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  • Dear Readers,

    The term “shutdown” is really not the best choice of word for describing what our customers and we do during a major turnaround. The only thing that has been shut down is the facility itself – everything else around it is a hive of activity. In fact, work begins months before a shutdown is due to take place as everything has to be meticulously planned and organised and all possible parts produced in advance so that the plant can be up and running again in as short a time as possible.

    BUCHEN and XERVON took part in two major shutdowns earlier this year – both at the same time. All in all, the two companies deployed around 1,200 employees over this four-week period to carry out a whole range of different tasks. Very few companies in Germany are able to take on such a mammoth project. Read our feature article to find out how we succeeded in doing this.

    Brand-new technological developments

    Another thing that creates a hive of activity at our company is our desire to solve our customers’ problems and find bespoke solutions that meet their exact requirements. We are constantly working on further improving our services by developing technical innovations that make processes even more efficient. We have come up with a number of smart ideas for a range of different applications. From closed loop processes, to getting maintenance work fit for the future with condition monitoring, all the way through to creating our own complex technological developments such as the dense phase conveyor system and our very own industrial cleaning robot, the automated industrial cleaner (AIC).

    No matter what development we may be looking at, our focus is always on improving workplace safety. As a result, we have launched a variety of product innovations onto the market recently that makes working in boilers much safer. We have also been awarded a number of work safety prizes from our customers – demonstrating that this subject is just as important for them as well. And we are happy to admit that we are extremely proud to have been awarded these. They are proof that our ongoing efforts to improve work safety are bearing fruit. Whether it be RWE, EVONIK or Covestro – to name just a few – they have all commended us and thanked us for the hard work we carry out in this area. We, too, would like to say a big “thank you” to them: for giving us these awards and giving us the opportunity to work with them. We are also doubly proud because we operate in such a wide range of fields, all of which – such as tank cleaning work – have their own particular hazards and risks. Our experts are in high demand both for onshore and, in particular, offshore projects. From the North Sea to the easternmost region of Russia: our customers like to make the very most of our in-depth know-how and specialist technology.

    Outstanding scaffolding services

    What’s more, the latest scaffolding projects in Sweden and Austria clearly demonstrate just what a name XERVON has made for itself as one of the leading European scaffolding businesses. Both projects involve extremely complex requirements, whether it has to do with weather protection or special anchorage solutions. In fact, we are well-known for delivering specialty scaffolding solutions in all of the countries we operate in. Which was one of the reasons why we invested in our scaffolding business in the German town of Eisenhüttenstadt. With both the workforce and workload having expanded over the last few years, we decided to invest in our employees, in our customers and in the region as a whole.

    Have fun reading this first ever digital edition of our magazine – you’re bound to read about a service or product that could be of interest to your own business!

    • Hans-Dieter Behrens

      Olaf Karrass

      Jürgen Lennertz

    • Matthias Ebach

      Carsten Lange

      Klaus Thiele

An innovative solution makes planning ahead easier

BUCHEN-ICS has further developed an innovative filling system to enable reactors and vessels to be filled with catalyst or other bulk materials without the need for a crane – no matter how strong the wind or how bad the weather. A unique solution that will make it much easier for businesses to plan ahead.

BUCHEN’s DPC system replaces cranes

In most cases, a crane has to be brought in to help out when reactors and vessels need to be filled with bulk material as it can lift up the material (packed, for example, in big bags) and place it next to the opening. However, regulations stipulate that a large area must be cordoned off around the lifting area (suspended loads) to keep everyone safe – and work must be stopped if it rains too heavily or if there are strong winds. This is where BUCHEN’s dense phase conveying system (DPC) comes into play. This upgraded material-friendly system enables reactors and vessels to be filled without interruption in places where a crane may not be used for safety or weather reasons.

The material is safely conveyed upwards through the pipe instead of having to be lifted up by crane

And this is how it works: the dense phase conveyor consists of two storage tanks that are firmly fixed in a frame on the ground and completely weatherproof. The material is conveyed pneumatically from the first tank into a stainless steel pipe. The material can be conveyed vertically up to 90 metres above ground – no matter what the size, shape or weight of the granules may be. At the same time, the second tank is filled with material. This enables the filling process to be completed uninterrupted and ensures that the whole of the pipeline is filled throughout. Once the material reaches the top of the vessel/reactor, it is automatically transferred into a filling container – also protected against the weather – before the actual filling of the reactor begins. This makes it possible for a variety of filling techniques to be deployed such as sock loading or dense loading. An additional hose line links the filling container with a vacuum unit below so that any dust particles generated by the filling process can be vacuumed off.

The dense phase conveying system is suitable for all types of reactors and vessels

Any place, any time

  • The dense phase conveying system is suitable for all types of reactors and vessels. As it can be stored in a 20' container, it can be transported to and installed wherever it is needed in no time at all. Whether it is raining, stormy or there is simply a lack of space: BUCHEN’s new filling system can be used to fill reactors in CCR, HC, Claus and styrene plants as well as molecular sieve vessels, HDS reactors, vessels in ethylene/propylene hydrogenation plants as well as narrow PSA plants.

    Everything under control: the system first underwent extensive tests; a 30-metre-high scaffold was built to simulate the exact conditions

Tests show excellent results

  • This innovative system first underwent an extensive test phase that lasted several months to check it worked smoothly. This was carried out on BUCHEN’s own premises in Cologne where it had had a 30-metre-high scaffolding tower built specifically for this purpose. The developers tested the system under a variety of different conditions. After all the tests had been passed with flying colours, the company then put on a special event in the autumn of 2016 to present the technology to its customers. Since then, it has been deployed in various projects and proven to be an absolute success each and every time.

    By using hose lines and a filling container next to the opening of the reactor/vessel, the BUCHEN-ICS specialists ensure that the material is conveyed safely and remains dry throughout

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