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3 kilometers of plastic piping replaced with minimal downtime
Purpose: To map three kilometers of existing plastic piping (poly propylene) so that it can be replaced during a 4-week production shutdown.
Expertise: Piping, 3D scanning.
Time as critical success factor for customer Colasit
At waste processor AEB in Amsterdam, all waste from the city and its surroundings is collected and incinerated. This generates 1 billion kWh annually. The piping of this flue gas cleaning system had to be replaced, a major job. The installation spanned as many as 7 floors, totaling over 3 kilometers of PP (Poly propylene) piping. Our client Colasit’s challenge? The piping had to be replaced within 4 weeks. Indeed, the plant could no longer stand still.
Prefab approach enabled by 3D scanning
Colasit planned to prefabricate the piping so that the main part of the production hours could be made in the production hall. The remaining work then had to be done on site in 4 weeks. However, there were no drawings of the installation, so it had yet to be mapped in its entirety.
For this, Tooker was called in. Using 3D scanning, we captured all the pipework to then put it on drawings. A challenge we gladly accept. After 16 hours of scanning, we had everything mapped down to the millimeter. Engineering could then begin. In the end, we produced 558 drawings.
Additional challenge due to expansion of plastic
An additional challenge to plastic piping is its coefficient of expansion. Danny started working on this. ‘PP has a coefficient of expansion of 0.17 mm/m/°C. In other words; a 10-meter pipe at 60 degrees Celsius is 68 mm shorter in a 20-degree workshop. So we calculated per pipe section how much smaller the section had to be made, so that on site in operation, it had the correct geometry. This added an extra challenging aspect to this assignment, which I enjoyed delving into.’
Peer van Grinsven
“The combination of 3D surveying as the basis for the drawing work was ideal for this project. This way of working allowed Tooker to take a lot of engineering out of our hands. Part of this was that they also made the translation regarding temperature differences in the workshop and piping in operation. The cooperation was characterized by a high level of professionalism, our contacts at Tooker know what they are talking about and that is very important in such a challenging project.
All in all, Tooker proved with this job that such a complex project with piping, even in plastic, lends itself perfectly to prefabrication. The use of 3D scanning is indispensable in this regard.”
3D view showing the piping by block.