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Mechanical piping modifications

Since 1985, customers have relied on High Purity Systems to fabricate piping systems of all sizes and applications. But they’ve also come to trust our team to solve problems almost entirely unrelated to pipe and piping components.

Such was the case with one of our long-time customers in the Washington, D.C. area. Among the systems at work within this large biopharmaceutical facility are six chromatography skids.

The problem

The skids themselves performed as designed, but significant splash back occurred when they were flushed and drained. This caused compounding problems that put the customer’s productivity and work safety at risk:

  • The messes this made meant workers had to do less working and more cleaning, impacting productivity.
  • The frequent messes became a persistent safety hazard as floors and other surfaces became soaked.
  • The skids were confined to a tight, congested workspace, adding to workers’ safety concerns.

The customer wasn’t sure of a fix, so they called us first to see if we could figure out what to do. After all, we’ve worked with them many times over the years. We know their facility almost as well as we know our own.

The solution

After discussing the problem in the customer’s facility, we determined that they needed splash guards to prevent the messes and eliminate the safety hazards. Because the skids were in such close quarters—and because each skid’s drain piping was uniquely configured—the guards couldn’t be bought off the shelf. Our welders had to custom-fabricate them.

Our fabricators used CAD software to model splash guards for each skid. Some guards were rectangular and some were circular, depending on the configuration of each skid’s drain pipe. The guards included a latch-and-hinge design for easy installation and removal in the tight work space.

The splash guards were fabricated off-site in our shop. We used 316L stainless steel to minimize corrosion risk. Installation of the guards proved tricky given the tight work space. But given our existing site knowledge, we were aware of this challenge from the beginning. Our team installed the guards safely and quickly.

The result

Today, flushing and draining of our customer’s chromatography skids is much cleaner. More importantly, the work space is safer for those who must use it daily. And finally, a strong relationship built on a series of successful projects was further strengthened.

So how do you know who to turn to when a unique problem puts productivity or safety at risk?

Rely on process piping fabricators who are committed to understanding entire facilities and processes. This case demonstrates the value of partnering with a firm whose expertise goes beyond piping to include whole facility problem solving.

If a stubborn issue is holding your facility back from performing at its peak, our team might be able to assist. Contact us now to get in touch with an expert.