Recycling Plant Finds A Superior & Productive Way To Clean Boiler Tubes

Quick Summary

The Challenge
  • Minimize downtime while keeping a tight maintenance schedule.
  • Cable cleaners required too much time to set-up and were difficult to use in tight spaces.
  • High consumable cost replacing broken cables.
The Solution
  • Trialed Elliott’s Soot Buster on an upcoming maintenance job cleaning 680 tubes.
The Results
  • Less than 1/2 the time for maintenance.
  • Less consumable costs.
  • Worked well in tight spaces.

The Challenge

With a very tight schedule and the demands for minimal down time, Chris Lewis, Maintenance Manager at Neath Port Talbot Ltd, needed to find a way to clean his two Cochran Boilers. On a limited budget and with 340 tubes in each boiler, he needed to find a quick and efficient tube cleaning method.

There are many tube cleaning methods – water, electric, or air. After using electric rotary tools for a short period of time, he was disappointed with the results. The expensive cables broke regularly and the tool damaged tubes and tube ends. Chris was looking for a fast, but efficient, air operated tool. Water was not an option because of the effluent problems and resulting mess. He needed to overcome the following major problems he was experiencing:

• Too much set-up time in laying out the cables.
• Cleaning in tight spaces.
• Major consumable costs each year with the constant replacement of cables.
• Operators tied up in non-value added maintenance time fixing equipment and running time operating the tool.

The Solution

After Chris’ operators tried the Soot Buster, they were impressed and immediately appreciated its key features:

• The operator stays completely dry due to dry cleaning of the tubes.
• No spinning cables, flexible shafts, or rotating rods.
• After initial system purchase, maintenance and consumables costs are very low.
• Less downtime with much faster, more efficient cleaning.
• Tool is auto-reversing at the end of the tube eliminating the need for any feed, pulling, or pushing from the operator resulting in minimum operator fatigue.
• Minimum health and safety risks.

“The Soot Buster is the best tool on the market for cleaning tubes in confined spaces.”

Soot Buster Cut Cleaning Time In Half

“Approved by all my operators as effective and easy to use as opposed to a rotary tool, cutting cleaning time by at least half.”

Chris Lewis, Maintenance Manager

The Results

Maintenance time and costs have been reduced by more than half. After the initial, low investment of the cleaning system, the consumable and maintenance costs are minimal. The illustration above shows the savings that Chris projects to find using the Soot Buster over a five year period.