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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

Making Bad Actor Elimination Programs Work

bad_actor_removal-Becht
This is the first in a series of Blogs on improving plant reliability programs through improvements in culture, programs and equipment performance.  This Blog focuses on Bad Actor Elimination .  Most plants have many pieces of equipment that are chronic problems.  In some operations machinery can be the leading cause of outage while in others solids handling equipment, aggressive corrosion, erosion of parts or power failures are the issue.  Problems can also be traced back to lack of procedures, poor employee morale or lack of training.  These problems impact profitability due to frequency of outage, cost of repairs and cost of lost production.    ...studies have shown the cost of unplanned and emergency work is about four times the cost of planned work... Many studies have shown the cost of unplanned and emergency work is about four times the cost of planned work.  This is due to pulling people off...
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Due Diligence - Front End Loading for Plant Acquisitions

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In many cases operating companies and financial institutions utilize Due Diligence studies for critical input on “Go/No Go” decisions for plant acquisitions.  Once the decision is made to purchase the plant, the Due Diligence study is often put on the shelf.  The company purchasing the new asset then faces significant challenges integrating the asset into the enterprise culture, implementing enterprise procedures and standards, capturing and implementing best practices and evaluating the quality of the team at the new plant.  A well executed Due Diligence study can play an important role in the rapid integration of a new acquisition into the existing enterprise from an expectations and culture standpoint.  This process using the Due Diligence study as a road map can be viewed as a type of “Front End Loading” for plant acquisitions.  An experienced Due Diligence team can quickly identify a number of issues that the new owner will have...
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Evaluation of Corroded Pipe in Accordance with ASME B&PV Code Section XI - A Comparison of the Three Code Cases

Evaluation of Corroded Pipe in Accordance with ASME B&PV Code Section XI -
A Comparison of the Three Code Cases
The evaluation of wall thinning corrosion in steel pipes is addressed in three ASME XI code cases: N-513, N-597, and N-806. I have no ambition here other than to summarize in a table the differences between these three code cases. A brief commentary follows the table. The brief commentary... Line A – While these are Section XI Code Cases applicable to ASME III Class 2 and 3, technically, nothing would prevent from applying these Code Cases for B31.1 piping. Line B – There is no technical basis for limiting N-513 to moderate energy lines, i.e. pressure at or below 275 psi and (“or”, depending on the plant vintage) temperature at or below 200oF, other than the understandable reluctance to operate with hot water flashing to steam through a pinhole leak. Line D – It can be confusing that N-513 includes fracture mechanics consideration because it attempts to address cracks (so-called...
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Fitness-For-Service API 579-1/ASME FFS-1: Substantive Changes to the 2016 Edition

Fitness-For-Service API 579-1/ASME FFS-1: Substantive Changes to the 2016 Edition
Contributing Authors: Eileen Chant, Greg Epremian, Ranjan Nadarajah, Mark Stonehouse  Summarized herein are the substantial changes to API 579-1/ASME FFS-1, Fitness for Service , that were incorporated in the 2016 edition, as reviewed by Becht Fitness for Service experts. API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 is a Standard jointly published by API and ASME.  The purpose of the document is to provide a consensus of methods to quantitatively evaluate commonly observed damage to in-service pressure equipment.  Since it was first issued by API in 2000, this Fitness-For-Service standard has been used worldwide as a means of evaluating whether pressure equipment was fit for continued service, and in many cases, for how long.  This standard has been used to avoid costly and unnecessary unplanned outages, while maintaining safe and reliable equipment.  The Second Edition was released in 2007, followed by the most current release of the document in June of 2016.  In addition to...
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