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The benefits of proactive inspection

30 March 2017

Industrial boilers can be an expensive item of machinery, and of course, fundamental to keeping plants operational. Given these facts, it’s clear that ensuring that their lifespan is extended as much as possible and that unplanned outages are minimised is essential. It real is a case of 'prevention is better than cure', according to Neil Ford, aftermarket manager at Green’s

Green’s has been designing and manufacturing boilers and waste heat recovery systems in the UK since 1845 and is known around the world for its engineering and manufacturing skills resulting in what we believe are arguably the world’s best economisers. 

However, while our products leave Yorkshire in perfect condition, they are used to generate steam for a wide range of processes day after day. The sometimes highly corrosive environments, varying quality of feed water and rigorous operating patterns can result, over time, in reduction in efficiency or even total machine failure. 

To avoid this, it is vital to commission a proactive inspection service to identify potential problems with boilers and ancillary equipment so that they can be addressed in order to maintain optimum efficiency and before they become unnecessarily costly or result in avoidable outages.

Professional companies that provide this sort of service will usually provide comprehensive reports on their findings to highlight potential problems, make recommendations and offer practical advice so that plans can be put in place and unnecessary cost and downtime is kept to a minimum.  Many will work with the site engineering/facilities team to arrange boiler inspection, servicing and repairs during annual inspection and outage periods so that they can get back to full steam production with their boilers at peak performance with minimal disruption to normal operations. Indeed, our own inspection teams are on call 24/7 and available for worldwide mobilisation 365 days/year at very short notice. 

However, purchasing managers looking for help in this area should check that the company they choose is familiar with the specific challenges that working in the industrial steam boiler sector brings and also that they are competent to deal with a wide range of products and parts which may have been brought together over time.

It is highly valuable if the chosen supplier can provide other complementary services such as asset integrity assessment, failure analysis, chemical cleaning and repairs tailored to customers’ needs. If this can be supported by a spares supply and commissioning service it means that any problems can not only be identified and action plans agreed, remedial action can be taken quickly and efficiently to ensure fast return to optimum boiler performance.

Case study

Green’s provides proactive maintenance services for BASF’s steam generation equipment at its Bradford site, one of the largest and most productive single site chemical plants in the UK. From its West Yorkshire site, BASF primarily manufactures products used to enhance industrial processing in various industries such as papermaking, mining, oil extraction, wastewater treatment and textile processing. 

To keep its production processes running cost-effectively, the company uses the waste gases generated by its boilers to help to power operations across the site, so, it’s vital that they are kept free of deposits which can reduce efficiency and thereby increase costs. 

Green’s uses specialist chemicals and methods to keep boilers operating at optimal levels and has been repeatedly commissioned by BASF.

Lee Willows, BASF’s project operations manager - facilities and energy, says: “The boilers that Green’s has cleaned at our Bradford over the past 12 months were originally manufactured in their Wakefield factory over 23 years ago. It shows that if you take appropriate steps to look after it, the lifespan of this industrial equipment can be significantly extended.”

 
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