Hands Free™ Hydroblasting for Chemical Plant

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CPI - Hands Free™ Case Study
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A chemical plant in Lima, Ohio was scheduled for turnaround cleaning and expansion. The company adopted a policy at the beginning of 2015 which required all high pressure water blasting work to be 100% Hands Free™ to increase worker safety and cleaning efficiency. 

Veolia was challenged to design and implement a customized Hands Free™ solution to clean 25 heat exchangers ranging in size from 300 to 2,000 tubes and five to thirty feet in length during the turnaround outage. Additionally Veolia was asked to clean several dollar plates and channels with Hands Free™ equipment. The customer required that all hydroblasting work be completed during the night shift to provide additional space for other contractors to work during the day. 


Veolia set up their equipment on day shifts in preparation to work at night. Pipefitters and boilermakers were working during the day shift in the same areas that the exchangers were located. Other contractors also worked beneath the heat exchangers, preventing Veolia from hydroblasting during the day shift. 

Veolia was able to move hoses, trucks and other equipment during the day shifts while other contractors worked in these areas with minimal disruption. Veolia had 10 employees working at night to hydroblast the exchangers and four employees working during the day to move and set up the equipment. 

Veolia brought in an experienced Hands Free™ operator from its Mitchell, Illinois office to provide tactical support to Veolia employees during the project. Veolia implemented numerous pieces of specialized equipment from their Hands Free™ portfolio, including the Cobra™, ABX-2L, Diamondback™ and Sidewinder™. All water blasting was successfully completed on the night shifts, minimizing any work stoppages by utilizing the space needed to barricade and clean the exchangers when other contractors were not working in those areas. 


Veolia successfully introduced their Hands Free™ equipment to the site for the first time, completing the hydroblasting work seven days ahead of schedule and 20 percent below their original budget, saving the customer $50,000. By working primarily at night, Veolia was able to provide greater flexibility for other contractors to perform work in the same areas, increasing overall turnaround productivity. 

Veolia employees worked 12 hour day and night shifts, and completed the hydroblasting work with zero accidents or injuries. Veolia's customized hydroblasting solution combined a number of Hands Free™ devices to provide superior cleaning results in less time, compared to previous manual cleaning methods. 

"Working Hands Free™ increased worker productivity, allowing Veolia to complete hydroblasting seven days ahead of schedule while providing the work space required for other contractors." 
- Tim Delph, Veolia Account Manager