Ritchie Services use Enerpac Skidding System for Difficult Boiler Move
Enerpac, a global leader for precise positioning of heavy loads, has helped move some of the largest structures on earth. With the introduction of a new, greener heating system at Alderley Science Park in Cheshire, UK, it was important to retain the existing boiler house and remove the boilers intact for reuse elsewhere.
Heavy lift specialist, Ritchie Services, relied upon an Enerpac skidding system to successfully remove the two large 70-ton boilers from the custom-built boiler house with only 15mm headroom. The Enerpac LH-400 low height skidding system allowed Richie Services to complete the project without the need for substantial engineering work on the building and risk of damage to the boilers. “Removing the roof to allow access for heavy lifting equipment would have meant working at height and taken a good deal longer. Our biggest problem was the limited working space with just 15mm between the top of the boilers and the building’s roof. The low-height skidding system easily fitted under the boilers and was fast too, allowing travel of over a meter every five minutes,” says Iain Ritchie, managing director, Ritchie Services.
The Enerpac LH-400 is a modular system, comprising a series of skid beams moved by hydraulic push-pull units, travelling over a pre-constructed track. A series of special PTFE-coated pads are placed on the skid tracks to reduce friction. The push-pull units are powered by a standard Enerpac Split Flow Pump to ensure each skid beam travels synchronously. Ahead of installing the skidding system, Enerpac hydraulic cylinders were also connected to the split flow pumps, to raise the boilers. “Another advantage of the Enerpac LH-400 is its light weight,” said Ritchie. This means it can be lifted by hand in tight places, far easier than other skidding systems that can weigh as much as a quarter of a ton.”