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Rick Hoffman joined Becht Engineering in June, 2009 as a Senior Engineering Advisor. He has more than 39 years experience in engineering, reliability management and maintenance in the refining, petrochemical and synthetic fuels industries.Prior to joining Becht Engineering he was the Director, Specialty Engineering for LyondellBasell Industries. In
this role he had worldwide responsibility for corporate technical support, mechanical engineering and maintenance for more than 40 chemical plants and two refineries. He was also responsible for capital project support, setting the strategic direction for Lyondell maintenance
Acceptable Practices for High Voltage Motor Lead Routing
Monday, 08 April 2019
Are Your Wires Crossed? By Rick Hoffman and Joe Rammage We recently evaluated a 15kV, 5000 hp, induction motor in a WPII enclosure manufactured by a foreign company. During an on-site inspection of the main terminal box it was discovered that the high voltage leads were touching. This raised significant concerns about the long-term reliability of the motor. Becht Engineering investigated the issue to determine the industry standards and best practices concerning routing of the motor high voltage leads. Shielded vs Non-Shielded Cables The National Electric Code requires all cables rated above 2.4kV to be shielded to prevent concentrated electromagnetic stresses from forming between the cable conductor and ground when the cable is in close proximity to a grounded surface. The addition of the metallic shield smooths out the electromagnetic field eliminating high stress points. Without it, the increased density of electromagnetic stresses where the cable is in close...
High Voltage Leads
Negotiating Plant Access for Due Diligence
Monday, 28 January 2019
Just the Facts Ma’am The famous phrase, “Just the facts, Ma’am,” was often linked to Los Angeles Police Department Sargent Joe Friday who wore badge 714 on the TV show Dragnet. However, according to several sources, the facts are Joe Friday never said this exact phrase on the long running TV show. The statement “Just the facts, Ma’am” was in a parody of Dragnet by Stan Freberg. Facts can be surprising. When we perform due diligence studies we want to be sure we get “Just the facts” as quickly and accurately as possible. This is only possible if the facility that is the subject of the study is prepared, open and honest and we are able to visit the site. We need to physically walk down the plant, review records and talk to personnel up and down the organization. This blog is a request to our clients who are interested in...
Requests for Information
Due Diligence - Making Rapid, Accurate Judgements
Sunday, 09 December 2018
or " Kidnapped By My Own Business Team" A number of years ago I worked closely with an Operating Company Business Team and Mergers and Acquisitions group performing due diligence assessments. I often led these assessments and my input on reliability, maintenance, mechanical integrity and inspection was incorporated into a multi discipline team of legal, environmental, finance and operational experts. These assessments could be as long as six weeks to thoroughly evaluate an asset. The adventure I am about to describe was a lot different. My boss called me and asked me to come to his office right away. This was quite unusual for him unless my number came up for a random drug test. I went to his office immediately, closed the door and we started our meeting. He said, “ I need you to be in front of the corporate office at 6 AM tomorrow. Hopefully you will return...
All That Glitters Is Not Gold - Due Diligence Can Define The True Value
Sunday, 28 October 2018
A few years ago I conducted what might be the world's cheapest, fastest and most cost effective due diligence study ever done. This study took one hour and cost the client about $500. I was approached by two new members of a well-recognized financial institution. They were assigned to evaluate opportunities to capture low cost natural gas. They had discovered an ammonia plant for sale in an intensely agricultural region in the Midwest-US. Considering feedstock cost, proximity to market and asking price for the plant, they thought this was a gold mine. Their superiors had some concern about the enormous enthusiasm of these new employees and asked them to evaluate the condition of the asset to determine if it would perform at reasonable rates with acceptable mechanical availability. That is when they reached out to me. A call was scheduled and they explained the situation and “golden” opportunity. They we indeed...
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Materials Degradation and Corrosion
Fitness for Service
Turnaround Services/Inspection Planning
Becht Laser Scanning/Dimensional Control
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