Category: RTS

Reciprocating Technology Services Adds Engineering Muscle to a Strong Service Team

Engaged, enthusiastic, and loyal employees are pivotal drivers of growth for any organization

Houston, TX (01/14/2019) – Reciprocating Technology Services (RTS) has added some key engineering expertise and sales management to their team. Frank Hoegler, President of RTS, stated, “RTS grew dramatically in 2018, and we think that trend will continue in 2019. It’s in our client’s best interest for us to make strategic investments in the right talent then put them to work leading and creating a safe and productive work environment for the rest of the team.”

Tom Anderson, Operations & Engineering Director

Tom Anderson joined RTS in 2018. He started his career with GE Power Systems as a Power Generation Repair Engineer focused on the aftermarket repairs of Gas Turbines, Steam Turbines and Generators. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BSME and an MBA in International Business from the University of Texas at Dallas. He obtained his Six Sigma Black Belt certification from GE and was also a Six Sigma instructor for GE’s European Service Center network.

Tom has spent his entire career in various leadership roles in the aftermarket service of industrial equipment with GE Energy, Baker Hughes, Elliott Group and Cook Compression. He has a passion for customer service, around the clock support and continuous process improvement.

Ken Ashraph, Lead Rotating Equipment Engineer

Ken is a versatile technical leader with expertise in new product development, technology strategy and product management. Ken worked for Baker Hughes where he managed the New Product Introduction (NPI) Engines team dealing with analysis execution (CFD/FEA), testing, design and validation to meet engineering design review requirements and tollgate deliverables. Ken also worked with BHGE’s Global Research center for new technology development and integration into new product plans.

Now with RTS, Ken has taken over the development of a new starter systems RTS is introducing in 2019 for big engines like the CB W330 called EcoStart. This is a hydraulic starter system that has zero emissions and several operational benefits including the ability to “slow-roll” the engine. EcoStart is the result of a unique collaboration between Voith Turbo and RTS.

Allen Laribee, Sales Manager

Allen joined Reciprocating Technology Services (RTS) in 2017. He started his career as a field service mechanic. That appreciation for the fundamentals in medium and large bore reciprocating engines and turbochargers has made him an invaluable asset to clients.

Previously, he served in various sales management positions at OEMs and services companies including GE Oil/Gas, Cooper Cameron, Cooper Compression and Elliott Turbocharger. Allen managed key accounts for many prominent companies in the natural gas, nuclear, petrochemical, power generation, marine, and locomotive industries.

“RTS’s growth is impressive. The market is in a transformation period regarding people and equipment. RTS is taking advantage of that and making things happen on time,” said Tony Thornton, President of TTS Energy Services.

About RTS

As part of the TTS Energy Services portfolio that includes Reciprocating Technology Services, RTS is an OEM alternative that offers agility, innovation and experience delivering industry-leading modernization, optimization, upgrading, aftermarket parts and custom services for our midstream compression clients. Based in Houston, Texas, our team of field service technicians and support personnel serves 6 of the top 10 largest midstream operators in North America.

Contact Information:
Scott Muster, Marketing Director, TTS Energy Services
9848 Windfern Rd Houston, TX 77064


Passing down the experience and skills from one generation to another.

The natural gas transmission industry is an excellent example where gathering new skills and leveraging the experience of an older generation is an essential business practice these days for big recip operators. And here is why, as an example, there are 1,782 Cooper Bessemer engines operating in the North American pipeline system, the average startup date for these engines is August 1961… 57 years ago.

Obviously, there is a lot of mature equipment in use today where the operating parameters for these machines have changed since they were first commissioned. These engines form the backbone of our natural gas transmission infrastructure making them. And, they occasionally need attention from engineers, mechanics and field personnel to keep them running at optimal performance levels.

The critical question to station and facility operators: How do operators train a 25-year-old mechanic to safely work on equipment that is over twice their age?

