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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Fundamentals of Operational Reliability

Introduction Operational reliability is a priority for any process unit facility.  A definition of Reliability is: “The ability of an apparatus, machine, or system to consistently perform its intended or required function or mission, on demand and without degradation or failure.” Reliability is something that owners and operators consider a priority, but achieving stable reliable […]

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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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A Love Hate Relationship with Turnarounds (FMEA for Critical Path)

I LOVE Turnarounds!  The excitement – The planning – The organizationOne major focus with a million minor tasks that consume you for at least 12 hours a day (or night) As in the movie “Apocalypse Now” with Robert Duval as Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, delivers the classic line “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” […]

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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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Cooling Towers: Benefits of a Cold Eyes Review

One key decision that often needs to be made is repair vs. replace. When has a cooling tower arrived at the point where a new tower should be considered? Maintenance costs, overall tower condition, environmental constraints, and performance optimization are all factors that need to be evaluated. If a new cooling tower is justified, how […]

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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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Basics of Design By Analysis in ASME Section VIII, Division 2

How hard can it be?  I’ve heard from several (unnamed) analysts that because they have access to an FEA program and have successfully applied FEA in other fields, that FEA for pressure vessels should be a snap.  What is it about FEA for pressure vessels that makes it unique? I was recently discussing with another […]

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How To Quantify And Evaluate Oil Storage Tank Annular Plate Corrosion

In the past ten years, there have been a few oil storage tank annular plate failures due to soil side corrosion and fatigue loading (filling and emptying) which has led to large spills. The corrosion tends to be localized in a groove fashion and the size of the flaw could vary from 3 feet to […]

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Identifying Gaps in Risk Based Inspection Programs (RBI) That Impact Reliability

Risk based inspection (RBI) is a powerful tool to identify and manage mechanical integrity risks in fixed equipment and piping but is only one part of a robust reliability program.  RBI informs inspection decision making on where, when and how to inspect most of equipment but is frequently misinterpreted as a “Silver Bullet” that covers […]

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