Informa Markets

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April 17, 2012

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Shutdown solutions

Regular servicing of facilities and machinery during a plant shutdown is essential for manufacturers to maintain high levels of productivity in a cost-effective manner, over a long period of time.

Lucite International, a designer and manufacturer of acrylic-based products, plans maintenance shutdowns for a number of reasons, including:

  • to carry out inspections for regulatory compliance;
  • for the opportunity to carry out major maintenance tasks;
  • to clean out vessels to maintain the efficiency and reliability of equipment;
  • to install upgrades to plants to increase efficiency; and
  • to replace old equipment.

Plant shutdowns also bring many challenges, including the need to manage budgets and stick to tight schedules. However, the biggest challenges for the factory engineers at Lucite concern their safety and well-being.

In order to carry out the scheduled work during a shutdown, the use of gas detection equipment is necessary, as it not only maintains occupational safety but also ensures environmental regulatory compliance. Nevertheless, the costs of purchasing, storing and maintaining this kit can be very expensive. Moreover, Lucite International carries out work that is one-off and specialist in nature, so buying the detectors would not be cost-effective.

To enable a safe shutdown, a1-cbiss supplied Lucite International with a large number of multi-gas detectors for a relatively short period of time. Tailored to the manufacturer’s needs, the gas monitors are rugged in design and provide good protection in the harsh industrial environments. Data from the detectors can also be used to analyse what gases people are exposed to and allow for changes in job methods if any problems are detected.

The detectors allowed the factory engineers the option to configure the instrument to perform a self-test, or to execute a bump-test procedure during instrument start-up. This functionality gives the engineers the reassurance that the instruments have been properly tested before use. Other safety-enhancing features include a full-colour LCD display screen, which aids safety by providing clear readings in low light, bright light, or anywhere in between. a1-cbiss also regularly provides on-site training for engineers that use the kit.

a1-cbiss believes it has become an important partner of Lucite because the companies’ close-knit relationship has improved understanding between them and allowed a1-cbiss to be more responsive to Lucite’s needs.

Lucite’s David Lawson concurred: “We use a1-cbiss for the hire of gas-detection equipment because they have access to a wide range and amount of equipment. Some companies sub-contract the work, so you can end up dealing with two or three companies. Over the years, a1-cbiss has proven to be reliable and quick to correct any problems and to respond to our last-minute changes.”

For more information on its gas-detection service, visit

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