Thursday, October 18, 2018

St. Louis Structural Engineer
St. Louis Bridge Engineering

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This industrial project consisted of removing an existing 40-ton feed water pre-heater and replacing it with a new pre-heater of similar weight and size.

To accomplish this move, Structures, Inc. was tasked with several design challenges as follows:

  • Check the existing concrete floor slab across which the tanks would be moved to determine if it had sufficient strength to support the tanks.
  • Design and detail temporary "in-fill" floor framing to be place over an existing opening.  This in-fill area would serve to support the tanks prior to being lifted by an existing overhead bridge crane.
  • Determine the maximum rigging forces during the lifting operation in order to size rigging spreader beam and straps.
  • Design and detail a transport frame on which the tanks would be set for the moving operations.
  • Determine the optimal locations below the transport frame for the placement of "Air Skates" used to "float" the tanks in and out of position.
  • Write a detailed narrative providing the rigging contractor with step by step instructions for completing the tank change-out.

As is the case in many industrial facitilies, several obstacles needed to be avoided during the moving operation.  To ensure collision avoidance, computer generated drawings were prepared by Structures, Inc. to study the moving path of the tanks and make sure adequate clearances would be maintained.  As a result of this pre-planning, the existing tank was successfully moved out and the new tank moved into position a full 2 days ahead of schedule.