Our long-term client, C & M Leussink Engineering, provides technical services to the Bendeela Pumping and Power Station on the NSW South Coast where a series of worn guide vane lever arms needed to be addressed with as little downtime as possible.
With a timeline of just 8-10 weeks, they asked us if a cost-effective repair was possible, rather than a lengthy and expensive replacement process.
So, we swiftly kicked into action. Here’s how the job went.
Lever arms are mechanical components used in hydroelectricity. They are designed to convert energy from flowing water into mechanical energy and in turn to electricity, working on the principle of leverage to amplify force.
This process is particularly useful where the water flow does not have sufficient height to fall and requires extra force.
There were 20 lever arms that had reached the end of their life at Bendeela.
One of our Technical Sales Representative Paul Dredge, the key project manager, set the aim to deliver a solution even earlier than client expectations.
According to Dredge, the lever arms were “very damaged and had led a hard life”!
To repair them, we removed the old chrome coating and replaced it with a high velocity chrome carbide material – which offers greater resistance to oxidation and corrosion. Other work included use of 420 stainless steel to reclaim the bore, high chrome steel to reclaim the groove, and precision-finish machining.
The job required a specialist process, as lever arms can be a difficult component to repair. Fortunately, we have the expertise and equipment required to get the job done to a high finish.
The outcome and benefits
We were able to get the job done within 30 days, saving weeks if not months rather than repairing the arms would have been a much longer process.
Replacement would also have been very costly. Lever arms are a cast (rather than machine) part. The process of replacement would have been complex, possibly involving new tooling and/or design modifications. We estimate the cost for new parts could have been 150% to 200% higher than the repair work.
C & M Leussink Engineering was very pleased with the result, with the company’s Estimating and Planning Manager John Gullic saying, “A1’s meticulous attention to detail and dedication to excellence sets them apart.”
We are delighted to have produced a top-spec result for our client, delivering super-fast turnaround and considerable cost savings in the process!