Challenges

Faced with economic uncertainty, fluctuations in commodity prices, and rapidly evolving legislation, companies are having to find new solutions for unprecedented challenges. In addition to increased demands for production efficiency, facility modernization, and optimized operations, organizations must also reduce risk, retain specialized technical skills, and adhere to more stringent environmental compliance standards.

You’re looking for stable, predictable operations with best-in-class process and equipment performance, which will allow you to achieve sustainable results across the value chain, all while operating safely and efficiently. While you focus on increasing productivity and improving returns, you want to preserve the capacity for growth and future innovation. You need a partner that can drive strategy and help unlock greater value from your assets without the need for major investments in capital or resources. 

Hatch’s Solution

Hatch provides access to engineering consultants experienced in the design, operation, and maintenance of pyrometallurgical vessels whose subject matter expertise can help clients address their challenges and inform their key decisions.

We apply our decades of experience in furnace equipment, as well as our process control and monitoring technology, inspection tools and methods, specialized analysis, and risk management techniques to conduct comprehensive evaluations on the condition and performance of pyrometallurgical furnaces and auxiliary equipment. We conduct on-site inspections, data analysis, barrier monitoring, and technical advisory to provide clients with an understanding of the current risk state of their equipment and recommend solutions to help achieve their objectives, including overall equipment effectiveness, campaign life, and safety. Pyrotechnology performance (PTP) services range from one-off services to ongoing on-site and remote support.

Our pyrometallurgical vessel expertise ranges from electric furnaces, flash furnaces, top submerged lance furnaces, blast furnaces, and kilns, among others.

PTP Services

  • Furnace integrity audit (on-site inspection and data analysis)
  • Furnace shutdown condition assessment (internal lining inspection during maintenance shutdown and data analysis)
  • Barrier monitoring
  • Incident investigation, troubleshooting and technical advisory
  • Life cycle road mapping (campaign planning, rebuild/upgrade timing and scoping, cost-benefit evaluation)

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Capabilities

Furnace Integrity Audit:

Furnace integrity audits provide a comprehensive evaluation of furnace integrity, while accounting for the interrelationships between equipment integrity indicators (e.g., the relationship between refractory lining wear, furnace movement, and the risk of gap formation) and interactions with the furnace process conditions. This includes review and analysis of furnace integrity and performance data including movement, temperatures, cooling system flows, downtime, inspection/maintenance reports, throughput, bath temperatures, levels, power, and many more.  

The furnace integrity audit consists of an on-site component for completion of visual inspections, measurements, and discussion with the operations team; data analysis and reporting are completed off site. This audit informs action and improvement recommendations provided and prioritized as per the objectives of the specific client (e.g., campaign life, downtime reduction, etc.). 

Typical furnace areas included in a furnace integrity audit include: 

  • Foundations 
  • Structural steel 
  • Refractory lining
  • Cooling system
  • Roof
  • Process conditions analysis. 

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Furnace shutdown condition assessment

Furnace shutdowns present the rare opportunity to make physical measurements and observations on the furnace lining condition. Establishing lining condition upon demolition (end of current campaign) and after lining repair (start of next campaign) is a key input to ongoing integrity monitoring, as this provides context and a point of comparison with the non-destructive testing (NDT) results and instrument data. Establishing the condition of the lining at this point will be critical information to support future rebuild timing and scope decisions, including whether to extend the campaign life or increase throughput. Additionally, the condition of the lining will inform potential design changes to be considered for inclusion as part of future maintenance opportunities.

Working with the shutdown coordinators, we provide furnace engineers on site during the shutdown to ensure lining condition observations and measurements are captured effectively, with minimal disruption to the shutdown schedule.

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Barrier monitoring

Asset-intensive industries need to balance cost and reliability, and cost and risk. Our data driven decision-making approach gives you the information you need to avoid unexpected downtime, reduce safety incidents associated with unplanned activities, and achieve operational targets. We take a more holistic view of asset health to help you better manage the impacts of operations.

Using risk bow ties to define and visualize risk, barrier monitoring consists of ongoing evaluations into integrity/risk states of barriers preventing equipment failure.

Our barrier monitoring service includes:

  • Bow-tie analysis to define the required risk prevention and mitigation barriers, with a gap assessment to identify missing components.
  • Development of critical control specifications, which define the activities that comprise each barrier.
  • Deployment of a barrier monitoring system to enable:
    • Streamlined data transfer to receive site data.
    • Regular trend/anomaly review by Hatch furnace engineers.
    • Visualizations of the status of each barrier.
  • On-site inspections and audits scheduled as needed.
  • Regular planned discussions with the client team to share observations and updated recommendations.

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Incident Investigation, Troubleshooting and Technical Advisory

Finding the root cause of an incident is the first step in preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future. Our team brings extensive experience in root-cause analysis and incident investigation to help determine and prevent incidents from occurring.

Beyond preventing future incidents, our team can help with the implementation of mitigating actions that are taken out of the incident investigation. We are there to see the entire process through to completion.

 

Life Cycle Road Mapping (campaign planning, rebuild/upgrade timing and scoping, cost-benefit evaluation)

Our experts will work with you to create a definitive plan supported by data and experience that lays out major milestones and anticipated work. This process helps for the long-term planning of resources to optimize the output of your plant.

 

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