Having received an urgent request on Friday 23rd June by Columbus to find a possible solution, Air Products visited the site after hours to discuss possible routes, viable options and equipment requirements.
With the options discussed and reviewed by Air Products on Saturday morning, the engineering team decided to modify and use the existing argon storage and vaporization system to supply oxygen to the plant.
Considered the “safest and simplest” solution, the modification required the fabrication of a temporary pipe. This allowed the argon plant to connect to the plant’s oxygen supply line.
With the project greenlit, team members from various departments were brought together to undertake an intensive four-day process to modify plant controls, convert the plant from crude argon tank to service. oxygen and install the temporary pipeline.
This pipeline involved the connection of approximately 24 meters of three-inch stainless steel pipe as a temporary gas supply solution.
Stating that the project needed quick action, Nana Phuti, Senior Project Engineer, Air Products, added that the company’s familiarity with the product features was also needed.
“Additionally, the project team had to make sure that the key players know their responsibilities according to the project plan and that they carry out their tasks within the project deadlines.
“It’s equally important to inform the client and manage their expectations in terms of project delivery,” she said.
Having worked as a team around the clock to complete the pipeline, Columbus was able to resume its processes and reduce downtime costs.
“Fortunately, with the commitment of Air Products, we were able to resolve the issue within days,” commented Alec Russell, Engineering Manager, Columbus Stainless.