Brokk’s New Solution to Safely Descale Preheater Towers

Published: 23/11, 2020

The Brokk Descaler is a specially designed solution for breaking out refractory, coating and build-up in a number of areas in the preheater tower, primarily in cement and alumina plants. With a telescopic boom for outstanding reach and remote-controlled maneuvering, the Brokk Descaler revolutionizes the working method for tearing out overhead material in preheater towers.

The hazardous work of tearing out refractory and build-up in cement kilns and coolers has previously put many workers in danger and by using remote-controlled Brokk robots, safety has improved immensely. However, similar issues with overhead refractory and coating has been the case in the preheater towers for years, but with no safe and efficient solution.

There are many advantages for the productivity of the plant with a Brokk Descaler. With a quick installation, faster demolition and no need to install scaffolding the shut down time is notably reduced. And since the Brokk Descaler does not require people to go inside the vessel, work can commence already at 176°F (80°C).

Today, the workers are not only exposed to the risk of falling debris but also the silica dust that gets into the body and skin. Furthermore, the vibration from handheld tools is a known problem and causes “white fingers.” The Brokk Descaler places the operators outside of the vessel and therefore, risks like this have either been eliminated or significantly reduced.

The Brokk Descaler evolved from a standard Brokk robot and is modified to fit the application in preheater towers without compromising on power. The telescopic boom is extendable by one or two sections that allows for descaling in vessels up to 31 ft (9.5m) in diameter. The Brokk Descaler is carefully developed to be used for a variety of vessels and is easy to mobilize to any location in the tower as it can be transported in most passenger lifts. Installation can be completed in less than three hours and once installed the operator can safely overview the work from outside of the vessel through hatches, which allows for precise and controlled demolition.

Hundreds of tons of overhead refractory can be removed with zero physical contact and at a much faster pace than doing the same task manually. This ensures high productivity as well as safety for the workers. Ultimately, a safer and more efficient worksite.

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