Italian mast climber manufacturer Safi has designed an innovative system to speed up the construction of chimneys in the oil and gas industry.
The custom Safi rack and pinion circular platforms were designed to allow contractor Gasco to construct four 120m high steel chimneys. The units measure 8m diameter at the base up to the 25m point, then taper out by 5 m diameter to their final height of 120m.
A prominent feature of Safi’s climbing machines is the ability to fit them around any particular structure shape. So, in this case circular towers meant circular platforms were required too.
One of the main challenges was the different diameters found on each chimney. To overcome this, an automatic sliding platform extension was created. Workers push a button to change the extension length to reach each part of the tower.
The special 3m extensions abide to EC health and safety regulations, said the company, and allow personnel to work in a safe and protected environment. There are also a number of money-saving benefits to the system, adds the company. For example, the custom platform requires just six workers for its construction, rather than the 55 needed when using a standard scaffolding system, says the company, thereby reducing the cost of the workforce by 70%. According to Safi, the use of a mobile crane to lift chimney modules is also not required, saving the rental cost of that.