SAFETY CONCERNS DRIVE POSITIVE CHANGE
Safety issues have always been a major concern in the oil business, but over the last decade attention to Health, Safety, and Environment issues (HSE) have become increasingly prominent worldwide.
Companies take affirmative action, and legislation reflects the widespread agreement that safety – both personal and environmental – must be a prime consideration. Already, many companies have adopted new technologies and processes to eliminate hazards. The BLABO® system from Oreco is one example of such technology.
ENGINEERED FOR MAXIMUM SAFETY ON AN ONGOING BASIS
Even among those who deliver the safer options, changes happen regularly. The BLABO system – a fully automated tank cleaning system that eliminates the need for man entry and ensures maximum oil recovery – is no exception.
The system has already proven its worth for more than a decade. Over the course of time, Oreco has made ongoing adjustments to the technology, auxiliary equipment, and processes to continually meet the strictest demands for safety and quality. And to make the safe alternative even more attractive in terms of total cost.
Recent upgrades to the BLABO automated oil tank cleaning system Mr Michael Meyer, Managing Director at Oreco explains: "The BLABO system was, of course, engineered for top safety and process quality right from the outset. But that doesn't mean we rest on our laurels. Legislation changes over time, HSE demands become ever stricter, and day-to-day experience makes us aware of small things that we could adjust to make the complete package even better – in terms of both safety and process optimisation. This is what prompts us to look at aspects as diverse as standard compliance, auxiliary equipment adjustments, and competence building among our clients."
The most recent changes concern re-engineering to meet UL/CSA standards, a system designed to help BLABO users achieve ISO and OHSAS certification and dual-nozzle operation for even greater cost efficiency.
RE-ENGINEERED FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKETS
Some changes are technical in nature, and of these, some are driven by legislation. For the BLABO system, the most recent change of this nature was a re-engineering to meet North American standards for equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres. Mr Meyer explains: "We already built the BLABO systems to comply with the strict ATEX regulations in the EU. Now, however, we also comply with the corresponding standards in the US and Canada such as the UL and CSA standards. This re-engineering means that the BLABO system is built to the three strictest standards in the world. You can’t get safer than that."
HELPING SERVICE PROVIDERS BECOME CERTIFIED
As an ISO certified company, Oreco is well aware of the advantages of being certified according to demanding Quality Assurance systems. "We find that adhering to international standards of quality management and occupational health helps us be the company we want to be," says Meyer. "Our core business is to improve safety and processes in tank cleaning, so working with the issues covered by the ISO and OHSAS standards comes naturally to us. The same applies to many of our clients. Even so, we believe that our clients can benefit from the systematic approach offered by international standards – and by being certified. After all, Quality Assurance systems do exactly what their name says: they make sure that every angle is covered, that no stone is left unturned to ensure the best possible management and safety."
Promoting consistency among service providers and sharing know-how To help service providers reap the same benefits including a uniformly high standard and a hazard-free work environment – Oreco has developed an ISO 9001:2000 and OHSAS 18001 system for service providers, helping them optimise their use of the BLABO system.
Standard compliance aside, Oreco also shares its tank-cleaning know-how with clients in other ways and sharing know-how is nothing new for Oreco. Oreco has recently launched many courses and seminars that look at automated tank cleaning from a range of angles, including theory and practice, safety in all its many aspects, the commercial opportunities offered by safe tank cleaning, etc.
A recent adjustment makes it possible to set the BLABO system to dual nozzle operation, i.e. to clean tanks using two nozzles at a time instead of just one. Naturally, this significantly cuts the time required to clean the tank, minimising downtime.
"Efficient nozzle action is a key element of the BLABO process," says Mr Meyer. "The nozzles, a design patented by Oreco, ensure that the entire inner surface of the tank is cleaned. The shortest possible downtime is a key factor in reducing the cost of tank cleaning, so we focused our efforts there and turned our attention to making it work even more efficiently. Of course, when you include the value of the recovered oil and the elimination of work hazards in the equation, automated tank cleaning wins on all fronts."