Siemens is one of Australia’s largest suppliers of power generation turbines.
Siemens’ global operations generate a revenue of approximately €80.0 billion. With 377,000 employees worldwide, the company has been active for more than 145 years in Australia and New Zealand and currently employs approximately 2,200 people across sixteen of its locations. The company also offers maintenance services for its turbines.
All power plants (gas or coal) rely on a turbine to generate power and must undergo planned maintenance procedures. Every six years or so, these turbines are completely disassembled and then cleaned. One of the most critical parts of this maintenance process is the turbine cleaning which is completed via abrasive blasting. The turbines are then tested and later reassembled.
Siemens and 1300Inflate have collaborated over the last five years to develop cost-effective solutions for the routine maintenance of power turbines.
During the maintenance procedures, abrasive blasting cleans the parts that have been worn due to years of wear and tear. As particles of the blasting medium are projected, abrasive blasting becomes messy, so blasting must be completed in an enclosed space that will neatly contain the blasting material. Usually, scaffolding would be erected and wrapped to generate an enclosed, safe environment to blast materials in. This would require 2-3 days of setup time and could cost between $7,000-10,000. In order to reduce the blasting time and reduce costs, Siemens examined alternative methods of containing abrasive blasting.
1300Inflate developed an industrial-grade inflatable blasting shelter which was easily constructed and created an enclosed environment in a matter of hours, saving Siemens days of time as well as thousands of dollars.
Portability was a primary concern. This made the inflatable blast shelter perfect for this brief, as it can pack down to fit on a pallet. The portability of the product meant that transportation across power plants in Australia was much easier. Another added bonus is that a rigging system or heavy machinery are not required for this new system – the inflatable blast shelters can be easily constructed by unpacking and connecting to the fan. This process eliminates many OH&S complications that can arise during more conventional blasting enclosure procedures. With strict OH&S on power plant sites, 1300Inflate’s shelter design offers great advantages over the more traditional methods used.
1300Inflate saved Siemens costs and reduced maintenance operations time by up to three days. Using an inflatable shelter also minimised myriad OH&S issues that could arise when working with scaffolding, such as height dangers. Andrew Beevor, Service Operations team leader at Siemens explains how “from a health and safety perspective, the inflatable is a lot better for us than the other solutions, which is having guys crawling up on scaffolding up in the air somewhere”.