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One of our customers produces high purity synthetic magnesium compounds and is one of the world’s largest producers of synthetic hydrotalcite. Their products are used as acid scavengers and halogen free flame-retardants in polymer production and within the process industries around the world.
Our customer was in urgent need of two heat exchangers. These product coolers were to replace old spiral heat exchangers, which were broken and unable to support the productions needs of the plant. The most critical issue was the delivery time! Installation of the new exchangers needed to take place within 1 month during a production shutdown. This task was further complicated because the heat exchangers were not standard, since the product being processed is highly corrosive, with hastelloy C-22 the only applicable material choice for the product side. The highly corrosive and viscous product (> 100 cP) needed to be cooled to around 100°C using process water, with the design requiring a Size 5 PSHE using C-22 hastelloy plates and a stainless steel shell.
After sending the enquiry, Vahterus checked the current stock level of C-22 plates and there were exactly the amount of plates required in stock. The rate limiting lead-time items then became the hastelloy flanges. Kapp Netherland provided contacts in the Netherlands to Vahterus Purchasing team, allowing the flanges to be ordered quickly, culminating in their arrival to Vahterus factory ‘just in time’ to fulfil the production schedule of the heat exchangers.
To put these events in real time, Kapp received the enquiry on a Wednesday; the offer from Vahterus was received the same day, with further detail provided the following day. The same Friday, Kapp negotiated with its customer and were able to confirm the order. Detailed engineering commenced immediately and was completed one day after receiving the order, whilst also meeting the customer’s needs for minimal layout disruption. All parties were able to give their acceptance for the design only a few hours after receiving the design documents, and the pressing of the heat transfer plates started directly after receiving the purchase order. From receipt of the purchase order to dispatch, the delivery time was exactly 31 days.
The heat exchangers shipped from Finland to the Netherlands in less than two days using special transportation. Upon receipt at site, the installation of the units needed special equipment and tools to fit to the existing space. Vahterus PSHE compact size was a key success factor, allowing for expedient installation within the narrow window of opportunity.
Finally, all documentation required was received by the customer the same day that the heat exchangers arrived to their factory: ready for Lloyd’s inspection and subsequent commissioning. After commissioning of the units, they were insulated.
Without excellent cooperation between all parties and dedication to make this happen, the fast delivery of these ‘special’ heat exchangers would not have been possible. Project Engineers at Vahterus and Kapp Netherlands maintained continuous contact with the customer throughout the process, providing photos and updates of the production process, almost every second day. In anticipation of the arrival of the heat exchangers, the customer built dummies on-site for prefabrication of the associated piping. Communication between the three parties was very quick and efficient, which was vital in ensuring the successful execution and completion of the work.