Cement facilities know that shutdowns for refractory maintenance can be a logistical and financial nightmare when up to $50,000 each day is on the line. However, downtime – and costs – can be reduced by employing specialized equipment that streamlines the installation process.
If you’re ready to be ultra-efficient, read on.
The best tool for swift installation is a well-designed, high-quality bricking machine.
Bricking Solutions’ bricking machines are made of strong, lightweight modular components manufactured from 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum. These components are easy to maneuver and can be assembled in just 60-90 minutes by an experienced crew. Our bricking machines feature a pneumatic arch, which raises bricks into place against the kiln shell and holds them there while refractory is being set. This eliminates some of the more physical aspects of traditional refractory installation and provides superior quality results that can extend the lifespan of refractory by as much as 25%.
Bricking machines with a dual arch further increase productivity by permitting a second ring of bricks to be installed while the first is being keyed. This design features a cut-away section at the front of the arch that provides an unobstructed area to place key bricks. Machines without this feature force installers to try to find other ways to reach around the arch, reducing installation speed and, in some cases, quality. For one cement plant in the United States, incorporating a dual arch bricking machine with a cut-away section decreased maintenance downtime by 44%.
Most importantly, Bricking Solutions’ bricking machines are customizable, which means each bricking crew can get a machine for their exact specifications. Machines are available in a variety of sizes. We also offer both flat deck and stair-stepped designs.
Custom-designed suspended platforms are being used by cement and other facilities as an innovative solution for brick and spray refractory installation in lime kilns, precalciners, cyclones, ISAMELT furnaces and preheater towers. These lightweight, heavy-duty metal platforms are erected inside the vessel and raised or lowered using manual or electric hoists for hassle-free maintenance and relining applications.
Suspended platforms eliminate the need for complex scaffolding systems. Those featuring a modular design and pin-together construction can be set up in as little as two hours. For one cement facility, using a suspended platform to install a drip tube in a cyclone eliminated five days of double shifts, saving an estimated $15,000 per hour in downtime.
In addition, suspended platforms provide ample surface area — and capacity — for personnel, tools and materials such as refractory brick, gunning equipment and other necessities. Refractory installation can progress faster since there’s no need to hoist supplies up and down; everything is close at hand and there’s plenty of room to move. This also reduces the physical strain on workers and the risk of falls, resulting in a safer work environment and decreased overhead.
Along with bricking machines and suspended platforms, Bricking Solutions offers specialized equipment for every step of refractory maintenance. Other popular tools include access ramps, conveyors, bedding carts and safety cages.
Refractory maintenance is unavoidable, but quality tools designed for efficiency and safety can get you back in operation faster and turning profits longer. Contact us to discuss your refractory maintenance needs.