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White Paper on Maintenance Strategy

What is the Best Maintenance Strategy for Membranes and Electrode Coatings in Chlor-Alkali?

In the chlor-alkali industry, the maintenance of membranes, anode coatings, cathode coatings, etc, can rapidly become challenging, especially for plants with many cells. Determining which membranes or coatings should be replaced, and when, is no easy task. Furthermore, with the hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars typically devoted to maintenance each year in a plant, depending on its size, engineers and plant managers are under scrutiny to demonstrate the effectiveness of all the money spent in maintenance.

This white paper reviews the major maintenance practices seen in the chlor-alkali industry for membranes / anodes / cathodes: breakdown maintenance, preventive or time-based maintenance, and predictive or condition-based maintenance. It also highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each maintenance method in terms of the likelihood of unplanned shutdowns, the maintenance costs, the frequency of part replacements, etc.

Then, this white paper discusses some key performance indicators (KPI) used by chlor-alkali producers in order to make maintenance decisions (e.g., replacing a particular membrane, anode or cathode) and demonstrates that these KPIs do not lead to the best decisions. Finally, it proposes a better approach which takes into account the right KPIs and the economics of each plant.