Ariel’s New KBK:T

Leveraging decades of experience and advances in technology, Ariel Corp. has introduced the KBK:T. Targeting the midstream and upstream compressor markets, the KBK:T fits between Ariel’s JGK:T and JGC:D:F frames, bringing higher rod load and horsepower capabilities, along with longer strokes than the JGK:T, while fitting in a similar footprint. Available in 2, 4, and 6-throw configurations, the KBK offers up to 5520 hp (4116 kW) at 1200 and 1500 rpm.

“Looking at our existing portfolio, there was a bit of a horsepower gap between the JGK:T and JGC:D:F product lines,” said Robert Drews, director of marketing at Ariel. “It’s appropriate for us to have a product in that power range.” “It was also our interest to bring additional value,” said Joe Fernandez, manager of application engineering at Ariel. “So, while there was a horsepower need there, we were also looking to bring additional value to our lease-fleet customers, such as higher horsepower density, increased rod load, and a stiffer frame. Ultimately, we are looking to improve the own-and-operate experience. The increased rod load gives operators increased or added flexibility, so whether it’s suction or discharge pressures, the rod load will give them additional flexibility in the pressure range that they require.”

The KBK:T frames have a 6-in. (152.44-mm) and 5-in. (127-mm) stroke. According to Fernandez, the combination of stroke and rated gas rod load values enhance the allowable compressor-operating map while optimizing the use of available driver horsepower.

“With more powerful drivers hitting the market, and applications requiring additional compressor capabilities, the KBK:T allows more power for customers who need a JGK:T sized compressor,” said Fernandez. “The KBK:T is designed to handle the increasing demands of the market while maintaining the portability of the JGK:T products.”

“We’re also looking toward the future to potentially upgrade engines and getting ready for that,” added Drews. “When you look at driver matchup, Waukesha’s new VHP Series 5 engine is a very good engine-compressor match for the KBK at 1200 rpm. Caterpillar’s 3520 is a solid matchup for the KBT. The 6-in. stroke KBK is an ideal fit for natural gas engines and 1200-rpm motors. The 5-in. stroke of the KBT allows for a maximum operating speed of 1500 rpm. That will enable it to work well with 1400-rpm engines and the 1500-rpm motors that are common outside North America.”

“We are continually learning,” said Fernandez. “We are continually listening to our customers. Over the course of the last 50 years we’ve learned how to make frames stiffer, how to make them less likely to vibrate. We also have the capabilities in our manufacturing facility, through advances in machining and casting, to make a stronger frame without increasing its footprint. In the case of the KBK:T, we’ve been able to create a more robust, stiffer frame in a similar footprint as the JGK. Our design team incorporated the knowledge that we have learned over the years. The angled design of the crosshead guides and through-bolt support fasteners of the KB series brings increased stability under higher rod loads. The pistons, piston rods, crossheads, and connecting rods have been redesigned for improved load carry capability as well.”

The KBK:T utilizes a new cylinder class lineup equipped with internal components design-rated to provide the same or improved reliability when operating at the design ratings. “The increased rod load allows us to utilize higher working-pressure cylinders,” said Fernandez. “It allows us to use higher-pressure cylinders from our current product line.”


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