BIP Organics is a rapidly growing, award winning business, part of the BIP Chemical Holdings Group. Head-quartered in Middlewich, Cheshire, they are leaders in recycling of chemical waste, primarily waste solvent.
They provide custom distillation services, toll manufacturing capabilities and hazardous waste solutions to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and are the only UK-based manufacturer of flame proof brominated resins.
When the business expanded in 2019 and a new tank farm was built, they approached Elmac Technologies for the provision of a large number of End-of-Line and In-line Deflagration Flame Arresters.
“We had previously bought Flame Arresters from Elmac and were impressed with their reliability and efficiency so they were the only guys to bring back when speccing our new tanks” says Patrick Padmos, Engineering & Maintenance Manager, BIP Organics.
Following a detailed site survey and audit of existing equipment, a specification list was produced and the Flame Arrester requirement was fulfilled by Elmac Technologies.
“We made sure that the equipment ordered was fit-for-purpose and, following delivery and a number of subsequent site visits, it was established that the units were functioning correctly and the customer was happy with the end result.” says Lewis Porter, UK Sales Manager, Elmac Technologies.
Elmac Technologies recommends that all devices are inspected, as a minimum within three months of installation, and at least annually thereafter. It is an industry standard that any flame arrester should be in service for no more than 12 months before receiving some form of maintenance.
When inspecting a flame arrester the key is to check whether the element shows any signs of scorching or burn marks. This would indicate that either a flashback or short time burning incident may have occurred. If such signs are evident then the flame arrester will need to be replaced immediately as its functionality and Maximum Experimental Safe Gap (MESG) may have been compromised, and therefore performance in use, can no longer be guaranteed.
“Our flame arresters will work at optimal levels for many years if they are inspected and maintained according to our specification. Some of the Elmac Flame Arresters installed at BIP Organics are over 10 years old and are still performing well. This is testament to the skill and care of the maintenance team who look after them so well”, continues Lewis Porter.
“The need to eliminate potential hazards whilst delivering operational efficiency demands that the products be kept in good condition. We also check to ensure that there has been no mechanical damage and that there is no evidence of corrosion or blockages. Of course we also get inspected regularly to ensure compliance with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001 (Quality), BS EN ISO 14001 (Environment) and BS ISO45001 (Health and Safety) so we apply best practice in maintenance and inspection schedules as a matter of course.” says Patrick Padmos.
The foregoing is not intended to be an endorsement of ELMAC flame arresters by BIP. While BIP’s experience was positive, customers must exercise own independent judgment to decide whether the equipment is appropriate for use.