Kingfisher Industrial has provided a wear protection solution for a multi-national manufacturer of processed wooden boards that is designed to provide in excess of 12-years working life on fan casings used in the board production process. The Kingfisher solution replaces the original installation by an OEM, which lasted only 18-month's before perforations appeared in the high wear areas of the volute sections of the fan casings.

"Wood processing would not be high on most engineers' list of industries requiring wear protection, but our activities in this area are increasing year on year," said John Connolly, MD of Kingfisher Industrial. "With the current trend towards the use of biomass as a substitute for fossil fuels in the power generation sector, the wood processing industry has come under extensive pressure to use a greater percentage of recycled product. Blending this material with traditional lumber now accounts for the vast majority of finished goods produced. However, the influx of recycled product, which is often contaminated with abrasive foreign matter, means that wear protection has become a major issue within the wood processing industry. It adds to the degradation of plant due to the contamination of lumber from felling and subsequent handling.

What this latest project in the industry demonstrates is the conflicting demands of reducing capital projects costs, verses the needs and expectations of maintenance managers and engineers. The problem is that the OEM has to achieve lowest installed cost for new equipment, in order to comply with project costs, whilst the maintenance manager is looking for minimised whole life costs from improved equipment reliability and longer operating life.

In this project, the original OEM offering lasted just 18-months, which is why we were called in to provide a more long lasting solution. The original fan casings supplied by the OEM were of 10mm thick chromium carbide deposit plate. In contrast, we were able to save material weight and cost on the installation, by installing wear protection where it was most needed."

"The casings manufactured by Kingfisher at our West Midland's facility were fabricated from 6mm thick mild steel plate, and the main wear areas were lined with our 25mm thick K-ALOX 92P ceramic liners. These were attached using mild steel 't' section, welded to the case body and adhered using a high strength polymer adhesive system. Having provided this type of system for other users within the board processing industries, it is envisaged that the system will last in excess of 12 years: eight times that of the previous OEM system.

We secured this contract due to the reputation Kingfisher has built up over 10- years working with the engineers of this multi-national manufacturer. Our ability to undertake a full site survey, redesign the casing geometry to compensate for the new protection system, propose and produce manufacturing drawings for the client to approve and retain, along with carrying out all manufacturing activities, ensured total compliance to the client's expectations of quality, delivery and value for money. This 'one- stop approach' reduced the possibility of failure due to a protracted supplier chain, where

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the risk of non- performance could of had extreme consequence had the casings not been delivered during the annual maintenance window.

The success and value that we delivered in this project has resulted in Kingfisher becoming involved with equipment in areas of the plant that weren't previously classed as 'operationally critical'. Consequently, we are now advising the company on all aspects of protection and efficiency gains associated with plant and equipment that are used to convey or process the raw materials, blended and the recycled product throughout the plant."

About Kingfisher Industrial

Kingfisher Industrial provides wear solutions for process plant used to convey, process or store bulk solid materials, in either dry or hydraulic states. Such plant often suffers premature wear due to handling large quantities of materials at velocity in a constant operational cycle. With its range of ceramic, metallic and polymer protection systems, Kingfisher can overcome wear problems; engineering suitable protection systems that can add many years’ of life to a plant, and in some cases outlast the design life of a process completely. These solutions cater for the operating criteria, budget and life cycle of either new equipment - particularly when initially installed - or existing equipment, which can be retrofitted with a protection system to add to its current asset value.

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