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SIEMENS - A Case Study in Power

Supplier: Giant Inflatables Industrial By: Lee O
07 February, 2019

The maintenance of Power StationTurbines is one of Siemens' specialities. The saving of downtime, costs and manpower is the speciality of Giant Inflatables Industrial. See how our partnership works!

Power plants, whether gas or coal, both rely on a turbine to generate their power.

These turbines need to undergo planned maintenance, approximately every six years. Maintenance usually requires hundreds of personnel and weeks of down time. During this time, turbines are completely disassembled, cleaned, tested and re-assembled. One of the most critical parts of this maintenance is the cleaning of the turbine using abrasive blasting.

Challenges

Siemens’ global operations generate revenue of around €80.0 billion and the company has around 377,000 employees worldwide. Locally in Australia and New Zealand, where Siemens has been active for over 145 years, the company employs around 2,200 people across 16 locations.

Their steam turbines work as generator or mechanical drives for compressors or pumps. They play a significant role in many combined cycle and co-generation plants and in industrial applications.

Abrasive blasting is used in turbine maintenance as a method of cleaning parts that have been dirtied through years of use. Abrasive blasting creates a fortune of mess as particles of the blasting medium are projected at the turbine part under high pressure. In an effort to contain the blasting material, the process must be completed in an enclosed space.

Traditionally scaffolding would be erected and wrapped to create an enclosed environment to blast in. This method requires 2-3 days just for set-up and can cost between $7000-$10,000. Siemens began to consider alternative methods of containing their abrasive blasting to reduce the time required to erect their blasting enclosure and reduce the ongoing cost of such blasting enclosures.

How We Helped

Giant Inflatables Industrial has developed an industrial grade inflatable blasting shelter. Portable and easily erected Giant Inflatables Industrial’s blast shelter creates an enclosed environment in a matter of hours, saving days of time and thousands of dollars.

With portability being a primary concern, the inflatable blast shelter can pack down to fit on a pallet and can be transported between power plants. These shelters travel across Australia saving Siemens thousands of dollars and days at every power plant they maintain.

With strict Operational Health and Safety requirements at power plant sites Giant Inflatables Industrial’s shelters offer a huge advantage over traditional methods. With the advantage of requiring no rigging systems nor heavy machinery, the inflatable blast shelters can be erected simply by unpacking and connecting to the fan thereby eliminating many OH&S complications faced with traditional methods of blasting enclosures.

Results

With an initial investment of AU$20,000 Siemens saw a return on their investment within 3 maintenance projects. Not only did Giant inflatables Industrials blast shelter save them money, but they managed to reduce the time of their maintenance operations by up to 3 days. Using a Giant Inflatables Industrial blast shelter also reduced a multitude of OH&S issues that arose when working with scaffolding such as working at heights. Andrew Beevor, Service Operations Team Leader at Siemens explained that “From a health and safety perspective the inflatable is a lot better for us then the other solutions which is having guys crawling up on scaffolding up in the air somewhere”.