Ceramic Media

Weathering the Storm: 2 Brief Case Studies

#1. Sudden Sleet & Snow

During the first week of December 2017, we were scheduled to perform a complex ceramic media change on a large Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) located behind a wall more than 50+ feet from the ground. To access its 4,000+ cubic feet of ceramic media, we had to cut 90 feet of weld around the top of the RTO, then use a crane to remove the RTO’s top so we could remove and replace the media. Our customer, a large semiconductor manufacturer, had allotted four days of planned downtime for the job.

The project was located in San Antonio, TX, where temperatures average a daily maximum of between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit at that time of year. However, on the first day of the project, a strong cold front unexpectedly moved through the city. After record high temps the day before (mid-80s), temperatures suddenly plummeted into the 30s and 40s. Then came rain (Day 2), then sleet and snow (Days 3-4). Winter Weather Advisories were issued as ice-coated roads, businesses closed, and the city recorded its highest snowfall total since 1985 and second-earliest snowfall on record.

We quickly made accommodations for and adjustments to schedules, crew, supplies, gear, equipment, and more. The project was completed on time and in budget despite the harsh conditions. We weathered the storm – literally.

#2. After a Hurricane

Not long after a powerful hurricane crippled much of the Texas Gulf Coast, we were scheduled to perform an RTO media replacement and upgrades at a chemical plant in Pasadena, TX. This turnkey project included a rental oxidizer to maintain minimal production capacity for critical processes, RTO ceramic media removal and replacement, installation of a new access door, and extensive insulation and butterfly valve repairs. With widespread electricity restoration, infrastructure repairs, and disaster relief measures in full effect throughout the area, we made quick adjustments to schedules and manpower to complete the projects in less than the allotted time frame, much to our customer’s delight (and astonishment).

As these true stories illustrate, our “whatever-it-takes” problem-solving extends to everything we do – from identifying hidden problems with equipment to solving challenging issues onsite.

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