A Day in the Life of a Xylem Service Technician

During his more than 30 years as a service technician for Xylem Water Solutions Austria GmbH, Karl Wolfinger has visited many places. In fact, he usually travels to locations that most of us would not think of visiting. However, a trip to Siberia for the start-up of a new polypropylene facility was an eye-opening experience for Karl.

If being more than 4530 kilometers from home wasn’t challenging enough, Karl endured a sleepless night in the Moscow airport, another 3-hour flight to Tjumen and finally a 4-hour train ride to his final stop of Tobolsk, Siberia. Luckily, Sergey Melekhin, an application engineer from Xylem Russia, accompanied Karl to provide much-needed language support during the trip.

Wolfinger’s travels took him to Tobolsk-Polymer, a new manufacturing facility and the largest of its kind in the Russian Federation. The facility consists of a processing plant for the dehydrogenation of propane and propylene (510,000 tons per year), a plant for the production of polypropylene (500,000 tons per year), plus various general services facilities. Polypropylene is a solid thermoplastic polymer and one of the most widely used plastics.

Nine Vogel Pumpen LSN pumps and eight Lowara SV pumps were installed at the new power utility station in preparation for the plant to go online. Once online, the pumps will supply all of the water needed during production.

During Karl Wolfinger’s two days at Tobolsk-Polymer, he checked for proper installation of all pumps and prepared them for final start up, including an actual test run. The test run was made with a single pump and powered by an emergency generator, as the facility is not yet operating at full power.