Lessons Learned in Fire, Explosion Equipment Supply

By Biomass Magazine | August 02, 2021

While becoming the biomass industry’s premier supplier of fire and explosion protection equipment over the years, CV Technology has gleaned critical insight into best practices. The following are examples of some of the most valuable lessons learned—experience and knowledge that will help ensure customers’ plants stay safe and operating.

The process of making wood pellets is inherently aggressive. The equipment utilized during the manufacturing process is put through more stress than any other industry that may use similar equipment. In addition to the elevated stress level experienced by the equipment, production requirements are often much stricter. Plants run 24/7 and often have output requirements that must be met.  As a result of this aggressive environment, it is critical for plants to have the appropriate spare parts to re-arm or replace wear items. While some industries may be blasé about spare parts, it is critical for a successfully managed wood pellet plant and for front-end equipment selection. Commonality of spare parts can reduce costs and lead times for parts. Through the years, CV Technology has developed techniques and relationships to ensure this critical factor is properly accounted for.  

Drag chain conveyors are a common means of mechanically conveying process material in several industries. Within wood pellet production facilities in particular, they present a uniquely dangerous hazard. Because of the inherently volatile nature of fine, dry wood dust, the conveyors handling this material need to be properly addressed for fire and explosion protection. Historically overlooked as a lower risk, a string of events has elevated them to the same risk levels as hammermills or dust collectors. Using an assortment of products and techniques, CV Technology has developed a series of successful strategies that can be deployed, depending on the application. Whether the conveyor is installed indoors or outdoors, the type of equipment the conveyor is connected to and whether there is a mid-pan or single pan within the conveyor are all critical factors to consider while developing a solution.     

In addition to having a critical spare parts strategy in place, it is also of utmost importance to ensure there is competent and reliable service infrastructure in place. To ensure full reliability of any fire and explosion protection equipment, it must be properly serviced and maintained.  When the stock of spare parts is inevitably required to be installed, it is this reliable service infrastructure that will be mandatory to fulfill the task. A properly functioning service infrastructure can only be achieved through persistent and committed training from vendor to operator. Continual training, onboarding of new operators and even hands-on training at the CV Technology headquarters in Jupiter, Florida, are all techniques that the company has accomplished over the years, ensuring proper functioning of even its largest and most complex wood pellet customers’ service infrastructures.