Preheater Tower Vessel Plugs

Protect employees from falling debris 

Employees at this cement plant designed a circular metal plate with round cut-outs that are used to secure chains to raise and lower the metal plate. The plates, referred to as “vessel plugs,” are placed at intervals from the top of the preheater tower and extending down.

Guide chains are placed through the holes in the vessel plug. While employees stand at either end of the preheater tower vessel, one group pulls the chains through to the other end, placing the vessel plug. This process is repeated until all vessel plugs are securely in place.

When removing plugs, the employees start from the bottom of the preheater tower and work up. The plug guide chains are used alternately to pull up and tip the vessel plug on end. Once the plug is on its end, the team raises the plug while another person acts to guide the plug as it is raised.