Owing to the petrochemical industry’s cyclical nature, it is entering one of the most volatile eras in its history. As a result, organizations will have to work harder on ensuring their core capabilities and business strategy is robust.

According to a report by McKinsey in the last 15 years, the global petrochemical sector has experienced strong volume growth, with production of ethylene rising from 100 million metric tons in 2000 to almost 150 million metric tons in 2016, and value creation rising at a 4% CAGR since 2005. However, the global clampdown on the use of plastics, and the over overcapacity of petrochemical processing facilities are significantly impacting the global oil markets and threaten the future of the industry’s success.

Combine this with a situation where supply is higher than demand, and you’re faced with a situation where margins decrease and competition increases. Consequently, products are sold at lower prices until the market stabilizes. As a result, minimizing downtime and maximizing margins is crucial.

Reducing downtime with selective electroplating

In order to do this, engineers must reduce the probability of downtime caused by maintenance issues. When a plant experiences unplanned downtime, it causes loss in production and profit – this is where the role of turnaround managers and maintenance planners can make a difference.

Choosing methods of repair that are quality assured, reliable, and cost effective, means you can not only minimize downtime and increase the longevity of machinery, but maximize profits and contribute to a more sustainable future.

The benefits of SIFCO Process® in the petrochemical industry

One such method is selective electroplating. The SIFCO Process® is a portable, efficient and economical way of performing surface treatment repairs and maintenance.

Portability and in-situ repairs

Location is crucial for petrochemical plants – when a repair is needed, it’s not as easy as taking a silo or tank to an electroplating site. This is where the SIFCO Process® touch-up kits come in. Suitable for a job shop or out in the field, SIFCO ASC’s selective plating process is portable and can be used almost anywhere. It can also be mechanized or automated for minimal operator intervention.

As a result, this means repairs can be made in-situ, or during unplanned downtime situations. This helps to mitigate the costs associated with disassembly, transportation and eventual re-assembly.

Pre and post-machining
Due to the limited pre and post-machining required with selective plating, costs and downtime are also reduced. This is because the specific area that needs protection or repair is masked off, which allows for the deposit to be applied with precision and accuracy. There is often no need for post-machining, as the deposit can be plated to size.
Fast turnaround times

Once the repair case has been evaluated, and if machinery does not need disassembling, often turnaround time can be as quick as a single working day.

As world governments place increasing pressure on industries to meet sustainability targets and reduce emissions, there is a growing focus on the environmental impact of unexpected shutdowns at petrochemical refineries. The SIFCO Process® helps to reduce downtime, thus helping to get facilities back online as fast as possible and is therefore crucial to lessening the environmental impact.

You can find out more about the benefits of selective electroplating in the petrochemical industry in our whitepaper

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