Griffith Energy, a gas-fired power plant in Arizona, has turned to additive manufacturing to hugely reduce the cost of maintenance activities.
When faced with an annual cost of over $100,000 to rebuild its boiler feedwater control system they were initially dissuaded from procuring the parts due to project scope and cost. In addition to the valves and actuators needed, such an upgrade would require board approval of a CapEx project, welding, cleaning of the piping, NDE of the welds, new spare-parts inventory, and drawing and manual updates (MOC).
This all changed when the plant entered a pilot program with IMI CCI, a valve manufacturer, to install the first Retrofit3D trim sets into four of their most critical and difficult applications.
Advances in additive manufacturing processes made it cost-effective for IMI CCI engineers to design drag valve trim to fit the existing valve body, avoiding the need for a large CapEx project.
The new trim was installed in fall 2019 and performed well, with the valves still looking all shiny and new, even after five months of operation. The decision was made to upgrade all the remaining valves on HRSG 1 and reinspect after two years, with HRSG 2 consuming the remaining OEM and refurbished-parts inventory.
The Retrofit3D trim is comparable in cost to the refurbished OEM trim and is expected to last at least three years longer.
Thanks to 3D printing, the project has resulted in a high-reliability, long-life, low-cost operation that simply requires a change to the inventory record and library. How much has the plant saved? The total saved equates to between a $500,000 to $900,000 saving on parts, not including the annual labor cost to rebuild.
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