For every company in this space, employee training should be a continuous process; from the initial point of starting with a company, learning new skills is an essential part of personal development. As an employee gains more expertise, their role changes as they become the mentor to the next generation and the cycle continues. Today, the number of mentors available is diminishing rapidly, putting more pressure on operators to invest in training their employees.

Employee Investment

Investing in a comprehensive training program is very important for maintaining a high standard of personnel competence that will benefit customers as well individual members of the team. The cost for equipment down-time is potentially far greater than the cost of training the facility engineers or service technicians.

Big engines like the GE-Cooper Bessemer© pictured here have been driving gas compression for many, many years. The engineers and technicians for these machines need to be problem solvers, prepared and trained to demonstrate troubleshooting skills while safely operating and maintaining mechanical drive engines, controls, generators and ancillary equipment.

The course topics listed below are custom designed for each customer regarding their specific equipment. RTS’ trainers prepare for intermediate to advanced level students. Designed by our experienced training personnel and in-house subject matter experts, these courses provide an excellent means to quickly train your operators and mechanics in established maintenance best practices and operational strategies.


Key Course Topics

  • Compressor Selection
  • Compression Process
  • Theory of Operation
  • Compressor Operation
  • Compressor Cylinder Assembly
  • Frame Assemblies and Compressor Configurations
  • Cooling and Lubrication
  • Capacity Control
  • Performance & Design Calculations
  • Case Studies and Compressor Applications

Improving Professional Standards

It is important that throughout their employment, employees are offered both internal and external training in specialized maintenance and operational topics that can help both the employee and the company improve the breadth of their expertise. RTS encourages ‘hands-on’ training applied to as many different specific disciplines as possible. Compression facilities have many specialist activities such as:

  • Plant Management
  • Maintenance
  • Purchasing
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Health & Safety
  • Utilities

Each of these jobs functions are important, but other skills such as communication, ethics and quality management should also be addressed with every trainee.

Capturing Expertise

An employee’s value to the company increases as they gain more experience, not only for the expertise they can deliver, but the knowledge they possess can be shared with less experienced employees. Capturing knowledge and experience within an organization is essential to delivering a high quality and effective service, even when the most qualified personnel succumb to retirement.

Recording details of procedures and engineering analysis in a database ensures accurate customer records as well as retaining essential information that can be used to improve company procedures. In addition, procedures and manuals for performing various engineering tasks will also be used to train up-coming employees. However, the most valuable projects, in terms of new information, are those that pose a unique challenge or require an innovative solution. Gathering this data and creating a forum in which it can be passed on to others working in a similar field is very important in improving the efficiency of future projects.

Improving Technical Knowledge

Training can be tailored to suit the needs of individual customers and their equipment, allowing them to make cost-effective investments in their staff. As one of the leading service companies for reciprocating engines and compressors, RTS can provide training courses aimed at inhouse mechanics and field techs who are involved in the daily operation and maintenance of reciprocating equipment.

Reciptech Training

The aim of these courses is to enhance the competencies of the trainees, enabling them to improve productivity and reduce downtime. Depending on the roles of the trainees, courses can look at theoretical principles along with the design and operational characteristics of reciprocating equipment. This can lead to a better understanding of how to specify a machine correctly, which in turn will ensure the equipment is operating efficiently and reliably. Training on the most suitable predictive maintenance techniques can provide simple techniques for reducing downtime and maximizing productivity.

Potential Curricula

  • Maintenance Best Practices
  • Changes in maintenance cycles
  • Combustion
  • Operational considerations for operating low speed integrals on shale gas.
  • Engine balancing basics
  • Fugitive gas emissions reduction options
  • Life extension options for mature engines being pressed back into service
  • Bearing Maintenance
  • Block and crank repair techniques
  • Controls operation
  • Compressor Valve operation and maintenance (Hands on)
  • 4 and 2 Stroke Engine Operation and Maintenance overview
  • Compressor Rod Run Out

Sharing The Wealth

RTS has the reciprocating and is in position to train both engineers and internal staff. Ultimately, a company that believes in supporting its staff in improving their knowledge will benefit from a more skilled workforce and a more productive working environment.