THE combination of a long-standing relationship with a pulp and paper mill and excellent teamwork on the part of Rand-Air Durban’s team ensured that the company was top-of-mind when it came to the customer’s power contingency planning earlier this year.
That’s according to Rudy de Vry, Area Manager for Rand-Air in KwaZulu-Natal, who said that the customer, one of the biggest suppliers in the South African pulp and paper industry, has been associated with Rand-Air for many years.
“This was a significant hire in terms of its duration, which was from July 2019 to mid-May 2020,” he said.
“The equipment on hire comprised 5 PTS 1600 oil-free diesel compressors and a DAU, desiccant air dryer, which provides 100% oil-free, clean and dry air that complies with ISO 8573-1 Class 0 certification,” De Vry said, adding that ‘Class 0’ means zero risk of contamination or damage to equipment.
“Class 0 certified compressors are so highly compliant and safe that – apart from being very suitable for use in a pulp and paper mill environment – they also meet the stringent operational requirements of the pharmaceutical and food industries, both of which have strict adherence to zero-contamination standards.”
Liesel Johnson, Rand-Air sales representative in Durban, who was part of the team instrumental in securing the hire, explained how the equipment was used. “The compressors and air dryer went into a business unit within the ‘heartbeat’ of the mill. This section – which is home to the boiler house and compressor room – contains massive centrifugal compressors and is the hub of the mill for power and support, feeding all the other business units.”
De Vry said one of the mill’s stand-by compressors required repairs, which meant that the it did not have any redundancy capacity. “We therefore supplied the compressors and driers as a stand-by contingency measure, in the event of the installed compressors tripping. Rand-Air was furthermore able to supply the equipment immediately:
“Through the timely hire of our contingency equipment, the mill was able to continue production uninterrupted, until they were able to source and install another back-up compressor.”
Johnson said that being able to supply certified, Class 0 oil-free air gives Rand-Air a huge competitive edge, complemented by its customer-centric approach.
“We have in addition made a point of familiarising ourselves with all the different business units within the mill – not only the office staff – but also those on the shop floor and in operations. This approach has led to an immense sense of trust developing over the years, allowing us to get it right first time when a request is received. In this way, we are able to go straight to the source of the problem and assist,” she said.