Thursday, 29 September 2016

Ageing Infrastructure Protection

Rather than open this can of worms, how much
better to just encapsulate everything in Enviropeel!


Now, that looks better ... how long do you
think this protection will last?
Visitors to our website, reading about Enviropeel, may have read one of our case histories from a few years back, describing an application on some very rusty well heads in the North Sea. The case history 'Aging Infrastructure' is an illustration of the dramatic effects that corrosion has had over the years on this platform and highlights the difficulties for operators of facilities that may spend many more years in production than originally planned. 

The first photo shows the condition of the substrates on the platform at the time of the application in - it is easy to see how difficult it would be to address these corrosion problems using conventional methods. Blasting and painting would not be enough and, at best, provide a temporary cosmetic solution. To do the job properly, a minimum requirement would be replacing all the nuts and bolts most of which would require cutting to remove them ... and who knows what else.

Inspiration versus degradation

So, some of the wellheads were selected for protection using Enviropeel, as shown in the second photograph. It seemed like a good idea at the time and now, six years later, it seems to have been inspired. A senior corrosion engineer from the operator (a household name in petroleum products) visited the unmanned platform to see how Enviropeel had performed. His internal report highlighted the degradation of unprotected areas compared with those protected with Enviropeel and concluded: 

... the 2010 application of Enviropeel has, in the writers opinion arrested the corrosion of the flanges examined during the visit. The encapsulation properties of the Enviropeel product has performed as expected in preventing moisture ingress and further corrosion.

At the time, we guaranteed that protection for the substrates would last a minimum of 10 years, a claim which met with some scepticism, given the challenges of the substrate and its environment. Now, it looks like we underestimated our own abilities. The Enviropeel applications, although weathered and dirty, were unaffected by the years of exposure and will certainly outlast the requirements of the platform. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

NO LEVY PAID FOR THIS CHEVY

Back in the 1930s, a still was a popular accessory for many farmers in the mid-west - and the whisky those stills produced was well received by those who liked to drink but didn’t like to pay tax! Prohibition may have finished by 1935, but moonshine remained in high demand and its production could be very rewarding.

According to Boehm family history a two-door Chevrolet ‘Standard’, similar to the four-door model illustrated in the advertisement above, was exchanged with them for a consignment of moonshine by the local Chevy dealer. What is even more remarkable, is that the same car has remained in the family ever since.

Now owned by Kenny (Two-Gun) Boehm, President of Enviropeel USA and the grandson of the original owner, the car has been lovingly restored by the family and, as you can see in the photograph below, is a beautiful example of living automotive history.

Despite being more than eighty years old, the car runs as sweetly as ever and, now that the horn has finally been repaired, is as good as new. I had the privilege of driving it during a recent visit to the EUSA office and really enjoyed the experience. Kenny, who is now a grandfather himself, relishes the possibility that the car will remain in the family for generations to come.

No GPS on this model ... copy from the advertisement illustrated above:

"In addition to the all-important chassis features which give to each Standard Six model its splendid durability, performance and economy, the Sedan exhibits such refinements as the following: Long wearing, thick ply upholstery in richly beautiful colors; recessed arm rests in the rear compartment; carpet-covered foot rest; pockets of the upholstery material on the back of the front seat and on the right front door; robe rail; push-button internal door latches in door mouldings and the various other equipment ordinarily looked for in cars of a much higher price."

The 1935 Standard Coach was great value at $485. Now, Kenny tells me, a replacement tyre for the same car costs nearly as much, at over $400!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT ...

21 Countries, 300 trainees


I was thinking about Sean Ong's globetrotting status, as mentioned in an earlier blog - so I asked him how many countries he had travelled to for training purposes. It turns out that Sean has trained in 21 countries: Brunei, Australia, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Congo, UK, Vietnam, New Zealand, Mexico, Namibia, Columbia, Japan, Korea, USA, Argentina, Iran, Trinidad, Belgium, Congo & South Africa - quite a list - and has probably eaten some pretty random meals while he was at it (Sean enjoys his food). In the process, nearly 300 Enviropeel trainees have passed under review ... but not all have made the grade. Sean is famously strict about the quality of his courses - he once failed a whole class of trainees in the Middle East whose work was not up to scratch!

Right: Sean embraces his inner tourist


NOW AVAILABLE IN GREEN AND GOLD

Actually, the history of green and gold is a little controversial ... was it South Africa or Australia that first took to the sporting arena in their signature colours? Since Enviropeel has been in Australia for so many years, it could be argued that we should be firmly in the Aussie camp but in this, as in all things, we have to keep an open mind - and it is clear that both countries have a lot more than just their sporting colours in common. 

So, we are very glad to report that something else they now share is Enviropeel. 

With a strong resources sector of its own, South Africa has long seemed a natural partner for our products and now the partnership has been sealed. To complete the process, Sean Ong from the Malaysian office and Josh Haycox from the UK recently flew out to Johannesburg to commission the equipment and train personnel at the premises of Robatech SA who are the Enviropeel licensees for South Africa. 

