The IAFD engineering team got the call late in the day from the plant manager. An expansion joint on a customer’s unit had failed and needed to be replaced. As the engineer asked more questions, it was clear this was not a typical “wear & tear” situation. The plant manager was frustrated because the last expansion joint lasted only four months before failing and before that, the plant had gone through three joints in twelve months. The turbine OEM’s and prior expansion joint manufacturer all had theories about the situation and, not surprisingly, each indicated someone else was causing the problem. By this time, the plant manager knew that finger pointing and replacing with another joint would get him nowhere. He called IAFD because he was looking for a solution.
Understanding the outage window ended only three weeks from the initial call, the IAFD team immediately went into action, sending an engineer on site to gather critical data. Within one week, IAFD was able to determine the root cause of the joint failures and designed a revolutionary new expansion joint. The customer agreed with the root cause analysis, understood the proposed design and immediately signed off on the solution. The IAFD manufacturing team then sprung into action, building the new joint on time and on spec. The last step was the IAFD field services team fitting this priority job into the schedule and getting the installation done within the outage window and done safely.
The new expansion joint worked flawlessly. By ending the “replace every four months” cycle, IAFD provided a savings of millions of dollars in maintenance spend and potential lost revenue from unplanned outages.
Ultimately, the root cause of the problem was addressed by IAFD’s new design. This solution was driven entirely by the innovation of the IAFD engineering team. The customer was thrilled not only because they had found a solution, but all work had been completed within the tight schedule. From first call to install, the entire process lasted only forty-two days. The speed and success of this project could never have happened without IAFD’s engineering and turn-key solution.
Over the last two decades, we have developed turn-key solutions designed to create the best possible outcome for our customers. Our engineering team diagnoses the root cause of the issue, improving the OEM design, our manufacturing team builds the quality products and our field services team completes the turn-key process with the on-site installation.