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Tag Archive: Planned Maintenance Shutdown

  1. Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown Tips

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    Order tube bundles, gaskets and O-rings early for your scheduled maintenance day.
    Order tube bundles, gaskets and O-rings early for your scheduled maintenance day.

    Are you getting ready for your scheduled maintenance shutdown? The approach of the year’s end is typically a cue for business leaders to assess their companies and make plans to improve in the year ahead. Often, this includes a scheduled maintenance shutdown that coincides with the slower period of business around the holidays. Your scheduled maintenance day only comes around every so often, so it’s important that you approach it strategically.

    Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan your holiday maintenance day:

    Review equipment documents

    To best ensure your scheduled maintenance shutdown is as productive as possible, you’ll need a few pieces of key information. First, you may want to check the maintenance history of your equipment – when was the last time it was serviced? How old is it? When was the last time it was repaired? How has it been performing in recent months?

    If your equipment is starting to age or slow down, it may be time to begin planning its replacement. On the other hand, if it’s still relatively young but not performing as efficiently, it may be a sign that it’s in need of a deep cleaning or a part replacement.

    When preparing for an equipment inspection, it’s a good idea to have information like the serial number or model information on hand so you can be precise when ordering parts or requesting specific services.

    Order spare parts early

    If you think the replacement of certain parts is needed for your maintenance day, be sure to come prepared. You’re not the only one scheduling planned maintenance at the end of the year, so it’s important to beat the rush and order parts as soon as you’ve identified which ones you need. Order tube bundles, gaskets and O-rings early for your scheduled maintenance day.

    To order parts for your shell and tube heat exchanger soon, reach out to Enerquip. Our lead time is faster than the industry average, which means you should have your necessary components in hand within a few weeks. Consider all aspects of your shell and tube heat exchanger before placing an order: O-rings, gaskets and tube bundles are all popular items to order this time of year.

    Consider your heating system

    With winter comes cold weather, but that doesn’t mean your facility needs to be chilly (unless refrigeration is necessary). To make sure you’re not overspending on energy costs this year, review your heating system and identify areas where you can improve. Knipp Services pointed out that this may mean you’ll need to clean some burners, remove carbon buildup from flues, calibrate pressure gauges and make sure that flames can burn cleanly without any obstructions that can create a fire hazard.

    One heating system aspect that’s easy to overlook is wasted heat. Many systems that require hot water or steam produce heat that can be captured and used elsewhere in your facility. A shell and tube heat exchanger is ideal for waste heat recovery, an effort that can simultaneously make your operation more sustainable and cut energy costs. Perhaps a heating system overhaul isn’t practical during your planned maintenance day, but it’s worth checking out to see if it’d be a feasible investment further down the line.

    On the other end of the scale, your cooling system deserves some attention, too. While you may not be turning it back on until June, assessing the condition of your cooling system is better done sooner than later. Check condensate drain taps, cooling towers and chillers for signs of aging or damage sustained during the summer and fall.

    Prevent slip and fall incidents

    The ice and snow of wintertime can make for a risky work environment if precautions aren’t taken. Outdoors, you may put down salt or sand to create a safer walkway, but don’t neglect your buildings’ interiors, Cleaning & Maintenance Management Magazine noted. Use a combination of scraper mats and absorbent mats at your entrances to remove snow, ice and water from shoes and boots to mitigate moisture and puddles forming on your floors.

    Anticipate power losses

    When a winter storm hits, there’s always a chance that a power outage can occur. While you can’t predict when these events will take place, you can prepare for them. If you already have a backup generator, be sure to inspect it to make sure it’ll perform when it’s needed, Facility Executive suggested. If you don’t, or you need to replace an aging one, do this sooner than later.

    If you’re planning your scheduled maintenance shutdown day, be sure to consider all tasks you want to accomplish. Remember to have spare parts on hand before you open up equipment to prevent unexpected downtime. To order spare parts early for your shell and tube heat exchanger, reach out to the helpful heat exchanger experts at Enerquip.

  2. Heat Exchanger Routine Maintenance Tips

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    How do you tackle your shell and tube heat exchanger routine maintenance? When heat exchangers are an essential aspect of your operation, it’s important that they’re working at top efficiency. Dirty or fouled exchangers can slow down your processes, contaminate your product and lower your company’s overall efficiency. To avoid these negative consequences, it’s important to be vigilant about shell and tube heat exchanger routine maintenance and proper cleaning.

    Here are five factors to keep in mind to make your shell and tube heat exchanger routine maintenance as effective as possible:

    1. Create a Plan for your Heat Exchanger Routine Maintenance

    When it’s time to clean your shell and tube heat exchanger, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to shut down operations temporarily. This is lost production time, which translates to reduced output and efficiency. However, there are ways to minimize the effects of a plant shutdown. One of the most effective ways to lower the impact is to prepare for it.

