Ritchie Services has used an Enerpac skidding system to remove two 70-tonne boilers at the Alderley Science Park in Cheshire, UK.

The units were located in a boiler house with only 15 mm clearance. The Enerpac LH-400 low height skidding system removed the boilers without the need for substantial engineering work on the building.

“Removing the roof to allow access for heavy lifting equipment would have meant working at height and taken a good deal longer,” explained Iain Ritchie, managing director, Ritchie Services. “Our biggest problem was the limited working space with just 15 mm between the top of the boilers and the building’s roof. The low-height skidding system easily fitted under the boilers and was fast too, allowing travel of over a meter every five minutes.”

The modular system comprises a series of skid beams moved by hydraulic push-pull units, traveling over a pre-constructed track. A series of special PTFE-coated pads are placed on the skid tracks to reduce friction. The push-pull units are powered by a standard Enerpac split flow pump to ensure each skid beam travels synchronously.