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Statistical Analysis of Non-Destructive Examination Data

In 2008, Becht Engineering was awarded a project by the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) to develop an inspection guideline document and software tool for the collection and analysis of inspection data for piping, piping components and pressure vessels. Dr. Eileen Chant , as project manager, collaborated with Bob Sims of Becht, Dr. Mark Stone of […]

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Optimize The Performance, Output And Reliability Of Your Steam Methane Reformer

The steam methane reformer (SMR) is the most complex operation and equipment design in an ammonia, hydrogen, or methanol plant. It is also the most expensive single item of capital expenditure and the dominant energy and variable cost consumer in the plant. Most reformer operations have a ‘set & forget’ culture when it comes to […]

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Piping and Instrument Diagrams (P&IDs): Part 2 – Causes and Management of Change

Part 1 of this article, which appeared in the April issue of Hydrocarbon Processing, discussed the inception of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), their development and maturity, and the challenges in between. The causes, scheduling and limitations of changes to P&IDs, and the Management of Change (MoC) process will be discussed here. CAUSES OF LATE […]

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When Should the Rules for Severe Cyclic Conditions (Service) in ASME B31.3 Be Used?

This posting (November 2019) is an update to an October 2013 post which reflects changes to the ASME B31.3 Code relative to severe cyclic service that have occurred since the original post. There has been a fair amount of confusion as to when the rules for severe cyclic conditions in ASME B31.3 should be used, […]

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ASME B31.3 – Substantive Changes in the 2018 Edition for Process Piping

In addition to the many clarifications, updated references to codes and standards, updates to basic allowable stresses, and added listed materials, there are several substantive changes to the 2016 Edition of ASME B31.3, Process Piping, which is scheduled to be issued mid-January 2019. These substantive changes are: Owner Added specific permission for the owner 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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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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Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Transfer Line Flexibility – Analysis and Design Considerations

FCC’s are complex units – and the design of their transfer lines has some unique considerations. While many of the lines are refractory lined to permit construction with carbon steel piping, some sections are hot walled, at temperatures well into the creep range, for the purpose of balancing thermal expansion or, in the case of piping […]

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Evolution of Pipe Stress Equations in the ASME Nuclear Codes (and where we are today)

The Pre-1955 Era Until 1955, the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Codes, and the ASME B31 Pressure Piping code provided rules of good design practice with quantitative criteria for pressure design.  For example, quoting from ASME VIII Rules for the Construction of Unfired Pressure Vessels Section VIII A. S. M. E. Boiler Construction Code, 1927: […]

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Capacity Reduction of a Compression Member with an Initial Deformation

A recent review of equipment installed in a power plant found a piping strut that was visibly bent. Would the bend in the strut reduce its load bearing capacity as a compression member? The answer is YES!  The load bearing capacity of a bent strut against buckling is reduced. The reduction in buckling capacity is […]

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