Drew SpearsGeneral Manager – On-Site Seal Services Parts Division
I began my career with NRG Energy, where I worked as a Repairs Engineer located in their Central Maintenance shop. I was responsible for the inspection and repair of a variety of power generation components including turbine rotors, diaphragms, gland casings, valves, pumps, heat exchangers, boiler components, and power piping.
I joined MD&A in 2012, where I have held a variety of roles, mainly focused on packing and seals manufacturing and installation. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University.
What do you do here at MD&A?
I manage the On-Site Seal Services (OSS) group. Our team of highly skilled technicians performs custom installations of packing rings & tip seals to ensure optimal clearances during start-up and operation of the unit. We also perform pre-measurement of existing units to manufacture in-kind or upgraded replacement seals.
What is the most interesting challenge you have come across at a job site?
When I first started at MD&A, our packing rings were manufactured manually. Once we purchased our first CNC vertical turning lathe, I became responsible for tooling selection, process development, and implementation of CAM-driven manufacturing in our shops. Today, our manufacturing process is almost entirely CNC-based which has driven quality and improved cycle time on parts.
Why is Packing & Seal Installation so critical?
Turbine seals prevent steam from leaking between the rotating and stationary components. Seals with excessive clearance, due to either component distortion or through seal wear, reduces turbine efficiency while clearances that are too tight will result in turbine rubs and operational problems. Our technicians custom-fit the seals on-site to account for any distortion (holder out-of-roundness/dishing) or misalignment that is present. This ensures proper clearance around the circumference of the sealing interface.
How does the mobile CNC-Equipped Containerized Unit help you complete your job?
Along with our highly trained technicians, we send a portable machine shop inside a Conex trailer to every job site. The machine shop contains a CNC mill, precision measuring equipment, and all tools necessary to complete a seal installation. CNC equipment is critical to perform accurate seal adjustment and ensure the best possible fit in the unit.
What is your favorite thing on your desk?
It is actually in my desk, not on my desk, but my favorite thing is a hand-written note from my beautiful wife and two children. It reminds me of how lucky I am!