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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.

Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs), a Key Piece to Your Integrity Program, But Where Else Should They Be Integrated?

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Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs) are a key component of a world class mechanical integrity program.   IOWs are not a new concept, as they have been around in different forms for many years.  However, with the publication of the first edition of API RP 584, Integrity Operating Windows , in 2014 and the more recent first edition of API 970, Corrosion Control Documents , in 2018, more focus has been placed on these limits within the refining industry. IOWs can be defined as established limits for process parameters that affect the integrity of equipment and piping when operations deviate from these limits.  API 584 defines IOWs in three categories: Critical – Parameters where rapid deterioration occurs when the limit is exceeded (typically hours to days) Standard – Parameter where exceedances over a specified period of time will cause increased degradation (typically weeks to months or within a turnaround interval) Informational –...
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Treat Reliability Like …

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This blog outlines ways to think about reliability to help drive a culture of continuous improvement.  It is the fourth in a series of Blogs on improving plant reliability performance through changes in culture, programs, equipment design, maintenance and operation. The principles we applied in implementing successful reliability programs in a number of operating plants included the following: Treat Reliability like Safety Treat Reliability like Football Treat Reliability like Athletics Treat Reliability like Fumigation Treat Reliability like Hard, Dirty Work Treat Reliability Like Safety In most operating plants, there is a reasonable safety culture and program. This is driven by regulatory requirements and also a desire to have a safe, injury free workplace. The safety program includes management reporting at a high level in the plant structure, a well written manual describing hazards and procedures, tests and inspections to be done prior to executing work, a well-defined incident investigation process and...
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Are Your Heaters Affecting Your Reliability?

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From a process standpoint, your Fired Equipment items are not only some of the most critical but some of the most risky items in day-to-day operations. Add in the presence of open flames and failures can be dramatic.  In today’s refining climate, fired equipment is required to run 4, 5, 6 or even 7 years between outages.  To achieve a reliable operation for runs of this length, a solid shutdown, maintenance, inspection, repair, and start-up strategy is critical. Recently a Midwest refinery contracted Becht Engineering to complete a detailed review of their fired equipment for an upcoming turnaround.  Becht used a team of experienced refining experts to provide an in-depth review of more than a dozen fired equipment items.  To provide a holistic approach, Becht utilized experts with backgrounds in process engineering, heat transfer, mechanical integrity, inspection, and operations.  The goal of the review was to ensure the fired equipment would...
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CalOSHA Update – Damage Mechanism Reviews (DMR)

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On May 18, 2017, the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Occupational Safety and Health Standards (CalOSHA) board approved a new regulation that changes how Process Safety Management (PSM) is handled for oil refineries within the state of California.  This regulation was approved in response to high-profile industry incidents in the state of California in the last 5 to 10 years.  The new regulation introduces a “refinery safety order” that will be enforced by the PSM unit within CalOSHA ( CLICK HERE for the regulation ).  Some key elements introduced in this regulation are: Damage Mechanism Reviews (DMR's) – Reviews that consider where corrosion, mechanical damage, environmental cracking, etc. are identified for process equipment; Hierarchy of Hazard Controls Analysis – A review to identify appropriate the most appropriate means for managing hazards; Human Factors Program – Analysis of personnel related factors such as employee fatigue, staffing levels, shift turnover, and training; Management...
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