At WIKA USA we are used to dealing with unusually sized temperature solutions. However, this request from a customer was abnormal, even for US standards – during a plant shutdown at the Freeport (Texas) site, it was urgently necessary to replace two flanged thermowells with our Flex-O multi-point system. The size needed was 37 metres! The entire project time – from start to finish – was less than five working days.
The assigned project manager jumped right on this request and made sure that around 76 metres of 1.5-inch pipe were ordered from a local supplier. The maximum pipe length available was about 5.5 metres, so each thermowell would need seven butt welds (including the mounting cap) to achieve the overall length.
The technical challenge in the manufacturing process is to achieve a full penetration weld without dropping weld material (filler) inside the thermowell which would obstruct inserting the Flex-O temperature system. The team did everything right. All welds passed X-ray testing by an independent test laboratory. The Flex-O system could easily be slid into the thermowell.
The final challenge was transportation. In order for the thermowells to reach Freeport safely, a lorry length of at least 31 metres was required. For a transport of this size, special permits and police escorts are required. A special lorry was booked immediately and the transport permits obtained. Nothing further stood in the way of a proper and timely delivery.
Further information on our range of thermowells can be found on the WIKA website.