GLOBAL bolting and engineering solutions company Hydratight has won new admirers in Asia Pacific for its remarkable 3D mobile milling machine, the GeniSYS 220CNC.
Hydratight saved major chemicals and manufacturing company, Huntsman, a considerable amount of time and money by using the computercontrolled, high-accuracy tool to repair a large reactor vessel flange in-situ.
Hydratight Singapore was performing bolt tensioning and ultrasonic measurement on a reactor at the Huntsman facility on Jurong Island. Testing identified an issue with 3.5in studs on a special 20in flange on the reactors. The bolt failed to reach its required 40,000psi stress level because of damaged threads.
Huntsman engineers confirmed earlier findings through further pressure testing performed on the reactor.
Hydratight engineers were asked to assess repair solutions. A proposal was made to use the GeniSYS to bore out the damaged threads to 4in, then use reducers to restore the threads to 3.5in.
"Though simple in theory, such a job could have been very difficult in practice,"
said Hydratight's Mark Foggin.
"The repair had to be extremely accurate - not really possible with con-ventional equipment, especially under site conditions and on such large bores. To get it wrong would have meant an even greater, and more dangerous, potential for failure.
"But we have seen the GeniSYS do some amazing work in worse circumstances in the past, so we knew we could complete the operation safely and efficiently and meet the level of accuracy set by Huntsman."
The machine and Hydratight specialist Rick Betteley were flown out to the plant and machined five new holes in the space of a few hours - during one shift - with the help of local colleagues and Huntsman staff.
The stepped-down studs were fitted and bolt tensioned and the repair tested ultrasonically a short time later.
"The vessel passed all the company's tests and is now back in full operation," said Mark.
The cost of repair was only a third of that of a new reactor - not including the massive associated costs of shutdown and replacement.
"Huntsman staff were so pleased they immediately asked us to re-cut threads on two more reactors within the next six months - saving a huge amount of money and time in the process," Mark added.
"The machine has obviously found a large number of new friends. It always does - when people see what it can do."