Total service: An end to your worries

Date: June; 03; 2015 | Author:
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It saves time and worry. It provides much greater safety for employees, as well as for the results of the annual maintenance shutdown and subsequent operations. It's called the Total Service Agreement.

"Why do you perform maintenance shutdowns?"

This is a question that Babcock & Wilcox Vølund jokingly asks its clients at events like last year's ERFA Seminar. 

"The answer is, of course, that plants do so to prevent breakdowns caused by equipment failure," explains Department Manager in Aftermarket Services, Jef Poulsgaard Hansen, who is quick to point that such breakdowns are usually caused by

"...the problems that we can't see if things aren't kept properly clean."

Worry-free service

As Hansen explains, the question is meant as food for thought for plant owners and managers, and his clients are happy to play along.

"Our clients have admitted they don't just stop operations at the plant to take care of things they know about already, but to identify problems they might not be aware of. Such unknown problems mean that cleaning operations must be carried out correctly. Doing so can save clients a significant amount of time, and it results in a much greater degree of safety for both the employees and the plant's bottom line."

Such are the reasons why Babcock & Wilcox Vølund is now offering a total service package that includes both cleaning and maintenance shutdown services.


"Worry-free service," is how service engineer Laust Kildevæld describes the package solution, which lifts the responsibility for safety, technical matters and the management of the annual maintenance shutdown from the plant's shoulders. 

Explosive cleaning

Kildevæld is an expert in a boiler-cleaning method in which dynamite and other means are used to remove slag. One of the biggest advantages of employing such a method is that the cleaning process can be initiated while shutting down the boiler, when slag that has been jarred loose can be transported out of the boiler via the slag system. By doing so, the plant gains a head start of one to two days. Equally as important is the fact that large slag formations are removed before the personnel enters the boiler, which results in a much greater degree of safety. 

Explosive cleaning: Dynamite is used to remove build-up of slag.

As part of his final project at the Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering, Kildevæld studied the effects of using dynamite on boilers. In addition to disproving the fear that controlled explosions might damage the boiler, the service engineer also learned a great deal about targeted cleaning procedures in boilers. It is this type of expertise, along with the experience gained from working with numerous plants on their annual maintenance shutdowns, that plant owners and managers stand to gain with a total service package.

"It's a clear advantage that we know exactly what needs to be cleaned, where to clean and at which level, so that inspectors and smiths can then easily come in and perform their work," Kildevæld explains.

For the individual plant, the annual maintenance shutdown can sometimes be a daunting task, as it requires a full overview and comprehensive knowledge of almost everything at once: setting up scaffolding, health, safety and environment (HSE) requirements, cleaning methods, troubleshooting, reporting, having the right spare parts on hand and coordinating the work of several trade groups at the same time and place. - And on top of it all, the stress involved in trying to finish the job as quickly as possible. 


Rest assured and sleep well

One plant that has already gained considerable peace of mind by leaving such matters to Babcock & Wilcox Vølund is Forus Energigjenvinning, an energy-from-waste plant in Norway. After last year's maintenance shutdown, plant manager Rune Dirdal commented that the total service package from Babcock & Wilcox Vølund allows him to "sleep well at night." As he explained:

"It's a job well done ‒ that is, on time and with no or very few accidents ‒ even though it's a large-scale project that involves a good number of sub-suppliers and several disciplines. There are scaffolders, welders and bricklayers all working at the same time, so the whole thing really must be coordinated well in order for it to work." 

Dirdal also emphasises that the delegation of work and responsibility in the total service agreement does not present an obstacle to meeting all HSE requirements. The opposite is actually true, he notes, as there is complete control over the HSE framework requirements.

"Forus does what they're best at, and we do what we're best at," summarises Leif Sørensen, a service engineer at Babcock & Wilcox Vølund, when asked about the delegation of responsibilities between the two organisations. Sørensen is also the project manager assigned to the service agreement, which was signed in May of 2013 and ends in May of this year, though it was recently extended and expanded to become a total service agreement. The only question now is whether the agreement will run for another three or five years.

"They really just want to have the agreement in place as soon as possible," says Sørensen, who concludes:

"We couldn't ask for a better recommendation."

The total service package

  • Babcock & Wilcox Vølund's total service package includes inspections, reports, planning, spare parts, maintenance, key figures, support, coordination, emergency service and breakdown preparedness.
  • Babcock & Wilcox Vølund is responsible for inspecting the entire plant, including parts delivered by sub-suppliers.
  • During the plant's maintenance shutdowns, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund is responsible for the planning, coordination and execution phases, including e.g. ordering scaffolding, cleaning, safety measures, obtaining building permits and dismantling equipment.

Related information

Service agreements

Extended service agreement: Stress-free maintenance at Forus Energigjenvinning

Total Service Agreement: It saves time and worry. It provides much greater safety for employees, as well as for the results of the annual maintenance shutdown and subsequent operations.

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