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Skyriders cements its relationship in the Northern Cape
09 May 2017
Skyriders cements its relationship in the Northern Cape

The flexibility of rope access was recently put to the test when Skyriders completed an inspection project on a kiln at a major cement producer in the Northern Cape.

The inspection project was focused on the mill area, where a small cyclone in the middle meant that the four-person Skyriders team had to gain access to the ducting from the top, at a height of 30 m. “Access had to be gained from this approach as there was no manoeuvring space within the cyclone itself,” Skyriders Inspection Manager Gerhard Kemp comments.

Another challenge was that there was no area opening either, which meant a new access hole had to be made just below the cyclone. “The benefit of this is that it provides a future inspection manhole whenever the ducting needs to be inspected again in future,” Kemp highlights.

The inspection revealed a small hole in a bend of the ducting. “We were able to pinpoint the problem area precisely, which allowed the client to open up the cyclone externally at the exact location.”

The inspection also revealed a few other minor issues that needed attention. These problem areas could not have been detected externally, due to the presence of cladding and lagging. “Using rope access for an internal inspection was the most efficient means possible in terms of manpower and resources,” Kemp remarks.

Skyriders also provided a detailed report on the outcome of the inspection process, in order to guide the client’s planning in terms of maintenance and repairs. “Time is of the essence with such a shutdown, where even a single hour offline has a major impact on the bottom line. Therefore, our reports are critical to give our clients the clearest view of what is required.”

Not only did Skyriders have to deal with confined spaces in this particular project, but the ducting that had to be inspected had a 600 mm OD, which is relatively narrow to access. A Magnetic Particle Inspection technician was even on hand to verify the quality of any welding work if this had proven necessary.

In addition, Skyriders was sufficiently flexible to carry out the inspection work during the night shift, in order to minimise disruption at the cement producer. “We were able to accommodate our client’s specific requirements, and rearrange our planning as a result. This was an excellent example of the customised, total-solutions approach that underpins all of our projects,” Skyriders Marketing manager Mike Zinn concludes.

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