Keeping your Cooling Tower Project on track
Cooling tower repair projects are often complicated and unfortunately, sometimes full of surprises. Identifying the basic scope of work to be completed is usually not difficult but details discovered during the execution of the work can threaten the success of the project. When these issues arise, the project team (owner, design engineer, project manager and construction staff) must work together to address and resolve issues quickly so that excessive costs can be avoided and sound engineering solutions are applied; all of which will keep the project on track.
Considerable effort is usually expended by the owner by working with consultants and/or suppliers to develop a detailed scope of work to repair the subject cooling tower. Despite everyone’s best intentions, once the actual repair work begins, a common problem that occurs is the discovery of components or conditions that could not have been known at the project planning stage due to inspection limitations. For example, accurate anchorage locations and details may not be known because they are below the operating water level; or, structural member sizes are assumed to be the same throughout the tower and they turn out to be different in some locations. Either of these situations can result in required adjustments to structural calculations or changes in the scope of work. Quick notification by the construction/inspection team to the project management and engineering/design teams is critical to achieve a swift and sound engineered answer to the problems that have arisen. Addressing issues quickly and thoroughly is the best way to keep a project on track.
Of course cooling tower owners need to be careful about the vendors they select to complete their cooling tower repair projects. Does the service company performing the work have real engineering skills and resources or are they simply doing what they think is acceptable? The writer has seen numerous cases where cooling towers were modified without regard to structural engineering best practices. When this happens, the equipment is compromised and the chance of a catastrophe has increased.
Don’t let this happen in your plant. Call OBR today and let us help you design and manage your cooling tower project. It’s the best way to “Keep your Cooling Tower Project on Track”.