When JNE Welding had initially taken on the Whiting/Mosaic Crystallizer project, a discussion took place saying this was the sort of fabrication that was either going to make or break JNE. If we could deliver this fabrication with the quality we expect from ourselves, it would definitely take us to another level in the eyes of prospective clientele. We estimated this job some time in of October 2010, the purchase order was given to JNE in February 2011 and our client wanted this vessel fabricated and delivered to site for the middle of September. This would be a huge challenge for us on many levels. We had heard this would be one of the largest if not the largest fabrications delivered in one piece in Saskatchewan. This vessel was 70’ long, 32’-9” in diameter and weighed 120 tons. Materials in this vessel included 516-70 boiler plate external stiffeners, the main body and internals were inconel-625, and the condenser was a super austenitic stainless steel AL6XN.
Some of the challenges we faced included the size of the fabrication, the handling of this vessel during fabrication, the fabrication sequence, the degree of difficulty in welding the unique materials, and the 100% x-ray requirement of the pressure boundary. The NDE (non-destructive examination) for this vessel included 100% liquid penetrant inspection of all internal welds and temporary attachment locations inside and out, 100% positive material identification and also 100% ferrite testing of the condenser at the top of the vessel. The amount of x-ray in lineal feet was 1,054’, equivalent to the length of in excess of three football fields. There was less than a 1% repair rate, which is phenomenal!
There was also a need to develop weld procedures, six in total, for a new- to-JNE process that was researched by our Plant Superintendent. This new process was required because our normal method of welding would have been a flux-cored, semiautomatic process known as FCAW which was not permitted in the client specification. The process we turned to was a combination semi-automatic gas tungsten arc welding process known as a hot wire tip tig. This process offered better deposition rates than manual GTAW but still less than FCAW. This new process played a huge part in the success of the project.
In total, 13,000 man hours were put into the work and completion of the Crystallizer. In successfully completing this vessel, shipped September 30th, 2011, JNE has raised the bar in the fabrication industry in Saskatchewan. We can now be recognized as a competitive supplier for not only large sized custom steel manufacturing, we are also on our way to being diversity experts in alloy steel manufacturing.
Work well done goes out to JNE Welding as this was very much a combined effort for success – “JNE Welding – Combined Strength”.