Dosing plant leads the pack
A packaged plant offers tailored solutions that can be factory tested and avoids the need for costly and time-consuming on-site engineering, writes Barry Green, sales director of Gee & Company
Packaged plant of this type is sometimes perceived as limited to tank capacities in the order of 1-2m3. But current developments have seen much larger systems developed, with storage tank capacities of up 150m3 and incorporating as many as ten chemical metering skids for a variety of applications.
Within the water utility market in the UK, systems such as these embrace the dosing of chemicals for chemically aided settlement, phosphate removal and the control of both septicity and odour. But the concept has applications in other sectors, too.
For example, Birmingham-based Gee has designed and supplied packaged plant for the storing and dosing of sodium hypochlorite for the treatment of cooling towers at a power station. For this particular application, the plan was to change from gas chlorination to liquid - but within a very compressed outage time programme.
By using its package plant concept, Gee was able to design and prefabricate the whole system at its factory, where much of the pre-commissioning work was also carried out. The complete dosing system was then delivered by road, where it was slid into the old gas chlorine storage area and brought on line quickly.
Such an approach can also be used for boiler dosing where, for example, a boiler house is to be upgraded but where there is insufficient room to store chemicals. Containerised or modular solutions are equally appropriate for use on new plant, especially within the water utility market.
A combination of this proven concept together with a flexible engineering approach enables systems to be tailored to specific needs. For example, packaged plant can be supplied that incorporates a self-bunded storage facility, dosing cabinet and the necessary control system. If this is not appropriate, it can purely encompass the tankage and dosing or, alternatively, it can embrace dosing and controls, where the chemical storage either exists or is located in a traditional bunded area.
One significant development in this market within the last year was Gee's acquisition of the Michael Smith Systems division. This allowed the new owner access to a patent that covered the design of such package plant, and which further extended the scope of supply in this market.
Both ranges are produced under a single roof at Gee's 1.8 hectare manufacturing site, enabling all the chemical, mechanical and electrical design engineering to be carried out in house.
Because of the specialist storage and handling requirements of most of the chemicals involved, the business also manufactures its own thermoplastic tanks on the same site. This saves the cost of transporting components between sites, and enables much of the testing and pre-commissioning of fully finished systems to be carried out under controlled factory conditions.
It is, though, on site that these benefits become apparent. Containerisation and factory manufacture avoid most of the civil-engineering work - weather delays and all - associated with traditional systems. All the site preparation required for these units is the laying of a concrete raft and the installation of the necessary dosing lines and telemetry connections.
Gee can transport and land very large containers on site, and employs its own operative for craneage, together with banks people to supervise this stage of the operation. Often, such equipment can be landed early in the morning and hooked and wired up the following day.
With much of the pre-commissioning work already carried out, final commissioning is kept to a minimum. The new system has the potential to be brought on stream in a matter of only days. For the water and wastewater treatment industry, factory-built containerisation has brought such turnkey systems to the top of the agenda.