by | Mar 06, 2012
Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products develops ATEX-compliant special solution for filter change in natural gas production
It took nine months to plan and design this special lifting and traversing system, which Columbus McKinnon developed in close cooperation with the client. Within the short space of 12 months, this special motion technology solution was subsequently built and installed in the demanding climatic conditions at the installation location.
The wire rope winches and lifting elements from Pfaff-silberblau used in the Saudi Arabian natural gas refinery comply with the stringent category 2 requirements of the ATEX Directives 94/9/EC and 99/92/EC, which also govern equipment used for lifting, lowering, pushing and compressing loads in plant engineering, navigation, sewage treatment plants, chemical industry and food processing industry.
Current information and checklists pertaining to ATEX-compliant motion technology products from Pfaff-silberblau are available online at www.pfaff-silberblau.com/AT-Brochures.
For natural gas filter towers in the Saudi-Arabian desert, Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, Kissing/Germany, has developed and installed a special lifting and traversing system for exchanging filter elements. This involves the use of 19 specially designed trolleys in three different sizes and eight gantry cranes made from ATEX-compliant lifting elements and electric wire rope winches from Pfaff-silberblau. This extremely heavy-duty special solution is capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius, sand and dust and even the explosive environment.
ATEX-compliant special solution
The natural gas produced in the Saudi-Arabian desert is refined directly on site by means of special filtration processes into a clean and effectively burning fuel. The filter stations used for this consist of two to four towers with an approximate diameter of three metres and a height of up to 24 metres. These contain filter elements that have to be exchanged at regular intervals. For this purpose, the special motion technology solution from Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products ensures that the covers weighing tons on top of the towers can be safely lifted up and moved, the contaminated filters taken out and the new filters inserted.
Mobile trolleys and cranes
To this end, the engineers from Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products installed a crane for each filter station on a platform at a height of 24 metres, which can be moved on traversing rails flexibly over the towers, along with a trolley per tower, which is also moved on rails.
During an inspection, the trolley moves, driven by two travel drives, up to the tower cover. The power of the travel motor is distributed by means of drive shafts to the two travel drives of the trolleys. Using four lifting elements made by Pfaff-silberblau, the heavy 16 ton cover is raised and securely locked in place. The trolley positions itself with its load so far back that the tower is free. The crane subsequently ‘rides over’ the trolley and positions itself directly over the opening. Two BETA electric wire rope winches from Pfaff-silberblau lift out the spent filter and reliably hold up the load, while the crane travels to the pick-up position at the end of the rail. Here, the wire rope winches are used to lower the contaminated filter safely down to the ground and to pick up a new filter. The crane returns to its position above the tower, where the winches insert the clean filter exactly in place. Once the filter has been successfully exchanged, the trolley transports the cover precisely back in place on top of the tower, so that it can be securely screwed down.
About Columbus McKinnon and Pfaff-silberblau
Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, based in Kissing near Augsburg (Germany), is a part of the Columbus McKinnon Corporation (CMCO), based in Amherst (USA). Its brands Pfaff-silberblau and ALLTEC Antriebstechnik are among the technological leaders in the field of solution-oriented lifting and material handling equipment as well as drive technology and stage technology.
Its sister company, Columbus McKinnon Industrial Products GmbH, based in Velbert (Germany), is featuring the brands Yale and Pfaff-silberblau and offers high-quality standardized lifting and material handling equipment for ergonomically appropriate and safe lifting, shifting, positioning and fixing of heavy loads.
In Germany, Columbus McKinnon currently employs approximately 370 people; worldwide, the group has more than 2,600 employees at 55 locations and sites in 19 countries.
You can find further information on Columbus McKinnon and the brands Pfaff-silberblau www.pfaff-silberblau.com.
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