FROM THE TOP – Bringing Down the Silos

FROM THE TOP – Bringing Down the Silos

FROM THE TOP, is a new mainstay in Inspectioneering Journal. This column will explore how different parts of organizations can partner in a collaborative manner to discover new efficiencies, improved equipment integrity, and opportunities to capture additional margin.



This past year has been a challenging one for our industry. The ongoing pandemic, coupled with a heightened focus on energy transition, has been disruptive for the traditional way of working. However, despite these disruptions, the lessons we have learned over the past year on a profitable, safe, and reliable way forward are simply reminders about what we’ve known all along.

The most important lesson is that organizational silos must come down. Almost universally, owner/operators continue to navigate political nuances of “site vs. corporate” or the illusion of competing priorities between different parts of the organization (e.g., “projects vs. engineering” or turnaround vs. integrity). These competing priorities are artificial inventions of siloed groups. The reality is that everyone wants the manufacturing assets to operate in a profitable, safe, and reliable manner. The stress from this illusion of competing priorities has only increased over the past year with workforce reductions and the retirement of subject matter experts.

Over the course of 2021, this column will explore several different themes, including:

  1. Leveraging enhanced infrared inspection fidelity and de-coking process optimization to increase heater and unit capacity.
  2. Proactively planning for different crude slates to capture margin opportunity.
  3. Eliminating chronic bad actors by bringing together process, inspection, and operations personnel.
  4. Putting in well understood and implemented controls (e.g., integrity operating windows and design & process best practices) so that damage is prevented as opposed to just being found with inspection programs.
  5. Are the appropriate stakeholders trained on the contents of the CCD and how to apply the knowledge?


As an industry, we have the collective wisdom among the different disciplines and specialties to navigate these uncharted waters so long as we all align around the same guiding goals. Have a question?

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About The Author

Charles Becht V is a mechanical and nuclear senior engineer with expertise in FEA and thermohydraulics modeling and analysis. His experience ranges from developing new designs meeting code requirements, failure investigation and repair, and FFS assessments. In the hydraulic area, his work includes the study of NRC issues related to entrapped gases in liquid lines, for which he developed hydraulics models and analysis of the effects of pump start-up, and two-phase transients. In the stress area, Mr. Becht's work includes the investigation of the failure of one of the largest mobile cranes in the United States, developing the structural model for the crane failure which was benchmarked against observations of the event. In addition Mr. Becht has worked on several rehabilitation projects on furnaces damaged by over pressure events. Responsibilities for the furnace repair have included oversight of field personnel, development of structural reinforcement, and analysis of the completed repairs. Fitness for Service analyses included analyzing both degraded structures and improperly fabricated structures, including buried cooling water pipe in nuclear facilities and large shiploader structures exposed to salt spray and sulfurous coke. Mr. Becht received his Masters of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University.    

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FROM THE TOP – Bringing Down the Silos

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