain stage efficiency & improve performance?
The Guardian Packing features “posts” made from low friction material. These “posts” protect the seal teeth by being set closer to the rotor. During a vibration event, the Guardian posts move the packing segment outward radially. The design & material protects the rotor and the seal teeth so that sealing capability is maintained during and after a transient event.
The Vortex Shedder creates additional turbulence in the leakage flow. More turbulence increases the velocity, which drops the pressure on the upstream side of the seal (according to Bernoulli’s Equation). This reduces the pressure drop across the seal, resulting in less leakage which improves performance. These two features provide a simple, creative solution to a complex problem.
What is one of your favorite sayings?
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” -Confucius
My father placed this quote over the door to his industrial arts (woodshop) classroom. It’s a great reminder that complete knowledge and understanding of a task/situation comes from first-hand experience, where one must work through the difficult parts on their own.