It’s full steam ahead for Rand Air with the addition of steam boilers to its rental fleet

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Steam boiler housed in a 20ft container and feed water tank in a separate 10ft container being loaded for a rental customer

A steam boiler, which is essentially a water-containing vessel that transfers heat from a fuel source into steam, is used for a variety of applications. In addition to steam cleaning, the most common use, it can also be utilised for mud transfer, effluent and chemical heating, as well as to run process equipment.

“The fact that these application-wide units serve virtually every industry, presented us with a tremendous rental opportunity, prompting our decision to invest in two 3t (3000kg) steam boilers,” says Rand-Air Fleet Manager, Craig Swart. The full rental package consists of the steam boiler, which is conveniently housed in a standard 20ft container, and a feed water tank inside a separate 10ft container.

Rand Air appointed a special project team to customise the two steam boilers. Craig explains that they created strategic entry points to ensure that every critical part of the steam boiler can be easily accessed externally. In addition to enhancing productivity, the objective is also, most importantly, to increase the safety of Rand Air and customer employees during set up, operation, service and maintenance.

The uniquely designed steam boilers are fitted with a 440V / 3 Phase / 60Hz / 32A power supply, an eight hour operation stainless steel fuel cell and a lockable boiler control panel with external access. Safety features include an external visual and audible alarm, a certified spark arrestor and an integral CO² extinguishing system. The steam boilers conform to all required international regulations including EC Directive (CE marking), HSE and BS EN ISO 9001:2000

“We have ‘rentalised’ the containerised steam boilers to be a plug-and-play solution, with easy transportation and on-site placement,” continues Craig. He however points out that due to the very nature of the steam generation process, set up is a complicated and lengthy procedure. It is critical that best-practices and all necessary protocols are followed and all required certifications are in place to ensure optimised performance as well as safety.

Steam boilers are a new market segment for Rand Air and is subsequently a learning process for the rental team. “We therefore made the smart decision to collaborate with supplier partners who are specialists in their respective fields with years of experience in operating steam boilers in South Africa,” notes Craig.

Rand Air works closely with a professional water purification company who is able to carry out highly technical procedures such as chemical dosing that is required to ensure that the water purity in the feed tank is of a high quality.

“We are looking at investing in a further two 3t and two 8t steam boilers over the next few months, giving us a total of six rental units by 2024,” shares Craig. The addition of a third rental utility, steam, to its power (generators) and air (compressors) solutions, aligns with Rand Air’s strategy to become a supplier of all utilities. “This move also supports our growth ambitions and subsequent deliberate business decision to extend our rental offering for our existing customer base as well as for potential new customers,” concludes Craig.

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