In February 2013, FLSmidth's Customer Services group in Chile received a call from ENAMI-Paipote after they found a crack in their dryer shell during a normally scheduled maintenance shutdown. Under the direction of Eugenio Cruzat, FLSmidth Product Performance Senior Engineer and Guillermo Ulloa, FLSmidth Customer Services Technical Advisor, the FLSmidth team worked in coordination with the USA-based Kiln Services group to develop and achieve a solution to the problem.
The USA-based team initiated the project by issuing a first-visit report, which called for a thickness mapping of the cracked area. The report results showed that the entire mapped area (roughly 4 meters long) had thinned out to about half of the nominal thickness. It was proposed by FLSmidth at that point to fit reinforcement to the thinned area in order to preserve the structural torque-transmission capacity throughout the kiln.
Upon finding those preliminary results, the rest of the kiln was assessed at the urging of FLSmidth's experts. This more complete assessment showed that a thorough mapping of the entire kiln shells reported a similar thinning condition that covered more than 50% of the shell surface.
Knowing what this could mean for the customer in later years, and wanting to prevent any future emergency shutdowns, FLSmidth's Customer Services Chilean team offered to carry out a full audit of the kiln in order to diagnose the general wear condition and operational reliability of the kiln.
Julio Ortiz, FLSmidth Kiln Engineer, said, "We tried to determine the root cause for the kiln shell useful life reduction considering the average expected life span for this type of kiln is about 15 – 25 years."
After this full audit, FLSmidth's kiln experts presented a full report to ENAMI with the recommendations and tools needed for the site to be able to achieve its output goals in the future. The report recommended a complete replacement of the dryer shell after concluding that the kiln's premature wear was due to corrosion from acid precipitation during kiln operations. FLSmidth proposed the application of a special protective paint over the first 10 meters of the inner shell in order to prevent future acid-induced corrosion. A liner design modification was also recommended to make it feasible to remove the liners during annual inspections to be sure that the protective paint had remained intact and there was no new corrosion.
FLSmidth was asked to quote the kiln shell, inlet and outlet end seals, the trommel, and the radial and axial rollers. All of this equipment would have to be available to the site for assembly during the next major plant shutdown, which was scheduled for June 1, 2014.
In October 2013, ENAMI signed a contract for the supply of the quoted equipment with the addition of needed major spare parts, including gears, pinions and tires. Delivery was committed for May 2014.
The USA team worked to re-engineer the dryer to not only meet production requirements and environmental legislations, but also to meet the high standards expected of FLSmidth equipment to perform well over its expected operational lifetime. These improved designs were given to FLSmidth's locally based Chilean Quality and Control team to oversee fabrication of the kiln within the country.
Delivery & Implementation
All of the manufacturing was done and the components were delivered on time to the site by May 2014 as promised, right on time for the scheduled plant shutdown on June 1. This project was another testament of how FLSmidth's global and local coordination is able to efficiently respond to customers' needs in a timely manner with a quality product.
FLSmidth's Customer Service team was then able to get to work on the installation of the new dryer. FLSmidth's Risk Prevention team defined the work places and procedures documents in conjunction with ENAMI to achieve a no-incident/zero-accident plan. The dryer replacement schedule was then carried out to the customer's full satisfaction and was even completed two days ahead of plan. The work included the rolling system, new transmission, and the inlet and outlet end seals.
The kiln began normal operations after that point with no subsequent shutdowns or issues. ENAMI-Paipote was so pleased with the experience that it presented FLSmidth's Chilean Customer Services team with an award for this project. The award was to acknowledge the technical capacity, planning and works execution achievements made by FLSmidth while keeping in line with all safety regulations. The ENAMI-Paipote project manager presented the award to Guillermo Ulloa, FLSmidth Technical Advisor and Javier Perez Medel, FLSmidth Contract Administrator —both from the Chilean office.
Later, in July, when Palle Hansen, FLSmidth Customer Services Director – Americas, visited the ENAMI-Paipote plant and met with Benjamin Medel, ENAMI Maintenance Superintendent, he was told of the client's appreciation for the work performed by FLSmidth during each stage of the project. Mr. Medel highlighted the professional quality of the FLSmidth engineers, the good communication between the companies, the consistent provision of information for key decision making, and the excellent quality of the work accomplished during each stage of the project. All of these qualities were raised even higher by the underlying principle of everything FLSmidth undertakes—that safety is above all other priorities.
This project was yet another example of FLSmidth's ability to provide full and tailor-made solutions for the specific needs of our customers through a One Source approach that involves experts and specialists in offices around the world joining together to accomplish a common goal.
CONTACT: Guillermo Ulloa