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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

Repair versus Replace – Not Always an Easy Decision

Repair versus Replace – Not Always an Easy Decision
Equipment Operators face hundreds of work list items while planning for scheduled maintenance events.  For each item the owner must make a decision on whether to repair or replace the equipment to resolve the deficiency.  In some circumstances, owners are unable to come up with a cost effective repair solution so they default to the replacement option.  In other instances, the repair option is chosen based on the lowest upfront cost.  At Becht, we identify solutions that aim to reduce the overall life-cycle cost of equipment.  This life-cycle cost includes both the repair/replacement cost and the probability weighted lost opportunity from unplanned outages.  The probability for unplanned outages is dictated by the repair method; a full replacement will significantly decrease probability while a short term band-aid solution may only slightly reduce probability.  This holistic analysis takes future events into consideration and thus minimizes cost in the long run. Background There are...
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Fitness-for-Service of Damaged Buried Pipe -- What Code Case N-806 Is and Is Not

Fitness-for-Service of Damaged Buried Pipe -- What Code Case N-806 Is and Is Not
This article outlines the procedure to evaluate the fitness-for-service of corroded buried pipe, and explains what CC N-806 covers … and what it does not cover. What are the Damage Mechanisms in Metallic Buried Pipe? The inspection of a buried metallic pipe, after years of service, can reveal that the pipe has little if any damage, or on the contrary that the pipe has undergone one of four types of damage: Wall thinning caused by ID erosion, or by ID or OD corrosion. This wall loss can be in the form of pitting, local thin areas, or general metal loss. Wall thinning is the damage mechanism addressed in CC N-806. Cracking caused by fatigue, corrosion, or both. It can also happen that construction flaws are discovered that were undetected when the pipe was installed. Cracking is not addressed in CC N-806. Embrittlement, typically in the form of leaching. Embrittlement is not...
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Refrigerated Storage Tanks – Managing Operational Integrity

Refrigerated Storage Tanks – Managing Operational Integrity
Refrigerated Liquefied Storage Tanks have been used for over 60 years in the industry. A significant number of these tanks store liquefied Propane and Butane, Ethylene and LNG and Ammonia. The stored fluids are at atmospheric pressures with temperatures which range from -45 F to -270 Failures of refrigerated tanks have been quite infrequent over the past 50 years. However, in each of these incidents there was catastrophic damage to the tank and its environment. In view of this history, Industry Standards and Operating & Maintenance practices place a rigorous emphasis in managing tank safety and integrity. Background At a major Refrigerated Storage Tank Terminal, the Operators were confronted with a need to remove a large dome roofed LPG tank from service to internally inspect the bottom plates for structural integrity. The concern arose from the discovery of “cold zones” (icing up) at localized areas in the tank foundation - which...
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BIDES - A Knowledge Base Facilitating Effective RBI Assessments

BIDES - A Knowledge Base Facilitating Effective RBI Assessments
There are numerous challenges that Inspectors and Reliability Engineers face when developing Risk Based Asset Integrity Plans, such as: Identifying the applicable Damage Mechanisms Picking the correct Failure Mode(s) Determining the Probability of Failure Deciding how to mitigate risks to acceptable levels Industry documents give some guidance (i.e. API-571, API-580) but not the whole picture.  A new suite of Becht Documents clarifies where the industry documents leave off; giving the user a repeatable solution to these challenges.  We call these documents BIDES - B echt I nspection D evelopment and E xecution S trategies. What is BIDES? BIDES is a suite of 76 documents that lay the technical foundation for Damage Mechanism Reviews, Integrity Operating Windows (IOW), Turnaround Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS), and Equipment Reliability Plans (ERP).   Each element of the BIDES covers a specific damage mechanism.  The suite includes the 66 damage mechanisms listed in API-571 (including 10...
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