From Waste To Energy

The challenge: A cleaner society, while solving waste issues. For example by generating maximum energy from residual waste. That is what the Waste Energy Company in Amsterdam (AEB) stands for. As a maintenance partner, Allrig contributes to this goal of achieving a more sustainable way of waste processing.

When visiting AEB during the two-yearly revision of one of the six incineration lines, it becomes clear very fast just how well-established the collaboration with Allrig. A dedicated, well-organized team of forty people in total (20 during the day, 20 at night), with all necessary support from the back office, committed to complete the job.

To learn more about this fruitful collaboration, we spoke with Jochen Bruil, Project Manager at Allrig.


The collaboration – where it all started

Jochen: ‘We have been working together for twenty years, which results in a lot of know-how about the installation. This makes that AEB likes to hire us to perform large maintenance projects. For us, the work at AEB is not just a job. From the in total six, We revise three incineration lines each year. And we are prepared for it. We have spare parts- and experienced people ready to go. We know this installation like the back of one-s hand and our men love this work. AEB gives us guidelines within we can act according to your own judgment. That confidence encourages us to achieve a top performance every time”.

Market challenges

Due to market requirements and contractual agreements, AEB is under pressure to complete maintenance within predetermined timeframes. Maarten Visser, Coordinator Maintenance, describes that “Allrig is a unique partner when it comes to strategic maintenance work.”

Maarten further adds: “Allrig distinguishes itself through their approach. They think in service. The customer has a problem, so they will fix it. That mentality is characteristic for their work.”

A different view on waste

Jochen: “Sustainability in waste processing is a development we closely monitor as a maintenance partner. Waste used to be just a residual product; now we see it primarily as an energy source. As a result, the possibilities are endless.”

Revision of incinerator lines

AEB works according to the European tender regulations, via Negometrix. Allrig is recognized for mechanical and grating work (ER5 & ER8). On average, three revisions are performed on an annual basis. Allrig provides the revision- and optimization of the combustion grate.

AEB: “The grate is worn out every two years because of corrosion, erosion, heat and load. Allrig takes care of all that, together with adjacent installation parts, including the grid carries and middle- & side beams. They build the grid bars manually in and out and they also do he inspection right away. In addition, Allrig inspects the 24 drive cylinders. After disassembling, a part of that goes to Allrig’s workshop for revision, so it can be re-installed when  the next incinerator line is ready for maintenance. It really is a large-scale operation, that kind of revisions.”


Optimize processes

Jochen: “Over the years, we have discovered possibilities to work more effectively. By optimizing processes in our own work, we continue to contribute to AEB’s ambitious goals.”

Airtight covers

One example to increase efficiency mentioned by Jochen are the airtight covers. “Allrig developed the airtight covers to minimalize the CO emission to the boiler house, They were installed first during the revision in 2017.”

Positioning system

“To further optimize the combustion”, Jochen explains, “we have developed an improved positioning system on the grave-drive-cylinders. This system makes sure the grid runs more efficiently because it shows the position of the grid.”

Water-cooled grate system

The water-cooled grate system is another example, as explained by Jochen. “On request of AEB, Allrig investigated the water-cooled grate system of lines 35 and 36. Many malfunctions were reported, which put the lifespan of the lines under pressure. We have now simplified the system. Together with AEB, we came up with a more efficient design that reduces the number of parts that need to be built in. Fewer parts simply mean less chance of malfunctions. 

AEB adds: “This example highlights Allrig’s DNA – thinking alongside the customers and a hands-on approach. Such solutions save time and thus mean enormous efficiency gains. That pro-active approach, even when it involves complicated mechanical work, is what we like to see”.

Product innovations

Jochen: “Innovations stand for increased safety. Guaranteeing safety starts with meeting requirements. It is therefore no surprise that Allrig meets these requirements, such as the ISO9001 & ISO14001 and contractor safety system (VCA) certifications. But there is more, such as product innovations for the grate drives. Jochen explains: “Nowadays, we not only disassemble the cylinders that drive the grate; we temporarily replace them with dummies. This ensures that the workplace is safe for all parties at any time.”

The future

Jochen: “I have been working for the AEB for more than 15 years, so I was able to see the developments. The biggest challenge? Continuity in quality. Preventive maintenance is an indispensable factor, because it eliminates surprises. We, as Allrig, aim to unburden AEB in this area. The energy sector is very dynamic and by working closely together, we are able to get smarter and smarter. A lot of exciting opportunities ahead, if you ask me.”