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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

Making the very most of recycling

Thanks to BUCHEN’s engineers, who have optimised the company’s automated tank cleaning systems, it is now possible to not only clean large-scale tanks really quickly and effectively but also to recover exceptionally high volumes of the tank’s product from the sludge. A recent cleaning project demonstrates this perfectly, with BUCHEN succeeding in recovering a huge amount of oil from the sludge that had been removed from a 105,000 cubic metre crude oil tank.

  • The contents of the sludge were far too valuable to be simply sent on for disposal – by the end of the process, oil worth a seven-figure sum had been recovered

No other company able to handle such tanks

  • With a diameter of 91 metres and a nominal capacity of 105,000 cubic metres, this is one of the largest oil tanks in Europe. This massive structure has now been successfully cleaned by the specialists from BUCHEN Tank- and TurnaroundService GmbH as part of the tank’s regular maintenance programme. The BUCHEN project managers know exactly why their company had been commissioned to do this particularly complex cleaning project: “We are the only business in the sector that has automated tank cleaning systems that are able to produce efficient results and cope with the huge volumes of sludge found in tanks of this size.”

    Visually inspecting the BTS Blabo® jet washer system

11,000 cubic metres of sludge with extremely valuable contents

The numbers speak for themselves: over 11,000m³ of sludge were removed from this huge container during the tank cleaning procedure. The work was carried out day and night and, if the installation of the equipment, rinsing and fine cleaning work are taken into account, took several months to complete. You would be wrong, though, if you thought the sludge could simply be sent on for disposal: its contents were far too valuable – by the end of the process, oil worth a seven-figure sum had been recovered. BUCHEN then used its own highly efficient upgraded version of the so-called BTS BLABO® jet washer system to clean the huge tank.

Automated cleaning systems reduce disposal costs

  • This innovative process is one of the most powerful closed-loop, automated tank cleaning systems currently available on the market. This computer-controlled technology operates at pressures of up to 12 bar and is fully automatic. A BUCHEN specialist went into more detail: “We looked at what our individual customers needed and then upgraded these closed-loop, automated tank cleaning systems so that we can meet their specific requirements. Manual cleaning work is hardly ever needed anymore. This also means our customers have lower disposal costs as we are able to recover a high percentage of the product stored in the tank from the sludge.” These cleaning systems are placed in mobile containers which can then be transported to and installed on site at the customer’s plant. As part of its work, BUCHEN also supplies the electricity, steam, nitrogen and any other media that may be required.

    • The nitrogen evaporator used to create an inert atmosphere in the tank

    For the most part, the washer and cleaning nozzles used by this innovative technology are inserted into the tank via the openings that are already available – such as the liner tubes in the roof supports, manway hatches or even sampling sockets. In this project, for example, a special structure had to be installed over the tank’s roof to prevent it from being damaged whilst the cleaning equipment was being set up. The customer had an added bonus here as the equipment installed on the tank could also be used to pump out and process the almost 300 cubic metres of residue from a nearby desalination plant – a fast, uncomplicated and highly practical solution.

    What was noticeable throughout the project was the excellent cooperation work between BUCHEN and its customer. Top of the list of priorities here were work safety and environmental protection. The joint risk assessments carried out for each stage of the work certainly ensured that the project was completed efficiently and without a single accident.

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