Articles & Case Studies

Rocol service helps keep SMW’s renewable fuel on stream

Posted: Wednesday 23rd July 2008

Service engineers from lubrication specialist ROCOL are helping a subsidiary of the Scottish Power Group optimize its maintenance regime at a plant dedicated to producing an innovative renewable fuel.

Glasgow based SMW produces waste-derived fuel from sewage sludge and this is used to generate electricity at Longannet power station on the banks of the Firth of Forth. The company’s processes create fuel pellets which are burned to contribute 90,000 MWh electricity to the national grid every year and reduce coal consumption.

With machinery at SMW’s six year old plant being subject to conditions of heat, wear and moisture, an effective maintenance programme is vital to ensure the risk of premature equipment failure and production downtime is minimized.

As part of the company’s preventative maintenance approach, it teamed-up with ROCOL three years ago and this combination of SMW’s process knowledge and ROCOL’s lubrication expertise has delivered excellent results according to Iain Russell, Senior Maintenance Engineer.

“ROCOL service engineers have made an extremely positive contribution to improving the efficiency of our operations,” says Iain. “As part of our continuous improvement programme, they have helped us enhance a number of processes which have delivered both practical benefits to the maintenance team and optimum equipment performance.”

Amongst the processes which have been enhanced through ROCOL’s consultative service engineering approach are the Regenerative Thermal Oxidisers (RTOs) which ‘clean’ the odorous gases generated during the drying process. Here, ROCOL helped SMW overcome an issue with difficulties in lubricating bearings for RTOs. The result was a solution which meant SMW no longer had to shut down this process in order to conduct routine lubrication, saving on costly downtime.

Another process improvement involved simplifying the pipework from the auto lubrication system to drying drum rollers. These bearings require regular lubrication but the pipework was prone to blockages resulting in plant stoppages. ROCOL Service Engineers simplified the pipework, resulting in fewer blockages, hence less costly downtime.

The hands-on role of the ROCOL service engineers means they actually conduct the lubrication application throughout the SMW plant, ensuring all machinery is lubricated at the correct intervals and with the specified quantities in accordance with their schedule.

The service engineers’ aim is to help manufacturers optimise their preventative maintenance approach and so they can be 100% confident that their lubrication requirements are being carefully managed both in supply and application terms.
Tel: 0113 232 2600

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