Story In ”Heat Exchanger World Magazine”

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We Don’t Need You…

I have been working as a sales representative for Ormonde for more than 10 years. In this time, I have had many interesting encounters and experiences. But one story in particular stands out, when I got very unusual request from a heating plant one day.

“We need to clean the main condenser, but we can do it ourselves with long brushes. Our method works well, and we are happy with the results,” said the Operations Manager of the regional heating plant. “But the servicing company repairing our turbine is pushing us to clean the condenser with ultra-high pressure water technology. We don’t need your company and we don’t believe that you will do it better than we do. So, we’d like to invite you to prove that our brushing is the best possible cleaning option.”

Wow… What a great customer, I thought to myself. This could be an easy job, easy money!

But my ego was telling me not to accept the situation. They can’t ever clean better than we do! Brushes can’t ever be better than our advanced robotic technologies – They certainly do need us!

And so, this job turned out to be my priority. I was obsessed with the idea of showing them how much they do need us.

D-day came. The standard 2500 bar diesel pump arrived at the heating plant. A two-man crew with robotic positioning nozzle started their first working day on the plant. I visited the site next morning. The pump worked well, the operators were in a good mood, the work progressed as planned.

I met the customer. He was a bit nervous when he saw the amount of material we had cleaned out of the pipes of his condenser.

“Where did this come from?” he asked. “The pipes were clean! I was checking most of the pipes before you arrived.”

Together we checked the removed deposit and watched as the cleaning nozzle flushed out more and more material from each following pipe.

Finally, after five days of cleaning the customer had a shiny clean condenser plus 15 buckets of sand from the cleaning process. We shook hands and promised to ring when they have some relevant information to evaluate how beneficial the cleaning was.

After two months the customer invited me for a coffee. He was very serious as he presented the results of our high pressure cleaning process on his condenser:

11 kW power on pumps reduced when hydraulic losses dropped

Power production increased by 700 kW because of improved heat transfer in condenser

In 11 days of production, the cost of cleaning was already covered

Before I finished my coffee, we agreed we would meet again. They are working now on a model to predict when it is the right time to clean their condenser again, the customer said. Spending money for cleaning is not a cost for them. Spending money for cleaning is the way to get more money from their technology. The job was done, the relationship has been set up. The story is over. TAGS Uncategorized

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