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Tanks need a spot of TLC

Proper maintenance of tanks is key to ensure their long and productive life, while refurbishment can give a new lease of life for older assets.

Regular use and constant exposure to weather and other environmental factors means storage tanks and silos used in agriculture, energy, utilities and the production industries need regular maintenance. Beyond that, refurbishment is also an option that may also extend their working life considerably.

As a manufacturer of some of the most innovative tanks available in the market, Lipp offers long-term support to users of its equipment. Lipp has installed tanks at more than 10,000 sites around the world and supports users with ongoing inspection, maintenance and refurbishment services.

The company’s construction method ensures the highest quality tanks for storing solid, liquid and gaseous substances but it also means that inspection and service has to be out of the ordinary.

The dual-seam tank pro-duction system developed by Lipp allows tanks to be rapidly constructed on site. It is based on an automatic construction process in which a continuous steel band is unwound from its delivery coil and rewound as a large helix to form the main body of the tank. As this is happening adjacent edges of the band are continuously folded over twice, interconnecting them to form a dual seam, spiral construction.

Local conditions
Conventional tanks are constructed using bolted panel systems, but can suffer from premature corrosion, leaks and problems with safety. Further, the construction method restricts the choice of tank size and is difficult to adapt to specific local conditions.

In contrast, the Lipp Dual-Seam System guarantees high static stability, rapid construction, low assembly and investment costs, leak proof construction, minimal installation space require-ments, a choice of construction materials, low maintenance costs, excellent corrosion resistance and long service life.

The construction technique provides maximum tank integrity and a perfect joint so that even aggressive liquids in the container’s interior find no attackable surfaces for corrosion, thus ensuring maximum impermeability is achieved. The tanks are freestanding and extremely stable.

The edgeless, smooth surface on the interior created by the dual fold construction method means there are no nooks or crannies that could precipitate premature corrosion. However, the tanks along with any associated equipment, need to be looked after by regular inspection and servicing.

Proper maintenance will ensure a long and productive life for each tank, while refurbishment will give new potential to older tanks.

After installation of one or more of its tanks, Lipp immediately turns its attention to safeguarding the multi-faceted performance of the tanks and all the associated parts.

In fact, because the building method creates a bespoke tank for each application, the company has a good understanding of every tank’s performance requirements as soon as it goes into use. This enables it to bring a personalised and comprehensive maintenance service to every customer.

Analysis
The reference information built up during the design and build stages is retained so that it can be utilised during service and inspection visits to ensure that the expected performance levels are being met. All inspections are carried out by fully qualified Lipp professionals, who use the latest analytic equipment.

This comprehensive analysis also informs Lipp and the end user which parts of the system may need particular attention or replacement, either immediately or in the future.

Both tank installation and maintenance are carried out by qualified technicians. By providing the same level of technical proficiency as the original installation team, Lipp safeguards the quality level of maintenance activities and therefore of the tank itself. The technicians also impart knowledge and training to the end users, so that everyone can become familiar with their system and raise awareness of standard inspection procedures.

This can help customers become more involved in their systems, bringing a shared knowledge between Lipp and its end users. As a result, every client benefits from the collective knowledge that has been built up over many years of operating and maintaining these innovative systems.

In summary, part of the philosophy behind the service and maintenance approach is to build an intrinsic understanding of the technology in the tank’s owners and operators, so that they understand the system and can get the best from it technically while also ensuring a long and trouble-free working life.

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