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Case Study

Allan Edwards Steel Repair Sleeves Replace Mechanical Clamps for a Cost-Effective Refinery Repair Solution

Written by Allan Edwards

Repairs are rarely cheap when it comes to pipeline maintenance. These already high rehabilitation costs are further amplified when they occur within refineries. The sustained high-temp conditions in which refineries operate introduce complications to normally accepted maintenance methods, limiting the types of repairs that are deemed safe. Hot work of any kind is often not permitted, meaning that repair sleeve installations typically cannot be performed. Stringent safety regulations narrow the range of repairs permitted, and they can become substantially more expensive than they would be for a non-refinery repair. 

Challenging Circumstances

A customer operating a Texas refinery was tasked by his management team to safely reduce maintenance costs wherever possible. Taking a deeper look into the refinery’s spending operations, his team discovered that the mechanical clamps they were using to temporarily repair pipeline defects were adding extraordinary expense to their operations. Any time routine shut-ins were conducted within sections of the refinery, these mechanical clamps were required to be removed and replaced. As the clamps were already an expensive product, their routine replacement was causing costs to mount to extreme levels.

Seeking Alternative Repair Methods

Knowing that Allan Edwards was already a trusted provider of high-quality repair solutions, the customer reached out to troubleshoot a more cost-effective repair offering. Together, the Allan Edwards team and the customer examined the refinery conditions to see if any confined areas had an atmosphere conducive to welding. Several key areas were identified where repair sleeves could be safely installed without adding risk to operations. 

A Cost-Effective Sleeve Repair

Once the refinery manager received approval from his management team, he placed an order for several sets of repair sleeves to selectively replace mechanical clamps. This sleeve replacement drastically reduced operational costs – the single order secured the customer a 95% cost reduction. Multiple repeat orders followed the first, solidifying permanent cost savings for the refinery and strengthening the relationship with a valued customer.