A local industrial coatings company, Velvolor, is working with Robatech SA to provide technical support and it was management and personnel from this company that received the training. The training was very successful and Velvolor, who are already involved in large-scale flange protection, are confident that Enviropeel is the perfect solution for ingress and corrosion protection in South Africa.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

TRAINING IN VIETNAM

Our globe-trotting Training Manager, Sean Ong, has been in Vietnam recently on a mission to train employees of MinhAnh TechInfo Co Ltd (MTCL) in Vung Tau, Vietnam. MTCL have a very diverse portfolio of services, with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as an office and tool rental business in Vung Tau. The Company prides itself on the high levels of training it provides for its staff and the service it is able to provide for its customers so, having acquired an Enviropeel unit, they were keen to train their engineers in its use.

The training was organised at the Company's RentATool centre with the objective of certifying four Enviropeel applicators. After a week of training and intensive practice, the four trainees were duly certified with very good feedback from MTCL management.


The picture shows Sean (in orange) with the four trainees and their manager during training.

The Company has set up its own specialised anti-corrosion division based on its ability to resolve a wide range of corrosion issues using both Enviropeel and Alocit Systems. MTCL has already used Alocit offshore for Vietsovpetro, a Vietnam/Russian joint venture company with its HQ in VungTau. 

With high levels of synergy between its engineering service divisions and its newly acquired anti-corrosion capabilities, MinhAnh TechInfo Co Ltd looks forward to a successful future with Enviropeel and Alocit.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

IT'S ALL ABOUT SILVER LININGS

There has always been a lot of movement in the resources sector but recently most of the movement has been relentlessly in the wrong direction, with a slowdown in demand for most commodities. In Australia and elsewhere, this has been reflected in lower output, a number of mine closures and reductions in contracts for mining services companies.

However, with hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment and infrastructure lying idle, shareholders and other stakeholders are entitled to wonder what is being done to ensure that these valuable assets are still viable when the market recovers. Fluctuations in demand have always been part and parcel of the world economy and wise heads will want to protect their investment in times of hardship, in order that they may better profit when the sun shines once more.

Mining companies are not the only stakeholders in the resources sector. Across Australia, service companies and suppliers have seen severe reductions in their order books and, while it is clear that not all will survive, it is most important for the future of the industry that sufficient capacity and expertise is retained to provide the foundations for future growth.

So, if this is true, what can you or I do about it? 

We believe that there is something that can be done, something that can benefit investors, and producers as well as providing a lifeline for service companies - with major potential benefits and very low risk. 

It has been shown that companies that plan for reductions in output, that maintain their plant and preserve their assets, are far more likely to emerge from a recession in good shape than companies that are only interested in the short term. And, if a company is going to take a loss anyway, how much better to invest it in the future than walk away and lose it all? While it may be too late for some, those companies that remain would do well to look at cost-effective ways of maintaining the reliability and integrity of their assets as well as the surrounding infrastructure, the service companies and the cities that depend on them.

Recently, we have been discussing this potential with some of our customers and business partners, not just because we might benefit through sales of our products but also because of the enormous waste that would result if short-term losses were all that dictated the financial policies of the resources sector. As a result, we are working with our colleagues to create awareness of the cost-effectiveness of standby protection, mothballing and many other practises that can preserve our productive capacity during periods of low activity. It might be good for us, but it would definitely be better for everybody else.

As part of this programme, we have published some articles and information in the Australian press, in the latest (February) edition of Australian Mining Review there is an article on page eight and further information on page 41 and, later this month, we will be featuring in the Australian Energy Review - we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

SEND THEM ALL TO THE SALT MINES!

The Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, 'the land of the long white cloud' ... an evocative name for a beautiful country. However, clouds don’t stay white for ever and where there are clouds, rain will surely follow. For a salt mine, rain can be a problem, as you can see in the picture on the right.

The perfect corrosion recipe

Take several tonnes of salt, sprinkle with rain and liberally apply to a steel surface. There's no need for an oven, the steel will brown perfectly ... with a crisp, flaky coating of rust. It's a familiar story for the operators of this salt mine in New Zealand - they can see it wherever they look and have tried many solutions. 

But corrosion is not their only problem, salt gets into everything and causes major problems in operating machinery, contaminating bearings and severely shortening the lifespan of conveyor systems that are vital to keep the salt moving. So, when the company heard of Enviropeel and its ability to provide both ingress and corrosion protection, they were eager to see what it could do.

What goes around comes around

In New Zealand, IMG (Integrated Maintenance Group) have long been the 'go to' place for innovative asset management solutions and have been Enviropeel enthusiasts for many years. A former employee of IMG had taken over operational management of the mining site and knew that Enviropeel was a perfect answer to many of their problems and brought IMG in to help. It was decided that the best way to proceed was to provide some on-site training with applications on a variety of substrates to familiarise the company with the use and potential of Enviropeel. As well as applications to prevent ingress on bearings, areas of the main steel structure were also chosen for protection. As the pictures show, heavy exfoliating rust was present on older parts of the structure and in some areas new steel infrastructure had been installed. After some equipment and application demonstrations, both new and old areas were chosen for protection. The old areas were prepared to remove the loose and flaking rust prior to application. With training and application completed, Enviropeel is expected to be deployed across the site, greatly reducing the threat from corrosion.