Becht Engineering - A service-oriented engineering consulting firm focused on providing technically excellent engineering services and innovative, sustainable solutions for clients worldwide. We are the “go-to” firm that clients approach when the job needs to be done right – the first time. The Becht Team comprises world-class resources that provide unparalleled engineering solutions, project management support, and technically excellent engineered products.
Headquartered in New Jersey, Becht has offices throughout the U.S. and in Canada that allow Becht’s experienced and knowledgeable resources to partner and support clients throughout all phases of a project. Recent projects and the industries that Becht supports include:
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Becht Engineering recently reviewed a utility company's deaerators which experienced a through-wall, circumferential crack at the toe of the fillet weld attaching the saddle to the shell and a through-wall crack was found at the head-to-shell junction at the steam inlet end of the drum.
The saddle to shell cracking was attributed to restrained axial thermal expansion of the shell at a tightly bolted sliding saddle support. The crack was ground out, welded and the support modified to permit sliding.
The head to shell crack cause was attributed to corrosion fatigue, a common occurrence in deaerators. The crack was most likely initiated at a weld surface defect on the I.D. of the drum and grew with time. The daily operating cycles of the drum during periods of reduced steam demand and thermal stresses which we attributed to a poorly designed steam inlet nozzle were the main contributors to the crack growth.
A large diameter superheated steam inlet nozzle extended through the head of the drum terminating 18” into the vessel. The steam exited through a rectangular shaped slot opening on the underside of the pipe which directed the flow of superheated steam directly into the condensate on the bottom of
Focus on Corrosion – A Refinery-Wide Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) Program
Becht Engineering has completed development of a Refinery-wide Risk Based Inspection Program (RBI) at a Caribbean Refinery with a focus on corrosion damage mechanisms. The Refinery has observed accelerated corrosion in recent years, resulting in a higher than expected equipment replacement rate and commissioned the study in order to develop a plan to mitigate the corrosion.
Becht used its proprietary Risk-Based Equipment Reliability Planning work process which is embedded in the our software program STIER© (Strategy Tool for Improving Equipment Reliability) to develop the Risk-based Inspection and Maintenance Plan to address corrosion-related failure scenarios for fixed equipment, rotating equipment and piping circuits. Our work process is compliant with API RP 580, Risk-Based Inspection and ASME PCC-3-2007 Inspection Planning Using Risk-Based Methods . The subject matter expert (SME) based approach was employed to develop failure scenarios. Once the relevant equipment data were collected and loaded into STIER, a Senior Metallurgists, James McLaughlin, reviewed the information and pre-developed damage mechanisms and failure scenarios for each item. Becht also employed the advice of a Senior Furnace SME, Robert Dubil, to develop failure scenarios, and inspection and maintenance plans for the furnaces. The facilitation team for
ASME FFS-1 / API-579 Level 3 Assessment Avoids Unnecessary Downtime
In 2011, Becht Engineering was approached by a major refiner on the US West Coast to assist with the evaluation of two vacuum towers. Due to a process change, corrosive products were occurring at elevations in the towers where there was insufficient protection against corrosion. As a result, significant and extensive corrosion was measured. In many places, the wall thickness was less than the tmin established by conventional engineering assessments.
Trevor Seipp, P.Eng. from Becht Engineering’s office in Calgary, Canada took on the job of evaluating the towers’ fitness-for-service. Typical evaluations of local thin areas in pressure vessels and piping are performed frequently and easily by skilled engineers. However, this particular situation was unique in that the corrosion was extensive – the corrosion map data for each tower had over 20,000 data points, and the normal operating condition for the vessel was external pressure (vacuum).
