Processing facilities are taking action to reclaim maintenance productivity and safety by investing in custom-manufactured suspended platforms for vertical-vessel operations. These systems feature a lightweight, heavy-duty metal platform that is erected inside the vessel and raised or lowered using manual or electric hoists for hassle-free maintenance and relining applications.
To simplify the process and decrease setup times, steel suspended platform implement a modular design and pin-together construction. This greatly reduces the number of components and tools required for erection and allows crews to complete setup in as little as two hours.For example, a copper plant replaced the scaffold system for their smelter with a custom suspended platform. This increased productivity and safety. Overall, the plant was able to save 320 man-hours per shutdown with the new system.
There are long-term safety benefits that go beyond this. From setup through all aspects of refractory maintenance, an aluminum suspended platform puts less physical strain on employees. The lightweight, modular components are less cumbersome than long poles and heavy wooden planks. Easy access to materials and tools reduces the risk of repetitive-motion injuries as well as minor cuts, bruises or scrapes that come with manually moving refractory materials. Being able to position the platform at the ideal working height for the job at hand limits bending or reaching, providing an ergonomic solution instead.
All of these small but significant safety benefits lead to long-term savings in the form of worker’s compensation claims and insurance premiums.
Making the switch to a ZLP500 rope suspended platform requires some initial planning, but positive returns are almost immediate. Facilities that have made the switch save tens of thousands of dollars with each maintenance cycle, providing a return on investment in one or two uses. The key is working with a reputable manufacturer that can provide a customized platform that fits a facility’s needs perfectly. Working together, these partners can revolutionize refractory maintenance in vertical vessels.