That’s what Dave Goodwin, Plant Maintenance Superintendent for the Scarborough, Ontario plant of Fiberglas Canada, believed. Goodwin’s plant suffered through as many as 20 wear-related clogs per year — always occurring at the same two refractory elbows in the conveying system connecting the batch house and the furnace hall.
Whenever one of the clogs would occur, costly fabrications delays followed. The quality of the fiberglass was measurably lower. To add insult to injury, Fiberglas Canada was spending $350 to replace each worn-through ceramic piping elbow when it would fail — and those elbows were failing five times per year.
The fiberglass produced at this plant is formed using an entirely automated process. Six highly abrasive ingredients, including sand, borax, soda ash and limestone, are mixed and conveyed under pressure into the plant’s furnace hall where it is melted into glass and spun into fiberglass. The refractory elbows that redirected the flow of the pre-furnace mixture just couldn’t withstand the high pressure, high velocity and high levels of abrasiveness.
Frustrated by the frequency of clogs, line shutdowns and lost productivity, Goodwin decided to try Hammertek’s Smart Elbow deflection elbow, which is specifically designed to minimize flow turbulence, plugging and impact-related wear.
The first Smart Elbow deflection elbow installed at Fiberglas Canada functioned trouble-free for 15 months: no wear-throughs and no plugging. Though the Smart Elbow products cost more than conventional elbows, Fiberglas Canada realized considerable savings. One Smart Elbow deflection elbow cost less than the three or four conventional elbows it replaced, and maintenance expenses related to down time were all but eliminated.
To read the complete case study, visit the Hammertek website.