Service opens doors
Service opens doors.
Service work continues to grow for GNA.
Since the implementation of the Field Service Group in 2019, GNA has continued to grow the footprint of their service division every year.
From refractory repairs/relines and combustion system upgrades to furnace rebuilds for improved efficiency and performance, GNA’s service division is now actively providing services to cover every need of the North American aluminum industry.
Customers in the industry now acknowledge the GNA service division as a team with the know-how and experience needed to solve problems, even those that may have been issues for an extended period of time.
Nanshan Aluminum in Indiana, USA is a great example of this. For years, Nanshan had been struggling with problems with the burners at their batch homogenizing furnaces: the burners failed every 3 to 6 months, which both significantly impacted furnace operating expenses and led to costly downtimes.
Several companies had worked on the systems over the years, each attempting a new approach to solve the failures – all to no avail.
The customer reached out to GNA to discuss the issues they continued to experience with the burner systems. The furnaces were originally provided by GNA, though GNA had not manufactured the burners and combustion systems.
Following extensive discussions between Nanshan and GNA, it was felt that the new service team founded by GNA in 2019 could help the customer find a solution to the problem.
EFFICIENT PROBLEM ANALYSIS
An agreement was made to start from scratch in the approach to the premature burner failures. The team spent several days on-site disassembling existing burners and collecting design and process data. This led to a significant discovery: the burners were failing prematurely due to the build-up of heat in the burner tile itself. The burner could not dissipate heat properly and so allow the burner head to operate at its designed temperature.
QUICK PROBLEM SOLVING AND IMPLEMENTATION
GNA was able to take this discovery and rapidly develop a solution to the problem. A concrete repair plan was submitted to Nanshan, in which the cause of the system failures was described.
After the customer reviewed the plan and approved the proposed solution, the required materials were procured and the repair work, which required a shutdown of the furnace, could begin.
Installation of the new burner design was completed in only 4 days. But while the customer was very pleased with the speed of the work, it remained to be seen if the repairs would provide a long-term solution.
Today, over a year and a half later, the burners are still in operation and have saved the customer hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs and lost productivity. Nanshan is now in the process of converting all their furnaces to this design, and is utilizing GNA for other service needs in the plant.
Working with Nanshan was a great experience for the GNA team, and an important partnership was established. Solving problems with furnaces may be what we do, but creating trusting relationships is what counts most.
With many more success stories like this, the Field Service Group continues to prove its value not just to GNA, but to the entire EBNER GROUP by opening doors and creating relationships.
Installation of the new burner design