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Skyriders cements multidisciplinary maintenance and repair approach

A multidisciplinary maintenance and repair solution from Skyriders Access Specialists (Pty) Ltd. has assisted a leading supplier of superior quality construction materials and technical solutions such as cement, aggregate and readymix concrete make the most of a recent shutdown period.

A five-person rope-access team was deployed for the four-day project, which was completed successfully on 20 September 2018. Skyriders’ scope of work comprised routine inspection of Induced Draft (ID) ducting associated with a cooling tower at the supplier’s Kiln 3 operation.

An ID cooling tower is essentially a mechanical cooling tower, as opposed to a Forced Draft (FD) cooling tower. The former is 50% more energy-efficient, based on a draw-through arrangement whereby a fan mounted on top pulls air through fills to create a cooling effect around the furnace area.


The Skyriders team abseiled down from access hatches on top for the internal inspection

The Skyriders team gained access via access hatches on top, from which it abseiled down in order to carry out the internal inspection. “We picked up a few issues that required repair. However, the fact that the team we deployed had welding experience as well facilitated this aspect of the project,” Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn explains.

Close collaboration with the client in terms of providing the correct dimensions and thicknesses for the repairs meant that the replacement sections could be cut-and-bent according to specification, and then rigged and welded in place by the Skyriders team.

“The fact that we used rope access meant that no scaffolding was required for the repair portion of the project. This was critical in terms of the timeframe, as such a shutdown has a fixed start and end date that have to be adhered to in terms of productivity and operational efficiency,” Zinn notes.

The cement, aggregate, and readymix concrete supplier is a long-standing client of Skyriders, which is looking to introduce its Elios collision-resistant drone technology for future confined space and remote inspection maintenance work at this particular client.

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