    Have a dedicated datefor planned maintenance, Ethanol Producer Magazine suggested. This way, you can plan and prepare for the event, allowing you to choose an inconsequential day for the shutdown. Additionally, since contractors who specialize in equipment maintenance often have busy schedules, planning and preparing can help you choose the date and time that suits you best – not when the contractor has a free space in his schedule.

    Make sure that any spare gaskets or replacement tube bundles are ordered in plenty of time to arrive by your scheduled maintenance date. Without a predetermined date for planned maintenance, it’s all too easy to let this important task get pushed back. When this happens, your equipment is more likely to run into problems. Sooner or later, you’ll either have to shut down your operation yourself, or a piece of equipment will fail, and you’ll have to quickly schedule reactive maintenance. There’s no predicting if or when this will occur, and it may not always be in your favor.

    2. Inspect Your Equipment

    Excessive fouling is never a good thing for your heat exchanger. If not identified or addressed in a timely manner, it could result in several problems, including contaminated or unusable product, corrosion or leaks. Ethanol Producer Magazine pointed out that, in some cases, material buildup can become a fire hazard.

    To prevent these issues, it’s important to note when fouling begins to form and to remove it promptly. Check your tube bundles as well as the shell side for signs of material buildup or corrosion.

    3. Test your Heat Transfer Fluid

    Another area of concern is the heat transfer fluid. When using chemical-based HTFs, it’s inevitable that the material will eventually become degraded and less effective. When this happens, it can reduce the efficiency of the exchanger and, depending on the chosen fluid, can adhere to the surface of the tubes, become a more volatile solution or create a fire hazard, Processing Magazine reported.

    Regularly testing the HTF will tell operators where in the lifespan the fluid is. Take the fluid from several different places to get a more complete idea of how good the fluid still is. Additionally, be sure to test the fluid while it’s in operation; cooled HTF will display different properties than the HTF in action, making the reading of fluid from a shutdown machine a less informative sample. Additionally, shutting down a piece of equipment for the purpose of taking a sample will slow down operations, put undue stress on the equipment and HTF, and takes more time out of your workday.

    Test the fluid periodically; Processing Magazine noted that quarterly testing typically provides the best results.

    4. Collaborate with the Right People

    Shell and tube heat exchanger routine maintenance is no small task, so it’s important to include any and all relevant personnel in planning it. Work together to identify maintenance needs, a day that works best for the company and the right professionals to assist or carry out the job.

    “Approach your planned maintenance day with a checklist.”

    “The maintenance manager, the environmental health and safety coordinator, and I typically work together on scheduling and making sure we have the proper documentation, training records, etc.,” Tyler Edmundson, the plant manager at ethanol plant Mid-Missouri Energy, told Ethanol Producer Magazine. “Safety is the No. 1 priority – making sure contractors have proper credentials and understand our policies and expectations.”

    When you include people from different departments, such as your environmental health and safety team, you’ll be able to collaborate on smart decisions that are good for the company overall. Additionally, when you approach your planned maintenance day with a checklist, you’re more likely to have as productive a shutdown day as possible.

    Edmundson noted that working with different people to plan out the maintenance day also allows them to collect all the necessary documentation that any incoming professional would need to know. For example, Matt Werzyn, maintenance manager with Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Elkhorn Valley Ethanol LLC, told Ethanol Producer Magazine that he creates and sends an informational packet to any contractors that will work on their equipment. It includes the company’s safety rules and requests items from the contractor, like employee training records, to demonstrate their credentials. Then, after arriving on-site, but before they get their hands on the equipment, the team goes through a contractor orientation.

    Other information you may want to provide any contractor that will be working with your equipment is a maintenance log, documentation from the original equipment manufacturer or information about the products or fluids used in the equipment.

    5. Cleanup after your Heat Exchanger Routine Maintenance

    Depending on your cleaning method, there may still be necessary tasks to carry out once everything is all cleaned. Whether you used chemical or mechanical cleaners to remove fouling, there could be debris left over. This could contaminate your product if left unaddressed. Give your equipment a rinse to ensure there are no leftover chemicals or dirt.

    Your shell and tube heat exchanger is designed to be closed up tight most of the time. As such, opening it can sometimes cause damage to the gasket, Marine Insight explained. Be sure to double-check your gasket and gasket cover before wrapping up your heat exchanger maintenance. Make sure that you have spare gaskets on hand and replace them if necessary.

    Heat exchanger routine maintenance and cleaning can be a time-consuming task, but it’s not one that’s worth putting off. By being proactive, you can help your equipment perform more efficiently and last longer. When you have questions about proper care for your heat exchanger, need replacement parts, or when you’re ready for a replacement unit, reach out to the helpful heat exchanger experts at Enerquip. Clickhere to contact us today.