The tip of success

Zenith Structural Access Solutions specialises in delivering innovative structural access and repair solutions to the world’s leading power, petrochemical, process and pharmaceutical companies.

In particular it has become something of a market leader in the inspection, maintenance, repair and demolition of industrial chimneys, hyperbolic cooling towers, tall structures, and heavy industry.

Across all these areas Zenith is recognised for its ability to design innovative access solutions, which allow for potentially hazardous assignments to be tackled safely and cost-effectively. The common element of each of these solutions is an intuitive understanding of structures, from function and fabric to construction and condition.

“Our core competencies lie in working at height safely and heavy lifting at height without the use of cranes, for all sorts of tall structures where access proves to be an issue,” describes Darren Smith, business development director. “To this end we are members of the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA), the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) and the Association of Technical Lighting & Access Specialists (ATLAS).

“We also offer consultancy services spanning the entire lifecycle of a project from planning and design to fabrication and completion,” he continues. “We view clients as partners in building long-term relationships and getting involved early helps them to significantly save money, and work safely in hazardous environments.”

Where Zenith has most strongly made its mark though is its pioneering innovation in the field of flare stack repair and tip replacement. Traditionally the height involved in this work has necessitated the use of a crane or helicopter to remove the flare tip, all within a very short shutdown period. This led Zenith to design a purpose-built temporary lifting davit to improve this process.

The davit is positioned directly below the termination point of the flare stack, removing the need for the use of cranes, and enabling the tip to be removed and replaced in a short space of time. The davit can then be stripped and removed afterwards. This innovative solution has since been adopted in refineries, petrochemical plants and offshore platforms around the world, and is a strong example of the company’s ability to deliver commercial benefits through design, even in remote and demanding locations.

“From a sales point of view we feel as though we have only just scratched the surface,” reveals Darren. “The potential for our flare tip replacement service is huge. We’re finding that it’s quite unique in the market, and very cost effective, so customers are now coming to us directly. We’ve expanded into the Far East, Middle East and South America recently, and have a lot of projects on the order books for the year ahead. We’ve also carried out offshore flare tip replacement activities for Shell, Total, Talisman and many others, so it’s very encouraging in terms of the prospects.”

Although flare tip replacement is Zenith’s core competency in the offshore sector at present, the company’s structural engineering design and lifting capabilities are also transferable to this market. In order to develop its business even further Zenith has expanded its structural engineering design office, and opened a new site in Luton. This has strengthened its presence as well as its capability in specialist temporary works.

“We typically take on around two or three apprentices each year, as part of our long-term strategy. The skills that we require are not always easily obtainable on the market, particularly as many of our staff have multi-disciplinary expertise, so we look to bring new people into the business and train them in-house. We have also appointed a new business development manager to expand our client base throughout Europe. We are confident that for 2013 to 2014 and beyond we will establish a very significant presence in the region,” explains Darren.

“We’ve developed something of a reputation in flare tip replacement, and gained a very diverse client base in the process, which is of course advantageous. I have recently been engaged with a client in the Far East who has seen a huge scope of applications for our technology, and therefore we are now quoting a significant amount of projects for them. South America also looks to be very exciting, so on the whole we anticipate growth of up to 50 per cent in the next three years as we continue to gain new markets and end users,” he concludes.

Zenith Structural Access Solutions
Services: Structural access and repair solutions