Trevor was able to quickly write a custom-made subroutine for our finite element analysis software, ABAQUS, that used the corrosion map to modify a finite element model to accurately simulate the corrosion extent with the actual remaining wall thickness. Using this tool, we were also able to
Coke Drum Skirt Replacement - No Downtime
A major refinery in the Middle East requested Becht Engineering to evaluate the problem of their coke drums walking and tilting, and the baseplate/skirt/anchor bolts corroding. After an initial site visit by Trevor Seipp, Division Manager of Becht Engineering Canada Ltd., we determined that the lower portion of the skirt as well as the entire baseplate needs to be replaced for all eight coke drums. In addition, some of the coke drums needed to be re-leveled, and all needed to have shims and slide plates installed. Finally, all of the anchor bolts need to be replaced. And all of this needs to be done without any downtime. Building on the success of our world’s first in Texas, Becht Engineering developed a window methodology to complete the work whereby after we temporarily jack and re-level the drums and place them on temporary shims and slide plates, entire windows of the skirt (~1m x 1m) would be cut out and replaced with new material. While the window is cut out, however, we will have excellent access to the concrete deck to enact the anchor bolt replacement. What will make this project especially challenging is that all
Pressure Vessel Fitness for Service
A major oil company revitalizing an Iraqi oil field called on Becht Engineering to review several hundred pressure vessels containing thinned regions to determine their fitness for service (FFS) per the API-579-1/ASME-FFS-1 Part 5 process for analyzing Local Thin Areas (LTAs). Using ultrasonic testing (UT) and visual inspection data, Becht Engineering customized its proprietary API-579-1/ASME-FFS-1 compliant General Metal Loss and Local Thin Area evaluation software to create a program capable of evaluating the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) of these pressure vessels in an efficient manner. The software is very easy to use and presents the results in a user-friendly format for evaluation by engineers and managers. Because of the extensive nature of the corrosion, large files containing UT scan data needed to be evaluated, and the software was enhanced to parse and analyze the LTAs in the large datasets. This highly efficient process allows rapid evaluation of LTAs, and most vessels were completed in less than one week’s time. Becht’s software modification has also included the COMPRESS vessel design software output as an input to these FFS assessments. Becht has performed Level 1 and Level 2 LTA analyses on various vessels, evaluated sections of
Becht has been involved in a number of flow induced vibration problems. The problems typically occur in heat exchangers, boilers, flue gas coolers and piping downstream of bypass valves used for pressure letdown. Vendors typically design their equipment to operate outside the range of fluid flows to avoid the problems. However, problems can occur at off design conditions, e.g., process upsets, and outages where more flow is diverted through a piece of equipment than the design rates or unit capacity "creep" where the flow has increased flow beyond original design throughput. The driving forces are fluid phenomena such as vortex shedding, acoustic resonance, and fluid elastic instability. These phenomena can cause vibration and failures in tubes, tube banks, large diameter, thin-wall piping and small branch connection attached to larger diameter piping. Vibration amplitude is magnified if the exciting force is +/- 20% of a component's natural frequency. There are a number of industry criteria to evaluate the potential for vibration. One such criterion we have used to evaluate instability in tube banks in flue gas coolers is shown on the chart. Published industry data on the regions of Stable (low probability) and Unstable (high probability) regions of tube bank instability are
Becht’s team of Reliability Specialists rolled out a risk-based work selection (RBWS) program at a number of refineries for a major Refining Company. Becht’s methodology utilizes RBWS, which is an industry Best Practice for Turnaround Work Scope development. Our RBWS methodology utilizes Becht’s proprietary STRAITS© software to enable risk-based decision making in equipment operations, inspection and maintenance.
The user-friendly Becht tool, STRAITS©, integrates the RBWS process and was optimized to be used in a group setting to facilitate. The software, which has an embedded S/H/E and financial risk-calculator, was delivered along with supporting documentation and training.
Our expert facilitators worked with plant personnel engaged in TA Work Scope development. A comprehensive assessment of the Work List was done to assess the drivers (Process or Equipment Integrity) for TA work. A structured risk-based process, using Becht’s software, was used to challenge the work list items and determine whether the TA work is justifiable, or whether deferments are permissible. For TAs, requiring 200,000 to 1,000,000 mhrs, the Becht process identified potential savings of 15-30% on estimated Direct Costs for the planned work scope.
Fired Heater Tubesheet Design Review
Prompted by the failure of a convection section tubesheet in fired heater, the client wanted assurance that a similarly designed tubsheet in a new heater would not fail. The Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and review of the material properties showed the structural adequacy of the vendor's design and materials selection for the severe operating temperatures and corrosive flue gas environment.
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