Ian Birkinshaw MSc

General Secretary - SHAPA (Solids Handling & Processing Association)

Presentation Title: “Total Cost of Ownership”

AbstractPurchasing Solids Handling Equipment

The things you need to know to avoid the disappointment of an underperforming Plant

Statistics from past studies show that frequently, solids handling equipment does not satisfy the expectations of the buyer/user.  One extensive US study from some years ago showed that on new plants using solids as feedstocks and intermediates, poor performance of solids handling equipment seriously hit costs and performance.  Cost overruns averaged in excess of 100% (when including the cost of lost production) and 60% of new plants were not up to full productivity two years after nominal start-up date .  These problems were almost all due to poor flow of solids in the new plants.

Even on smaller projects, the frequency of problems with solids handling equipment is lamentably high.  Many SHAPA members relate sorry stories about troubleshooting on brand new plants that don’t meets the users’ needs, and cost the suppliers hefty warranty claims.

There are special hazards involved with buying solids handling or processing kit, which you need to learn to recognise and avoid.  The SHAPA team have spent a lot of time thinking about why these problems arise, and devising an approach that makes problems less likely.  To save yourself a lot of trauma, you must recognise what is special about bulk solids, and about solids handling equipment