Brief History of Kelm Engineering, LLC

Kelm Engineering was formed in 1999 to provide technical engineering support services to the petrochemical and power industry. The majority of the initial business was related to vibration analysis, field balancing and machinery dynamics field support. Our services have grown with our employees as we have continued to add additional capabilities related to machinery dynamics.

In addition to providing vibration measurement and analysis services, we routinely provide analytical engineering services including finite element modelling (FEA) with ANSYS, acoustical pulsation analysis with Bentley PULS, as well as use of a variety of other analysis tools.
The FEA work has included modelling of turbine blades, compressor impellers, shaft sections, casings, piping and vessel components and many other systems and devices. In some cases, entire skid mounted machinery systems have been modelled to help evaluate causes of elevated vibration.

Rotordynamic analysis services have included both calculation of lateral and torsional vibration response per API RP 684 as well as vibration measurement. Lateral vibration is commonly measured using portable test equipment that can accommodate short term measurements or long term monitoring. Torsional vibration is measured primarily using strain gages to document static and dynamic torque measurement based torsional vibration and dynamic torque measurement.

Recent expansion efforts have led us into the IoT (Internet of Things) world where we are providing data gathering services by employing measurement hardware in the plant with trend and dynamic data being transferred through a cloud database for remote viewing. This service allows easy implementation of complex vibration measurement with the data available for detail analysis as well as for feeding overall and other feature values (1xRPM, Gap Voltage, etc.) to advanced pattern recognition (APR) models for fault identification. We provide the data service from the equipment or monitoring rack location to the data delivery point (plant historian or other) with little or no ongoing resource assistance from the plant.

As the business has grown, much of the work is based on a mixture of field testing and analytical engineering. Using the latest analytical techniques along with field data, very accurate solutions can be developed and validated quickly using this approach. Measure -> Analyze -> Solve.

Although we are based in the Greater Houston area, our projects continue to be located around the nation and the globe.

-- Ray Kelm, Owner and Chief Engineer

Ray Kelm

Ray Kelm has been working in the engineering industry for nearly 35 years, primarily in the realm of mechanical design, analysis and numerical modeling, troubleshooting of mechanical equipment. The majority of his work has been focused on the analysis and troubleshooting of rotating and reciprocating machinery, like compressors, turbines, motors, and gearboxes.

 

Ray Kelm’s Areas of Expertise:

  • Rotordynamic analysis including lateral and torsional responses
  • Structural dynamic response prediction and measurement
  • Modal analysis testing (empirical field measurement of structural response modes) including operating deflection shapes and frequency response functions
  • Application and process assessment for pumps, turbines and compressors
  • Engineering review of applications, specifications, etc.
  • Field testing/verification of design application
  • ANSYS® FEA software
  • Specializing in dynamic and acoustical system modeling
  • Non-linear static analysis
  • Digital pulsation analysis per API 618 and 674 (Bentley PULS)
  • Pipe stress/flexibility analysis (AutoPipe v8i)
  • Piping fatigue assessment per ASME OM-3
  • Environmental noise studies
  • Remediation of industrial noise sources

Ray began his career in the engineering field in 1984 after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BSME in Mechanical Engineering. In 1986, he received his MSME in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia. After spending 15 years in the industry, Ray launched his own engineering firm after his namesake: Kelm Engineering. Kelm Engineering has worked with some of the nation’s and world’s largest industrial and oil and gas corporations, but also works with small- to medium-sized companies. Ray has also been an expert witness in cases of litigation, including cases regarding analysis and review of machinery and equipment failure, sound and vibration levels, and improper design structures.

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Ray Kelm’s Credentials and Affiliations:

  • Owner of Kelm Engineering, LLC (firm F-1340 in the State of Texas)
  • Member of ASME since 1984 (# 622910)
  • Vibration Institute Training Instructor for Category III and IV courses
  • Advanced Vibration Analysis
  • Advanced Vibration Control
  • Rotordynamics & Balancing
  • Vibration Institute (ISO) Certified Category IV Vibration Analyst (# 9706-0018C)
  • Member of Vibration Institute Board of Directors
  • ASME Flow Induced Vibration Course, Attendee, ASME course PD146, 2006
  • ASME Piping Design and Pipe Stress Analysis Course, Attendee, ASME course PD014, 2006
  • Bentley AutoPipe User Training, Bentley Institute, 2008
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Ray Kelm

Ray Kelm has been working in the engineering industry for nearly 35 years, primarily in the realm of mechanical design, analysis and numerical modeling, troubleshooting of mechanical equipment. The majority of his work has been focused on the analysis and troubleshooting of rotating and reciprocating machinery, like compressors, turbines, motors, and gearboxes.

