Project Description

Completion Date: February 2018

Practical Engineering was recently engaged by an international manufacturer to assist in the analysis and ultimately removal of a high chimney stack in New South Wales.

This particular stack provides the extra height needed to ensure the factory’s smoke emissions are released at a height that meets Environmental Protection Authority standards. The stack is 40 metres tall, and the manufacturer recently noted that the stack through the final 10 metres seemed to be deteriorating, with cracks and rust showing.

A non-destructive test analysis examination revealed that the damage was significant, with some cracks as long as one metre. The report recommended an immediate exclusion zone be set up around the base of the stack to ensure the safety of all staff and contractors on the property.

In order to eliminate unscheduled shut down time at the factory, the manufacturer engaged Practical Engineering at short notice to manage the removal of the stack over a public holiday weekend.

To facilitate the safe removal of the stack in such a decayed state, Practical determined that lifting the stack from above would risk the cracks opening and the pipe breaking apart as it was removed. To address this concern and ensure the best possible chance of a clean and safe removal, the Practical team designed and fabricated a custom lifting arrangement in-house, prior to the works weekend. This lifting device would allow the crane to lift the stack from the base, minimising the risk of fragmentation during removal.

Over the course of the designated weekend, the highly qualified Practical team members welded lifting lugs onto the stack 30-40 metres above ground and installed the custom lifting device before the hired crane successfully and safely completed the removal process.

Over the course of the weekend, the team battled driving rain to ensure the safe removal in time for production to recommence on schedule. Well done to the team for braving difficult weather to conduct a high risk project safely and professionally.

To discuss mechanical engineering solutions for your manufacturing business, contact the team at Practical Engineering on (07) 3875 2133 or email

(For confidentiality reasons, the client cannot be named.)

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