Consistent with that, in 2002, the assets of Bently Nevada Corporation were purchased in a friendly acquisition by General Electric Power Systems division. The sale of Bently Nevada Corp. enabled Don Bently to focus on bearing technology and he re-emerged as the Bently Pressurized Bearing Company. After spending a lifetime of studying rotor instabilities he was keen to develop techniques to actively control instabilities. Bently demonstrated that by changing input pressure, and hence the stiffness of his bearings, the natural frequency of the rotor system could be tuned away from instabilities. The Bently Pressurized Bearing website noted that “Pressurized bearing technology is destined to be as influential as the proximity probe in revolutionizing rotating machinery.”
Devitt shares this enthusiasm and has acquired more than just the Bently Pressurized Bearing name. New Way will be flying under Don’s technical flag as described in his book “The Fundamentals of Rotating Machinery Diagnostics.” As Devitt explains, “The reasoning and equations in his book (esp. chapter 23) are the technical foundation for dynamic models and ultimately the commercial success of the externally pressurized bearing technology we believe in.” To further that end New Way also acquired Don’s personal engineering library and one of the Bently Pressurized Bearing demonstration units will be on display at TPS, borrowed from the New Way lobby.
“Don has become a personal hero of mine”, says Devitt. “We were both selling gas bearing technology at the same time but to different industries. I am very sorry that I did not have an opportunity to meet him in person as he died October 1, 2012, just after that year’s Turbo Symposium, which was our first show in the industry. I have been able to collect some stories about Don, and that has been good fun. Based on those, I’m not sure that he would actually pass me his baton, but I’m willing to pick it up and run for the finish line anyhow and I bet that many of the people that knew Don will appreciate that. I sure appreciate Don’s strong start."
New Way will be exhibiting externally pressurized gas bearing and seal technology in booth 3005 at the Turbo Symposium this Sept. 13-15 in Houston TX