 

Ray Kelm’s Areas of Expertise:

  • Rotordynamic analysis including lateral and torsional responses
  • Structural dynamic response prediction and measurement
  • Modal analysis testing (empirical field measurement of structural response modes) including operating deflection shapes and frequency response functions
  • Application and process assessment for pumps, turbines and compressors
  • Engineering review of applications, specifications, etc.
  • Field testing/verification of design application
  • ANSYS® FEA software
  • Specializing in dynamic and acoustical system modeling
  • Non-linear static analysis
  • Digital pulsation analysis per API 618 and 674 (Bentley PULS)
  • Pipe stress/flexibility analysis (AutoPipe v8i)
  • Piping fatigue assessment per ASME OM-3
  • Environmental noise studies
  • Remediation of industrial noise sources

Ray began his career in the engineering field in 1984 after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BSME in Mechanical Engineering. In 1986, he received his MSME in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia. After spending 15 years in the industry, Ray launched his own engineering firm after his namesake: Kelm Engineering. Kelm Engineering has worked with some of the nation’s and world’s largest industrial and oil and gas corporations, but also works with small- to medium-sized companies. Ray has also been an expert witness in cases of litigation, including cases regarding analysis and review of machinery and equipment failure, sound and vibration levels, and improper design structures.

Ray Kelm’s Credentials and Affiliations:

  • Owner of Kelm Engineering, LLC (firm F-1340 in the State of Texas)
  • Member of ASME since 1984 (# 622910)
  • Vibration Institute Training Instructor for Category III and IV courses
  • Advanced Vibration Analysis
  • Advanced Vibration Control
  • Rotordynamics & Balancing
  • Vibration Institute (ISO) Certified Category IV Vibration Analyst (# 9706-0018C)
  • Member of Vibration Institute Board of Directors
  • ASME Flow Induced Vibration Course, Attendee, ASME course PD146, 2006
  • ASME Piping Design and Pipe Stress Analysis Course, Attendee, ASME course PD014, 2006
  • Bentley AutoPipe User Training, Bentley Institute, 2008
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Walter Kelm

Walter Kelm is a Sr. Consulting Engineer with Kelm Engineering. He began his career in 2010 after graduating from Rice University with his BSME in Mechanical Engineering. The majority of his work has been focused on field measurement of vibration, pulsation, and noise, as well as numerical modeling to troubleshoot machinery issues.

Walter Kelm’s Areas of Expertise:

  • Structural dynamic response prediction and measurement
  • Modal testing to determine natural frequencies and mode shapes
  • Application and process assessment for pumps
  • ANSYS® FEA software
  • Dynamic and acoustical system modeling
  • Pulsation analysis per API 618 and 674
  • Fluid/hydraulic transient modeling
  • Pipe stress flexibility analysis
  • Piping vibration and fatigue assessment
  • Environmental noise studies

Walter Kelm’s Presentations and Publications:

  • Kelm, R., Kelm, W., Pavelek, D., “Rotor Balancing Tutorial,” Turbomachinery Symposium Proceedings (2016).
  • Kelm, W., Kelm, R., “Elevated Pressure Pulsation In A Methanol Injection Reciprocating Pump System”, Turbomachinery Symposium Proceedings (2013).

Walter Kelm’s Credentials and Affiliations:

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Texas (# 128946)
  • Vibration Institute Member
  • ISO Category IV Vibration Analyst (Vibration Institute)

Dustin Pavelek

Dustin Pavelek is a Sr. Consulting Engineer with Kelm Engineering where he is responsible for conducting analytical studies and field vibration testing for rotating and reciprocating machinery. He began his career in 2006 after graduating with his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, where, as a technician/graduate research assistant, he led a team in the design, fabrication and commissioning of a test rig for evaluation of hydrostatic journal bearings for cryogenic applications. Before beginning his career with Kelm Engineering in 2011, Dustin worked as a member of corporate Machinery Engineering and PdM groups in the petrochemical and power generation industries. His experience in Root Cause Failure Analysis, field vibration testing, torsional rotordynamic analysis, as well as Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics for power plants using Advanced Pattern Recognition (APR) tools continues to provide our clients with the insight necessary to protect their assets and ensure their machinery is healthy for the short-term as well as the long-term. Over the years, he has also given presentations at various conferences and has been published in engineering publications.

