Creative Solutions to Common Problems: A Missouri Plant Success Story

heat exchanger

A cement plant in Missouri needed a partial heat exchanger rebuild because theirs was compromised by erosion-damaged tubes. Southern Field-EEC delivered the perfect solution. Keep reading for the details.

The Southern Field-EEC Difference

heat exchanger

When it comes to partial heat exchanger rebuilds, most companies approach it with the replacement-in-mind method, which means they take everything apart to replace what’s broken. This can require taking the doghouse off, which may require two or three large cranes and lots of money. They’d then cut the modules apart, put them down, swing new ones into place, and weld them in. The cost adds up quickly. 

Southern Field-EEC uses the replacement-in-place method, unlike most other companies like us. This means that there isn’t any need for the big cranes, and there’s no need to take everything apart. We surgically remove the “bad” part of the exchanger and replace it with good, new material. Working around the clock, the Southern Field-EEC team replaced the top six feet of 1,500 tubes. The new tubing was attached to the existing tubing by airtight connections.  

heat exchanger

The Missouri plant was wary at first—they’d never seen this method before! About halfway through the project, however, they realized that Southern Field-EEC was taking care of them. On their specific heat exchanger, the tubes were 3 ½ inches in diameter, which is not standard. Standard tubes are 2 inches in diameter, and special skills are necessary to work with any other size. In fact, only one other company in the United States uses this proprietary tube size. Southern Field-EEC had them custom made for this project. 

What Does This Mean for the Missouri Plant?

The plant was able to cut significant costs and minimize their downtime. For a plant the size of this one, $1 million was lost every day that they weren’t in commission. Southern Field-EEC was able to quickly and painlessly solve their problems, saving them money both in the upfront cost and in the cost of downtime. The Southern Field-EEC method cost them about a tenth of what another company would charge them for a replacement-in-kind approach. 

heat exchanger

Some things held them up along the way—it was still a lengthy project—but even still, Southern Field-EEC managed to get done with everything a few days ahead of schedule. 

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