The service life and operating efficiency of industrial machines and equipment are very closely entwined. Professional maintenance work not only considerably extends the length of time they can be used but also ensures operations run smoothly. This is also true for a tank farm at the Lippe Plant which is currently being re-coated by XERVON Oberflächentechnik.
REMONDIS processes and recycles alkaline solutions at its Lippe Plant, the largest industrial recycling centre in Europe. To be able to do this, it operates a tank farm that has the capacity to store up to 35,000 cubic metres. The majority of the tanks (each twelve metres high) are indoors and have been around for much longer than the Lippe Plant’s recycling operations. They were installed when the site was still being used to produce aluminium which means the tanks must have been in operation for at least 80 years now.
XERVON Oberflächentechnik is well known for its high quality work and its exemplary levels of safety and performance
XERVON Oberflächentechnik is currently overhauling the tanks so that they can continue to be used for many years into the future: the interior coatings are being completely renewed in many of these large-scale tanks as are some of the exterior coatings. Work that is well worth its while as these tanks have solid steel jackets and secure rivets and were obviously built to last.
One by one, the individual tanks are being taken out of service so that they can be overhauled using a multi-stage process. The first task is to remove the deposits that have gradually built up over the decades from the interior walls of the tanks. REMONDIS’ subsidiary, BUCHEN, is responsible for this work – dislodging all of the coarse deposits using their high pressure water jetting equipment (around 1,000 bar). XERVON Oberflächentechnik then moves in afterwards to get rid of any remaining substances once their colleagues from XERVON’s scaffolding division have erected the work platforms so they can access the tanks.
Meticulous preparation work is vital if the best conditions are to be created for the subsequent coating. XERVON Oberflächentechnik needs three individual stages to coat the tank interiors and provide them with a 750 Mµ (i.e. 0.75 millimetres) protective layer, which has been specially selected to suit the alkaline solutions that will be stored in the tanks afterwards. Measurements are taken throughout the process to ensure the three-layered coating has the right thickness.
Before: the tanks at the chemicals processing plant in Lünen were beginning to show their age – the chemicals and alkaline solutions had certainly left their mark
After: XERVON Oberflächentechnik coated the twelve-metre tanks after REMONDIS’ subsidiary, BUCHEN, had removed all the deposits from the surface
“The biggest challenge when dealing with tanks is to ensure you find the right coating material and application system that best suit the medium being stored,” explained Frank Dörnemann, managing director of XERVON Oberflächentechnik. The requirements are as diverse as they are complex. The substances being stored in a tank may, for example, be corrosive or abrasive and all these factors must be added to the equation when selecting the right coating. What’s more, other variables such as safety issues, staff and guarantees need to be taken into account for each individual project.
Using the right coating not only ensures structures remain fit for purpose, it also considerably extends their service life
XERVON Oberflächentechnik specialises in all automated and manual coating processes and systems. In addition, the company also performs specialist coating work that has been adapted to meet particular application requirements, including hot spray coating techniques. Besides working on tanks, it also coats steel structures, floors, machinery and cranes, protects industrial plants against corrosion and carries out conventional painting work. Many of these tasks are performed in the company’s own blasting and coating facilities which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. XERVON Oberflächentechnik often has permanent teams working on site at their customers – such as at large industrial plants and chemical parks – so that they are always on hand to carry out any work needed.
“The biggest challenge when dealing with tanks is to ensure you find the right coating material and application system that best suit the medium being stored.”
Frank Dörnemann, managing director of XERVON Oberflächentechnik
“In-depth know-how, highly qualified staff and specialist technology are our particular strong points,” Frank Dörnemann continued. This division was, therefore, reorganised at the end of last year to enable the business to further strengthen its position on the market: on 01 December 2016, XERVON turned its surface technology division into a company in its own right, XERVON Oberflächentechnik GmbH, by way of an asset deal. The new company’s head office is in the German city of Bottrop. This move reflects XERVON’s goal to turn its individual business divisions into specialist companies. Frank Dörnemann commented: “By doing so, we can pool together our activities and grow our services to meet the exact requirements of our customers.”
Frank Dörnemann was appointed managing director of the newly founded company, XERVON Oberflächentechnik GmbH, at the end of last year