High Angle Inspection and Repairs Extend Equipment Life
Ash Grove, a CRH Company, is a leader and pioneer in the cement industry. For over 141 years, we have provided cementitious materials to construct the highways, bridges, commercial and industrial complexes, homes, and other structures fundamental to the nation’s economic vitality and quality of life.
Project Summary and Results
CMS was recently contracted to provide rope access inspection services to assess the condition of the conditioning tower transition duct in a cement plant. The project was staffed using qualified MSHA Part 46 and confined space high angle trained employees.
Our process requires a lot of energy to transport and heat the air in our process flow,” according to Brenna Ferko, Process Engineer at Ash Grove Cement Company. “We had false air coming into our system as ambient air from holes in our ductwork, and it caused us to use more energy for fan power.”As a result, equipment performance suffered and potential problems carried over into other parts of the plant.
“We brought CMS in to do inspections inside the ducts to try and identify where the false air was coming from,” she says. “There are also a lot of areas where dust fugitive control is important. So, if we do have dust escaping anywhere, these repairs help. Our plant is getting older, and we are finding that our ducts are starting to reach the end of their life in some places.” During the 2019 inspection, CMS used visual and nondestructive methods to identify areas of potential concern. The visual inspection focused on identifying anomalies consistent with equipment degradation, such as corrosion, erosion or general damage.
The inspection process included using a hand-held device for ultrasonic thickness (UT) measurements. The CMS inspector, a qualified and highly experienced welder, also performed immediate repairs to damaged equipment identified during the inspection. In addition, CMS supplied all tooling and associated personnel to safely perform the job as part of the work scope.