The prime function of the foundations, relative to equipment reliability, is to hold the compressor train in alignment during all operating phases for the life of the equipment. To perform this function, the foundation must be rigid. It is difficult to establish and maintain alignment between ihe machine components if the foundation is prone to excessive deflection. A foundation may well be able to support the machine train physically, but if not massive enough to prevent excessive differential deflection between the equipment bodies, problems with long-term operation are going to occur. Ideally the couplings, while flexible, will function much more trouble free if not operated at the extreme misalignment limit for long periods of time. It goes without saying that the basic foundation design should be robust enough to avoid or at least minimize settling so as not to affect the compressor train alignment over the life of the equipment.

Another aspect of deflection is the foundation's natural frequency. The foundation must be tuned in such a way that any resonances are not in coincidence with any of the compressor train natural frequencies. Relative to equipment considerations, it would be desirable to have all foundation natural frequencies well above any equipment critical speeds

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