Expert attention minimizes downtime
Leading Turkish cement company, Akçansa, employs a Siwertell ship loader at its terminal in Çanakkale. “Our ship-loading traffic is very high. Consequently there is no free time for the ship loader,” says Ozan Kırkgöz, Akçansa Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor. “Because of this, the reliability and speed of the ship loader is vital for us.”
When Akçansa detected signs of wear in the ship loader’s slewing bearing in 2014, it immediately contacted Siwertell, who recommended some initial checks and precautions. This was quickly followed by a visit from Siwertell surveyors who confirmed that the slewing bearing needed to be replaced.
Per Andersson, Siwertell Services Surveyor, says the work on the unloader was carried out as quickly as possible, employing a shift-work system. “In addition to the slewing bearing exchange, accumulated cement was cleaned from the unloader to reduce stress on the structure. All wire locks were renewed and the pipe for the horizontal arm was exchanged. The dust filter equipment and pipes were cleaned and new filter bags installed.
“Before leaving Turkey, we discussed the work we had carried out with Akçansa personnel and suggested some measures to improve maintenance, including an annual inspection agreement. We thanked Akçansa for the excellent co-operation of its staff throughout the overhaul.”
Attention paid to the smallest details
Mr Kırkgöz says that, in line with the plan, the Siwertell surveyors, assisted by Akçansa personnel, carried out the bearing replacement and other overhaul work in ten days: “I had a chance to work with the Siwertell team during our ship loader’s overhaul,” he says. “They paid attention to even the smallest details and wanted everything to be perfect. When we had some small misfortunes, the Siwertell team supported us as fast as they could. We also developed a friendly relationship with the team; I felt that we had been working with them for many years.”
Importance of proper maintenance
Mr Kırkgöz says that regular and preventive maintenance is the most important factor in maximising the service life of a machine; it prevents big surprises for maintenance teams, along with the associated long stoppages. He sees a clear analogy between earthquakes and maintenance. “I equate small earthquakes to regular maintenance. If a small earthquakes happens, the accumulated energy in the ground releases slowly and nobody gets hurt. But if these small earthquakes do not happen, a big earthquake hits and causes substantial damage.”
Until Siwertell was called in for specialist assistance with the bearing replacement, Akçansa had carried out its own maintenance procedures, but this is about to change. “From now on we want to benefit more from the expertise of Siwertell and we will request a periodic check every year.”
Mr Kırkgöz notes that in addition to safety and efficiency benefits, regular maintenance has direct environmental advantages. Akçansa has been identified as an environmentally-friendly company through an award presented by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.
“Our Siwertell loader meets all relevant current environmental requirements, but we’ve noticed, especially after the last overhaul, that there is no dust during cement loading. Both our loading team and ships’ crews are happy with the result. I also believe that it can meet much stricter requirements in the future.”