Sometimes we encounter clients who have specific needs in unusual or difficult circumstances. These clients require a different level of service and we welcome the challenge that they represent. In this case, not only were we able to meet and satisfy our client's requirements, we also learned a lot ourselves in the process.
Our client required new potable water and fire water storage tanks to be manufactured onsite. The location in question is particularly close to the harbour shoreline and situated in the middle of a Bureau of Meteorology category 5 cyclone region. This means that at certain times the area is subject to winds of up to 280km/h, which can be extremely dangerous and have the potential to cause widespread destruction. This presented many challenges in terms of the design and procurement of the equipment we needed to supply. Any standard model would deteriorate quite rapidly in the harsh coastal environment.
How We Were Approached
At the time of tender, we were approached by a number of contractors that were tendering the project. Because of the complexity of the project and the challenging environment the equipment would be subject to, we went through a number of design changes and ended up quoting for the project 16 times before it was finally awarded.
The main challenges we need to overcome and special equipment we needed were:
· The harsh coastal environment, which would cause rapid deterioration and corrosion,
· The potential for severe tropical cyclones—the equipment would need to be able to withstand winds of up to 280km/h,
· Finding heavier duty non-standard parts, which are a lot harder to source than common commercial parts,
· Ensuring proper treatment of panels to withstand corrosion—requiring special epoxy coatings.
· Cyclonic rated roof fixings that wouldn’t fly off in a storm,
· Heavier duty steel fixings, including bolting and teks screws,
· Heavier grade corrugated roofing, suitable for the corrosive environment,
· Finding a heavy duty whirlybird,
· Mine specified ladder and railing, in addition to Australian Standards minimum requirements.
We had extensive contact with both our existing suppliers and new suppliers we had never worked with before, to try and find alternative products that would be able to withstand the aggressive environmental location. Our extensive process included a search for tank wall, nuts, and bolts all the way through to paints and roofing materials.
Developing a product like this, with the accessories required was a first for Allied Pumps and we believe we rose to the occasion beautifully. We managed to adjust our scheduling to allow for the longer lead times and have gained plenty of valuable experience to assist with future jobs in similarly challenging circumstances.
We successfully installed all the equipment on schedule, mobilising an onsite team of three to complete the work over a three week period, with no major disruptions or safety incidents. The tank construction was guaranteed for 25 years and we expect the tanks to see many cyclones during this time. The customer was completely satisfied with the staff who worked onsite.