Anything but ordinary

Planning and installing industrial scaffolding, insulation, identifying and removing corrosion: our specialists have what it takes

Scaffolding, insulation and corrosion protection – our innovations help save money in these areas. The trades are the bread and butter business for a broad range of specialist Bilfinger entities that, with qualified staff, master complex tasks and develop innovative solutions – including digital solutions.

Complex Constructions

Scaffolding is necessary for most assembly and maintenance work at industrial plants. If you think of the kind of scaffolding you see around residential homes, it’s time to think again. With industrial scaffolding, we are talking about completely different dimensions. Complex constructions that meet the most stringent requirements in terms of stability and structural integrity are necessary. In addition, the scaffolding generally has to be installed and taken down again within a very short timeframe because plant turnarounds often take just a few days. Careful planning and sophisticated logistics are therefore vital.

The scaffolding specialists from Bilfinger – for example those from Germany-based Bilfinger arnholdt – are not only active in industrial plants. Their expertise is also in demand when scaffolding is needed for the rehabilitation of bridges – without disturbing traffic if at all possible. Another example for complex projects is the assembly of scaffolding for the rehabilitation of smokestacks that rise several hundred meters from the ground.

Hot and cold

Bilfinger’s service portfolio in the area of insulation is just as diverse. Lost heat means lost money. With the right thermal insulation it is possible to lower costs and reduce the emission of pollutants. The efficient handling of energy also positively impacts production processes and eases pressure on the plant. Depending on the need, a variety of insulations can be applied. The experts from Bilfinger also deliver customized sheathing produced in our own facilities from steel and aluminum sheeting for piping and other plant components.

Cold insulation is particularly important for the production and processing of food. Professional insulation supports production procedures and process technology and makes an important contribution to product safety and quality. Bilfinger’s competence in cold insulation is in demand in the pharma and biopharma industries and other sectors as well.

Safely to the top - How modern technology is making scaffolding safe

Safety and Security

Bilfinger also offers comprehensive solutions for legally required noise and fire protection in industrial and commercial enterprises. In addition to the application of innovative, noise-absorbing materials, this also includes constructive measures such as the installation of vibration dampers. For fire protection, Bilfinger relies exclusively on tested and approved systems. Particular attention is paid to piping systems, valves and containers with flammable media. This means that Bilfinger customers are always on the safe side.

Invisible dangers

Corrosion in piping systems is an issue in many industrial plants. Particular dangers arise when corrosion is hidden under insulation and is not identified. Leaks in the piping and the outflow of liquids or gases can be the result, potentially leading to operational interruptions and a lack of plant safety, up to an acute danger of fire or explosion. The focus, primarily for older plants, is therefore on identifying corrosion beneath the insulation and effectively removing it. Bilfinger specialists have the expertise necessary to conduct this work including, in particular, processes for the non-destructive testing of materials.

Three questions for René de Bie

Why has Shell Moerdijk been relying on Bilfinger for scaffolding, insulation, painting and other services for so many years?

At Shell Moerdijk we were very happy and proud to celebrate our 50th anniversary last year. Our business partners have made an important contribution to the achievement of this milestone and will continue to be, as we are looking forward to the next 50 years.

Bilfinger has been a long-time partner of Shell Moerdijk. Bilfinger staff are very well connected at all levels in the organisation and they are a real pleasure to work with. In our people & process safety improvement journey, Bilfinger has been the leading contractor in the prevention of process incidents and trips during work in the field. Bilfinger staff act as the “eyes and ears” in the field and report many near misses and deviations that we can act on, a factor that is very important and much appreciated.

What is the distinctive innovative character of Bilfinger in the market?

In addition to outstanding safety performance, Bilfinger is implementing digitalization opportunities for work preparation and order processing in the field. This digitalization creates significant added value in planning of work and signing off by Shell supervisors in the field. This generates time and cost savings for both parties and creates a better working environment. Another cost saving opportunity has been the use of magnetic anchors for scaffolding which was successfully applied on tanks.

What makes Bilfinger an attractive partner?

Bilfinger and Shell have recently taken up the challenge to improve our mutual efficiency in Moerdijk on a gain sharing basis. This illustrates our belief that we can improve our margins together. Bilfinger’s integrated service portfolio of scaffolding, coating, insulation and tracing allows Shell to bundle work and minimize loss of time and cost. Our joint approach on CUI (Corrosion Under Insulation) is a good example of the integrated services approach that includes scaffolding, painting and insulation and, perhaps in the near future, inspection and non-destructive testing.

René de Bie

René de Bie is Production Manager at Shell Netherlands Chemicals in Moerdijk

Published in issue 01.2019

Further articles from issue 01.2019

Project highlights

Largest connected scaffolding: 85,000 cubic meters on a single piece of mining equipment

Tallest scaffolding: on a smokestack that reaches 300 meters above a refinery

Longest fully enclosed scaffolding: surrounded a 230-meter bridge with tarpaulins, the entire surface area of the coating was 23,000 square meters

Digital Workflow – Recording scaffolding orders via app

In Belgium and the Netherlands, Bilfinger Industrial Services takes care of scaffolding orders using a digital workflow. The material needed is recorded directly on-site with an app installed on a tablet or smartphone. If necessary, photographs and other documents such as drawings can be added. The data is reviewed and compared with centrallystored information. This information forms the basis for processing the order from its receipt through to invoicing. Time-consuming paperwork is thus a thing of the past.