Rotating Equipment – Shaft Alignment Basics

Shaft alignment is likely the most misunderstood facet of rotating installation and maintenance. Most shaft alignment today is done by laser alignment tools. But, the laser alignment tools are a “black box”. The problem with a black box is that you only get outputs with no knowledge of what is going on inside the box. […]

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Multidisciplinary Approach To Improve Reliability Of A CATOFIN Unit

…with contributions by Chuck Becht V In this difficult era of decreased margins and rapidly changing markets, onstream reliability is critical to the success of operating facilities.  Achieving high onstream reliability can be particularly challenging for complex systems like a CATOFIN® Unit.  The CATOFIN® Unit pairs extremely high operating temperatures with a complex control system […]

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Eight Pillars Of Excellent FEMI Programs

INTRODUCTION A refinery or chemical plant Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) program consists of eight basic categories or “Pillars” that are fundamental to achieve FEMI excellence. While every refinery or chemical plant has some form of these Pillars in place, they are often inadequately implemented or have significant gaps in the key elements that make […]

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Fired Heater Risk Ranking – Owners Can Mitigate Risks Of Operation

…by Eileen Chant and Abby King Fired heaters are critical equipment items in the process industries and are often overlooked since they don’t fit nicely into a single category of equipment or existing programs in the same way a pump or pressure vessel does. Safe and reliable operation is essential to avoiding adverse health, safety, […]

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Acceptable Practices for High Voltage Motor Lead Routing

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 […]

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Reducing Coupling weights in Large Motor Driven Pumps

One of the major issues in designing large motor driven pump applications is minimizing the overhung weight on the pump rotor.  Motor or gearbox drives are designed and sized independently of the driven unit.  They are based on motor frame size and/or gearbox frame sizes and the drive component manufacturer has no information on the […]

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Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) – A Key Element to Improved Reliability

Many companies and organizations have been on the reliability journey for a number of years, while others are just beginning.  There are many elements of a solid reliability program – establishing a reliability centered culture, tracking key metrics, bad actor elimination programs and establishing equipment reliability plans – to name a few.  But, one key […]

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Hurricane Harvey Recovery – Methodical Steps to Restart Your Plant

I personally went through Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike during my career living in the Gulf Coast. Restarting our plants after these storms was challenging, home life was miserable without power for three weeks and traveling over 100 miles north to find gasoline, food and water for family and neighbors was time consuming and hazardous. […]

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Your pump’s Mean Time Between Repairs (MTBR) is what?…Or what should it be…

Many of the tourist spots around the world have panhandlers. Some of the more creative ones stand on street corners advertising that they will tell you where you got your shoes, for a dollar. Of course it turns out that “you got your shoes” at the corner of Bourbon and St. Peters – or wherever […]

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Resolution of Chronic Cooling Tower Fan Vibrations

Traditional rotating equipment mounted at grade use the mass of a foundation and grout to reduce vibration and provide support and stiffness. However, cooling tower fans must be elevated many feet above a basin of water which sometimes puts them “out of sight and out of mind”. Cost and practicality prohibits concrete and grout, thus […]

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