 

Dustin Pavelek’s Presentations and Publications:

  • Developing a Technical Basis for Using On-Line Equipment Condition Monitoring to Reduce Time-Based Preventative and Predictive Maintenance: Update to 3002010579. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2017. 3002012560. (Principal Investigator)
  • Kelm, R., Kelm, W., Pavelek, D., “Rotor Balancing Tutorial,” Turbomachinery Symposium Proceedings (2016).
  • Childs, D., Borchard, H., Klooster, D., Pavelek, D., Phillips, D., “Transient Lift-off Test Results for an Experimental Hybrid Bearing in Air, Simulating a Liquid Hydrogen Turbopump Start Transient,” ASME Paper No. GT2016-56310 (2016).
  • Pavelek, D., “Rotor Modeling from Drawings I and II,” Vibration Institute Annual Training Conference (2015).
  • Kelm, R. and Pavelek, D., “Orbit Analysis,” Proceedings of the 32nd Vibration Institute Annual Meeting (2012)
  • Pavelek, D., “Development of a Test Apparatus for Validating Predictions of (i) Dry- Friction Whirl/Whip and (ii) Transient Hybrid Bearing Performance,” NGST Project Report (2006)
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Dustin Pavelek’s Credentials and Affiliations:

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • The Vibration Institute
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Texas (Licence # 111626)
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Louisiana (Licence # 40743)
  • ISO Category IV Vibration Analyst (Vibration Institute)
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Dustin Pavelek

Dustin Pavelek is a Sr. Consulting Engineer with Kelm Engineering where he is responsible for conducting analytical studies and field vibration testing for rotating and reciprocating machinery. He began his career in 2006 after graduating with his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, where, as a technician/graduate research assistant, he led a team in the design, fabrication and commissioning of a test rig for evaluation of hydrostatic journal bearings for cryogenic applications. Before beginning his career with Kelm Engineering in 2011, Dustin worked as a member of corporate Machinery Engineering and PdM groups in the petrochemical and power generation industries. His experience in Root Cause Failure Analysis, field vibration testing, torsional rotordynamic analysis, as well as with advanced engineering software, including Finite Element Analysis, continues to provide our clients with the insight necessary to protect their assets and ensure their machinery is healthy for the short-term as well as the long-term. Over the years, he has also given presentations at various conferences and has been published in engineering publications.

 

Dustin Pavelek’s Presentations and Publications:

  • Publications and Conference Presentations Developing a Technical Basis for Using On0Line Equipment Condition Monitoring to Reduce Time-Based Preventative and Predictive Maintenance: Update to 3002010579. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2017. 3002012560. (Principal Investigator)
  • Kelm, R., Kelm, W., Pavelek, D., “Rotor Balancing Tutorial,” Turbomachinery Symposium Proceedings (2016).
  • Childs, D., Borchard, H., Klooster, D., Pavelek, D., Phillips, D., “Transient Lift-off Test Results for an Experimental Hybrid Bearing in Air, Simulating a Liquid Hydrogen Turbopump Start Transient,” ASME Paper No. GT2016-56310 (2016).
  • Pavelek, D., “Rotor Modeling from Drawings I and II,” Vibration Institute Annual Training Conference (2015).
  • Kelm, R. and Pavelek, D., “Orbit Analysis,” Proceedings of the 32nd Vibration Institute Annual Meeting (2012)
  • Pavelek, D., “Development of a Test Apparatus for Validating Predictions of (i) Dry- Friction Whirl/Whip and (ii) Transient Hybrid Bearing Performance,” NGST Project Report (2006)

Dustin Pavelek’s Credentials and Affiliations:

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • The Vibration Institute
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Texas (Licence No. 111626)
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Louisiana (Licence No. 40743)
  • ISO Category IV Vibration Analyst (Vibration Institute)
  • ISO Category II Machinery Lubricant Analyst (ICML)