5 Main Types of Process Tower Maintenance
AMACS is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of separation and phase contacting process internals serving a wide range of industries. Another of the benefits of our experience is our ability to work with and organize many different types of plant maintenance, outages, shutdowns, etc. Proper maintenance and crisis response is beneficial because it significantly reduces overall operating cost in addition to increasing the productivity of the plant during a production halt.
Depending on the industry, there can be many different types of plant maintenance; but in regard to process tower internals, these are the top five:
1. Routine Maintenance
As suggested by the name, routine maintenance is done outside the tower for the purpose of servicing and maintaining plant equipment. Maintenance is generally defined as a procedure carried out for any equipment to lengthen its reliability and perform its functions as intended. This work also includes any activity carried out on an asset to repair anything that has failed, to keep the asset running, or even to restore it to an improved operating condition. The passing years have shown many new strategies to maintenance that are intended to predict and overcome any problems which are related to asset and equipment breakdowns.
An outage is an emergency that occurs when a piece of vital equipment or an asset fails and causes the immediate cessation of production. The cost of an outage is generally thought of as the cost to fix the piece of equipment or asset. In actuality, this cost may be microscopic when compared to the lost revenue during the outage. For example, the failure of a $100,000 piece of equipment in a refinery and the cost to repair or replace it could result in a $1 million loss in unrecoverable revenue when this production is lost for good.
3. Capital Projects
A capital project is the term used for new construction on a plant that is a long term investment made for the purpose of building upon, adding to, or improving on a capability or process. It derives its name from the fact that it requires the use of notable amounts of capital to undertake and complete, in both labor and finances. Capital projects are large in scale and cost more in relation to other standard investments in a plant, which is why it is very important to partner with someone who can advise on what assets and equipment are needed for the project and then deliver.
Every once in a while, the operators of a plant are forced to cease and bring down all or part of their operations in order to address a critical issue. A shutdown is simply the name used when there is a disruption in the process of a plant. Shutdowns can happen when a plant does not have access to cost effective materials or resources that are necessary for their process. They may also happen in the case of an accident or natural disaster. Since these types of shutdowns are not normally planned, a shutdown often immediately affects the supply of the goods or service the plant provides. Shutdowns that happen during the peak season of demand can cause prices to increase dramatically among their competitors.
In addition to shutdowns, plants also need to periodically conduct preventive maintenance, renovations to the plant, or upgrades. The procedures are intended to allow plants to ensure safe operations, adhere to government regulations, and stay competitive. These types of planned shutdowns are called turnarounds and often occur approximately every three to five years depending on industry. Each of these turnarounds requires extensive planning and coordination and usually happens when production is at its lowest.
More on Process Tower Maintenance
Any type of process tower shut-down can cost a company millions in lost revenue. Having a partner with the latest products combined with engineering support and a dedicated team can help minimize costs and improve future operating costs. AMACS has decades of experience providing equipment and services for column upgrades, repairs, outages, maintenance and turnarounds and a dedicated turnaround team available to customers day or night. Call us to learn more about our leading products and services and how AMACS can minimize your downtime and get production flowing as quickly as possible. We want to be your tower internal “pit crew!” Please call us at (713) 597-8398 or contact us.