Dow and Electro Chemical Team Up to Save $2 MM in Maintenance Costs

Project Earns MTI (Materials Technology Institute) Global Value Award

We thought, if we can do this, it could extend the life of the scrubber another 10-15 years.

— Abiodun Olawepo, Process Improvement Engineer, The Dow Chemical Company

EMMAUS , PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES, November 29, 2016 / — The Dow Chemical Company and Electro Chemical were recently presented with Materials Technology Institute’s (MTI) 2016 Global Value Award for applying MTI guidebooks as they collaborated on a scrubber repair project that solved Dow’s corrosion problem.

The two companies’ earned the award based on eight criteria, including the positive financial, reliability, and safety impacts that the project has had on Dow operations. Internal training opportunities as well as standards, procedures, and process improvements at Electro Chemical also factored into the MTI Value Award Committee’s decision.

The project team, which included materials engineering experts from both companies, used MTI’s Guide for the Repair & Modification of FRP Equipment and Guide for the Repair & Modification of Lined Equipment to help evaluate the option of installing a Kynar® PVDF thermoplastic liner in an existing FRP scrubber that was exhibiting end-of-life characteristics due to chemical corrosion.

Dow’s engineering group sought a long-term solution, and considered replacing the 13-ft. diameter, 30-ft. high vessel. “We talked about replacing the scrubber, but we looked at the potential project and estimated that it would be very expensive,” reports Abiodun Olawepo, a Process Improvement Engineer at The Dow Chemical Company.

Instead, the project team elected to investigate the potential of a thorough but less problematic solution. Dow’s engineers turned to the industry’s leading supplier of fluoropolymer coatings and linings, Electro Chemical, to evaluate the feasibility of applying a thermoplastic liner in the section of the scrubber experiencing the most deterioration from age and chemical exposure.

“We came to the conclusion that we could do a field test to see if the FRP that we had was going to bond very well with the Kynar® sheet liner,” explains Olawepo. “We thought, if we can do this, it could extend the life of the scrubber another 10-15 years. Ultimately, Dow engineers concluded that using the PVDF fluoropolymer liner could provide the protection the unit needed.

Dow selected ISO-9001-certified Electro Chemical for repair of its HR3 unit. The team finished the project on time and on budget. “What they did is already paying dividends for us. We no longer have to repair the scrubber year after year,” according to Olawepo.

By avoiding the costs of a replacement vessel, an extended shut down for its installation, and the associated costs of piping and foundation modifications, Dow realized significant cost savings.
Additional benefits include lowering the potential for loss of primary containment due to failure and possibly reducing emissions due to the wider chemical compatibility of PVDF versus polyester.

“With the help of Dow’s thorough planning prior to the start of work, our estimated costs, work hours/days and pricing were all in line with our standard expectations,” concludes Erick Olson, Project Manager at Electro Chemical. “This challenging field service job went according to plan, on schedule and on budget.”

“Every now and then, it’s nice to be recognized for achieving something, but this is not about Electro Chemical,” emphasizes company president Mike Bunner. “This is about collaboration between two companies that took knowledge that was available to them through their memberships in MTI, had brainstorming exchanges, crystalized the ideas, and put them into a plan. It demonstrates that if you plan things properly and you communicate, innovation can take place and save a significant amount of money.”

For more information about Electro Chemical’s corrosion protection products and services, visit or call 610-965-9061.

Kirk Richardson
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Source: EIN Presswire