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Explosion Risk Reduction (Minerals)

Introduction

Health and safety is paramount for global chemicals manufacturer AkzoNobel at it’s Elotex plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, but the construction additives produced at this plant involve fine, abrasive powders which were proving hard to contain.  The resultant dust leakage posed a real explosion risk.  After installing a BFM® fitting system on their sifter, AkzoNobel were so impressed with its performance they are gradually replacing all of their connectors with BFM®


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Before

The Challenge

Fine, abrasive powders, combined with a pneumatic conveying system, meant that even small tears or gaps in the traditional clamped flexible connectors at the plant caused dust leakage. 
The hose-clamp seals did not perform well under pressure, and with 25 different fittings, manual error with installing the existing clamp & hose connectors to the incorrect length also added to the leakage problems. 
The real risk of explosion in the plant meant that AkzoNobel were keen to find a fitting that would provide a durable, sealed system and also allow them to standardise their fittings across the plant.

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After

The Solution

After an initial trial BFM® fitting system was installed in the most challenging position on the sifter, the seal was so superior that AkzoNobel are now replacing all 25 flexible connectors with BFM® fitting. There is no longer dust leaking into the plant, and this has significantly reduced the risk of explosion. 
As the connectors are replaced, the pipes and spigots are being adjusted to standardise the sizes, helping to reduce the inventory and multiple suppliers.
Replacement is also now fast and easy with no possibility of incorrect installation.


The Benefits

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Explosion

The sealed system created by the BFM® fitting has removed the dust leakage in the air, significantly reducing the risk of explosion.
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Installation

Fitting the new BFM connector is so simple that there can no longer be incorrect installation problems.
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Standardisation

The pipes are all being adjusted as the BFM®’s are installed to standardise the connector sizes, reducing inventory issues.
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Downtime

Replacement time has been drastically reduced.

“After seeing it I was immediately convinced. In all its simplicity, it is extremely effective. We assembled a BFM® fitting alongside an existing one so everyone could see the difference. After a few months it was clear: the BFM® fitting sealed perfectly and remained transparent. We are very happy with the BFM® fitting.” – Hub Knoren, Maintenance Engineering Technician, AkzoNobel Elotes, Geleen

Case Study courtesy of BFM® Distributor Insolids BV., The Netherlands


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