Self-Performing vs Flushing Contractor
Cost savings on hourly rates of internal labor vs. contract personnel is only a small portion of the flushing expense. There are many factors to take into account that are not quantified in the hourly rate. Most specifically is time. The total hours which can be impacted by flushing a unit with the systems pump and filters.
System pumps do not generate the same turbulent flow (Reynolds Number) that an off-board system can generate. Taking longer to move contamination out of the system or worse, leaving larger particle behind. For example, most circulating systems on board pumps will generate between a 6,000 -10,000 Reynolds number. While this is turbulent flow it is not enough turbulence to pick up and move all the particles sitting in the bottom or traps in the pipe. Leading to potential catastrophic failures in an inopportune time. Flushing with system pumps on average take up to three times longer than sizing the right off board system for the job.
In addition, most lubricant circulation systems utilize a filter between
5–15 microns in size and a Beta rating of 200. RIG utilizes 2.5 micron filters at a Beta 1000. Increasing efficiency and minimizing the time to meet the OEM specified particle count.
Other costs include the materials utilized to bypass critical components and on site particle count analysis. RIG performs operational surveys with experienced Flushing Project Leads. Creating a materials list and pulling from our shelves of fittings and racks of pressure tested hoses to custom build the jumper package for your unit. RIG includes on site particle count analysis with a portable calibrated Particle Counter. This allows for real time data to know when the target cleanliness has been met. Without this equipment, it can take up to two days to get analysis back from a laboratory…. And that is if it is expedited!
Lastly is the cost of additional projects the site employees could be doing. More and more facilities are running lean with personnel and just do not have the manpower to execute the flush properly. Leading to a partial flush and unable to complete other vital tasks.
Before you decide to perform your flush in house, speak to one of RIG’s experienced flush leaders. In the end it might save you money and get your system to the level of cleanliness it needs.