Overhaul of inceneration line at Amsterdam Waste Energy plant
Amsterdam waste processing and powerplant Afval Energie Bedrijf (AEB) is constantly under pressure. They have to complete maintenance within predetermined timeframes because of market requirements and contractual obligations. During the two-yearly overhaul of one of the six incineration lines it was again crystal clear just how important it is to be able to rely on quality maintenance partners like Allrig. In the old days the people here said everything depended on the incineration boiler,’ recalls Michiel Krikke, AEB’s maintenance contracts engineer. ‘When there was an overhaul we had to wait and see what problems it revealed and then determine how much time we needed. That way of working is outdated.
Today, we incinerate waste in a way that generates energy that we supply to the grid. If one of our lines breaks down, we have to be able to say how long it will be out of service and when we can resume supplying. If we fail to do this on the agreed date, we have to buy the energy that we intended to supply so as to meet our contractual obligations. The same goes for the waste that goes into the furnaces. It’s provided by clients who have to be able to bank on a certain level of sales. An incineration line that is not available on time embroils AEB in problems because of our take-up obligations.’
Krikke sees the waste incineration company’s increasingly stringent obligations towards the market as a challenge to team up with external suppliers to deliver a better performance. ‘The relationships obviously become more formal and more businesslike because of this approach, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, it creates clarity and provides a basis for a lasting professional partnership.’
Partnering with Allrig has enabled AEB to take huge strides forward in this respect, says Krikke. The two companies have been working alongside each other for almost 20 years. During that time Allrig grew from a subcontractor to a knowledge-centric company. They have so much know-how about the installation that AEB has insisted that all the knowledge in the heads of Allrig’s workers must be set down on paper to manage more bu quality.
Service approach and quality
Krikke calls Allrig a unique partner for strategic maintenance. ‘Apart from its knowledge and know-how, the company is distinctive for its approach to its work. Allrig thinks in terms of service, not money. If the customer has a problem, they’ll fix it. This mindset is evident in everything they do. Allrig even designed and developed a central lubricating system for the cylinder bearers of our grille transmission and deslagging installation. This saves us time and money. Many companies would not even suggest something like this. Allrig is a partner, one that thinks ahead. Quality goes up a notch every time, and the people they engage always meet the highest proficiency standards. It’s why Allrig won our supplier safety award last year.’
According to Krikke, ‘it’s all about the bigger picture’. What that picture looks like soon became clear during a visit to AEB where Allrig had just set to work. A total of 35 workers (18 in the dayshift, 17 in the nightshift) pulled out all the stops to get the job done in a highly organised way. The incineration grille – which wears out every two years because of a combination of corrosion, erosion and heat – underwent a thorough overhaul together with adjacent parts of the installation ‘It is an example of how Allrig brainstorms with us’, says Krikke. ‘It’s a way of working that saves time and money. It represents an enormous gain in efficiency. It’s the kind of proactive thinking we like to see, particularly for this complex mechanical work.’
‘Scheduling is dynamic now’, says Allrig’s project leader Jochen Bruil. ‘Sometimes you have to wait for somebody else. This happens most frequently at the start. Everybody has to find their way around.’ But 22 days later, Allrig had delivered the work, on schedule, entirely according to the customer’s wishes, says Krikke. ‘The job got done even though conditions weren’t always perfect and there were some complications Allrig had to work around. I informed them, they got to work and displayed just how well they can improvise and how flexible they can be.’
Each year the 6 incineration lines of Afval Energie Bedrijf (AEB) in Amsterdam process 1.4 million tonnes of domestic and industrial waste. This works out at 4.4 million kilograms every day, or roughly 550,000 rubbish bags. Each day 600 lorries plus a goods train deliver waste to AEB, where it goes into incineration furnaces to be used in the generation of energy and heat. AEB generates 1 million MWh of electricity (enough for 285,000 households) and 300,000 giga- joules of heat. On top of this, the company extracts 17,740 tonnes of iron and 2,595 tonnes of nonferrous metals from materials remaining after incineration for redelivery to manufacturing industry. AEB employs 380 people.
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