Management, consulting, engineering and quality assurance services provider GM Boiler & Steam Consulting Engineering completed a boiler retubing for one of the major tyre manufacturers in South Africa, says company technical director Gregory Morgan.
The retubing was part of a 36-month boiler overhaul and the company completed the project in March.
“We did a complete retube, despite one of the biggest players and manufacturers in the boiler industry suggesting that the vessel be condemned and replaced.”
The retubing resulted in an extended life span for the boiler and a reduction in expenditure, Morgan highlights.
Further, GM Boiler & Steam Consulting Engineering is completing various projects that require retubing and crack repairs. Morgan notes that there is high circulation of second- and third-generation boilers in the country, which keeps demand for the refurbishing of boilers steady.
He mentions that the market for boiler maintenance and refurbishment “remains somewhat closed, owing to monopolisation by old industry players”.
It is important that large companies recognise the opportunity to embrace the advantages that could be garnered from building relationships with smaller companies, he adds.
Morgan also mentions that most boilers in the country are imported, and that local manufacturing should be pursued. “This leaves room for research and development; and for design, manufacturing and expertise to be locally developed.”
Plans and Prevention
Morgan asserts that boiler maintenance and refurbishment are fundamental in ensuring that health and safety standards remain high. Boiler or system faults can be prevented or detected early using correct and thorough maintenance practices.
“The pressures under and temperatures in which these vessels can operate, create conditions that have the potential to cause high fatality numbers, and maintenance is just one safeguard to prevent it.”
Moreover, regular planned maintenance, apart from the regulatory requirements, ensures that production and boiler efficiency are monitored and maintained. Proper maintenance also increases the life of a boiler, Morgan adds.
GM Boiler & Steam Consulting Engineering’s future plans involve strengthening its core business, which is in the maintenance and refurbishment space. The company is also pursuing strategies to firmly establish itself in new markets, including supplying new services in various other industries, besides plant production.
Further, the company also plans to expand its premises and acquire new equipment to more efficiently service its client base, as well as to partner with a training provider to address the skills shortage in the country.