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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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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Risk-Based Work Selection (RBWS) – Choosing a Software Tool

Using the right software tool can save time and improve results of Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) which is a standalone work process aimed at optimizing turnaround (TA) work scopes.  RBWS uses risk assessments to determine if individual worklist items are justified by Health, Safety, & Environmental Risks or Financial Risks.  Significant reductions in turnaround […]

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Fatal Distractions: Refinery Chloride Contamination – Are You Looking for the Source of Chlorides in the Right Place?

On December 29, 1972 one the Nation’s worst airline accidents occurred as Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades killing 101 of the passengers and crew.   A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation attributed the cause of the crash to crew distraction.  While on approach, the crew noted that a landing gear […]

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Reducing Loss of Primary Containment (LOPC’s) in a Refinery

Reducing Loss of Primary Containment (LOPC’s) or commonly referred to as “leaks” in a refinery is a key factor to improve reliability.  Historically, most refiners reduced the high consequence leaks to avoid major incidents; however, lower consequence related leaks were not given high priority.  Today high reliability is required, and reduction of all leaks is […]

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Why Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) Works

The API Inspection Codes were originally based on failure prevention and did not consider the consequences of failure or potential damage mechanisms.  Risk-based inspection (RBI) assessments result in an equipment risk ranking based on the probability of failure (a leak occurring) and the consequence associated with that leak.  Applied properly, RBI provides the benefit of […]

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Normalization of Deviance – The Pathway to Disaster

On February 1, 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia, while entering the earth’s atmosphere at 10,000 miles per hour, disintegrated killing all 7 astronauts. A $4 billion spacecraft was destroyed, spreading debris over 2000 square miles and grounding the Space Shuttle program for 2-1/2 years. The cause, normalization of deviance. Insulating foam strikes which had been […]

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