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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

    • Matthias Ebach

    • Olaf Karrass

    • Carsten Lange

    • Jürgen Lennertz

    • Klaus Thiele

An innovative, closed loop cleaning system

BUCHEN’s cleaning specialists have developed a bespoke solution for one of their clients – an innovative, closed loop system for cleaning tube heat exchangers that is practically emission free.

Efficient and practically emission-free

The task the company was given to solve was both exciting and challenging: a vertical tube heat exchanger containing an environmentally hazardous product needed to be cleaned using a process that was safe, efficient and in line with the strictest of safety conditions – and preferably one that caused no emissions whatsoever.

The engineers at BUCHEN UmweltService’s branch in the German city of Stade approached the problem from a completely new angle and came up with the successful concept of creating a closed loop system. This automated system consists of a clever combination of cleaning and extraction processes that enables the heat exchanger to be cleaned so that there are practically no emissions. What’s more, the heat exchanger does not need to be dismantled beforehand – it can remain on site in the plant. Thanks to this new method, the operatives do not have to wear full-body hazmat suits with self-contained breathing apparatus.

So how does it work?

  • An automated device with flexible lances is placed on top of the heat exchanger which is then used to clean the inside of the tube bundle. The problematic water-product mixture generated by this cleaning process is simultaneously suctioned out of the heat exchanger using a closed loop process – reducing potential air emissions to an absolute minimum.

    Besides suctioning out this mixture, a vacuum is created around the whole of the heat exchanger’s lower dome further reducing the risk of gas or the product-water mixture escaping into the atmosphere. Both material streams (product mixture and exhaust air) are then fed into an exhaust air scrubber via a vacuum/cleaning unit with a water-ring air pump.

    • Cleaning the inside of the heat exchanger

       

  • A further advantage of this closed loop cleaning system is that it has hardly any impact on the immediate surroundings. This means that it is no longer necessary to set up scaffolding covered in tarpaulin around the heat exchanger to prevent the area from being contaminated by water spray. The time-consuming work of cleaning the surrounding area is also a thing of the past.

    The BUCHEN experts are able to adapt this innovative process to suit the exact requirements of their customers

    This environmentally friendly closed loop system is suitable for cleaning all types of heat exchangers – horizontal or vertical – where it is essential that the gas or water-product mixtures do not escape into the environment. The BUCHEN experts are able to adapt this innovative process to suit the exact requirements of their customers.

    • Extracting the mixture from the base of the heat exchanger

       

This automated system consists of a clever combination of cleaning and extraction processes that enables the heat exchanger to be cleaned so that there are practically no emissions. What’s more, the heat exchanger does not need to be dismantled beforehand

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