Aker Solutions Proprietary Equipment Manufacturing Plant, Canada

Aker Solutions opened its new 90,000ft² manufacturing facility in Pickering, Ontario, Canada in June 2009. The new facility will help the company meet demand for superior quality custom fabricated equipment for the chemical, oil and gas and power generation industries.

The Pickering facility manufactures Aker Solutions proprietary equipment for sulphuric acid plants. This equipment includes acid coolers, gas exchangers, acid towers, acid distributors and piping systems.

Aker Solutions had established its previous fabrication facility in Toronto in 1961. With increase in demand for proprietary equipment for acid plants and shell and tube heat exchangers for oil and gas, the company relocated from Toronto to the new larger facility in Pickering. The plant will enable Aker Solutions to double its production capacity.

Currently, approximately 90 people are employed at the facility in various activities ranging from sales, engineering and manufacturing.

Plant design and construction

The project plan was approved and detailed engineering commenced in January 2008. Leeswood Design Build Inc was chosen as the plant designer and the construction contractor.

Construction started in July 2008 and was completed in April 2009. The company relocated its business to the new facility in June 2009.

"Leeswood Design Build Inc was chosen as the plant designer and the construction contractor."

Aker Solutions has integrated its health, safety and environmental standards in the facility's design. Built-in waste management systems and reduction of work area congestions in the plant design resulted in improved work-flow and ergonomics in the facility. The plant design provided for more efficient energy usage.

For safety purposes welding fume extraction systems, air extraction and make-up air systems are installed in the plant. In addition, to safeguard land, buffer zones and plantings on the south and east sides of the property have been incorporated.

Advanced technology

The company has incorporated important manufacturing and equipment advancements in the new facility.

Apart from manufacturing fabricated equipment, the facility has also carried out several projects across the world using its proprietary technology. These projects span various disciplines like mechanical and civil engineering.

The plant is equipped with CNC milling, drilling, bar turning and plasma cutting machines. A wide range of manual and automatic welding systems are available. Plasma/Tig seam welding, orbital TIG tube-to-tube sheet welding, orbital TIG pipe welding, orbital TIG bore welding and overlay are some of the automatic welding processes used in manufacturing.

Infrastructure and other facilities

Aker Solutions has built an office space in the new facility measuring 17,400ft². The machine shop has been built over an area of 17,000ft² and two assembly bays spread over 27,300ft² have also been built. An under-hook height of 34ft has been provided in the assembly bays.

Both the machine shop and assembly bays are furnished with seven cranes spanning 70ft over the crane rails. The crane capacities are 3x10,000 tons, 2x25,000 tons and 2x50,000 tons.

"The plant is equipped with CNC milling, drilling, bar turning and plasma cutting machines."

For bulky equipment the facility offers superior lift capacity. Maximum single lift capacity is 100 tons with 50-ton cranes operating in tandem.

Waste management facilities

The machine shop and the assembly bays are equipped with closed sewer systems to collect and store cutting fluids, coolants and wash water. A licensed waste disposal firm disposes of the collected waste.

In addition, a storm water collection arrangement is in place to enable water permeation into the ground. Any excess storm water flows to a holding pond located off-site.

Apart from this, glass, plastic bottles, paper, cardboard and metal cans are collected from the office and plant, for recycling by a local company.

Marketing commentary

Proprietary Sulphuric Acid equipment manufactured by Aker Solutions includes anodically protected shell and tube acid coolers, distributors, tanks, stainless steel converters with internal heat exchangers, pre-heater and radial pitch gas-gas heat exchangers and piping.