Rope Access Benefits
- Reduced downtime
- Reduced personnel, trained and licensed
- No scaffold
- Less heavy equipment
- Applicable to any type of structure
When an interior scaffolding inside a cement calciner accidentally collapsed, Industrial Access was contracted for an emergency mobilization to perform priority repair work to address the situation. The team utilized rope access techniques to enter the structure, remove failed vendor scaffolding, and complete liner restoration. Rope access can be used to perform inspection, testing, maintenance, and repair services in any type of industrial structure, and it has proven to be a more reliable, efficient, and cost-effective access solution.
Rope access rigging takes less than a day
Smaller crew required; No potential costly failures
High standard of training, regularly inspected equipment, and reduced personnel make ropes the safest method of access
A cement plant in the southeast of the US had hired a scaffolding company to set up and install interior scaffolding in order to complete liner repairs during a scheduled outage. The scaffolding unexpectedly collapsed, forcing the facility into an extended outage without any knowledge of how to safely remove the collapsed structure. Industrial Access (IA) was called up to provide an alternative solution and return the calciner to operation as soon as possible.
The structure was a cylindrical tower, 113’ tall with 30’ diameter, made of varying types of refractor brick with two halves joined at a narrowed waist. IA mobilized to inspect the emergency inside the tower. They observed and assessed the vendor scaffolding failure, the damage it left in the brickwork, and the resulting debris on the calciner floor.
Vendor scaffolding collapsed
Damage in brickwork from the collapse
Debris of damaged liner and scaffolding pieces
Rope access enabled IA’s skilled technicians to move quickly within the calciner interior as they disassembled pieces of scaffolding. The crew started the removal of the failed structure from the top and moved down the height of the calciner, cutting the scaffolding apart. There was debris littering the floor that consisted of detached pieces of scaffolding as well as damaged liner walls. The debris was mostly removed by placing it in half-ton super sacks and sending them out of the structure through the windows.
Most recently, the same plant hired IA again to perform emergency calciner repair services, knowing that IA’s access techniques will ensure a safe, fast, and dependable work completion. Utilizing ropes, the crew entered the calciner, removed loose material buildup from the interior surface, replaced damaged brick, and applied a new refractory gunite layer in areas of missing liner, which will protect the structure from excessive heat. IA was able to perform liner maintenance work without needing additional time for installation and dismantlement of access scaffolding.
Using rope access to take scaffold apart
Work in progress
Cutting the scaffolding apart
Cleanup of debris
Applying gunite - no scaffold needed
The collapsed vendor scaffolding removal took 9 days to complete while working around the clock, returning the calciner back to operation. The brickwork had suffered damage and scarring due to the failure, which IA successfully repaired during the following planned outage. This emergency was an example to the time-consuming and potentially dangerous nature of scaffolding access approach. Its risks, however, can be completely avoided when replaced by rope techniques that IA has mastered. This cement plant has witnessed it first-hand and is now choosing Industrial Access as a trusted provider of future maintenance services.