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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.

Due Diligence - Making Rapid, Accurate Judgements

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or  " Kidnapped By My Own Business Team" A number of years ago I worked closely with an Operating Company Business Team and Mergers and Acquisitions group performing due diligence assessments. I often led these assessments and my input on reliability, maintenance, mechanical integrity and inspection was incorporated into a multi discipline team of legal, environmental, finance and operational experts. These assessments could be as long as six weeks to thoroughly evaluate an asset. The adventure I am about to describe was a lot different. My boss called me and asked me to come to his office right away. This was quite unusual for him unless my number came up for a random drug test. I went to his office immediately, closed the door and we started our meeting. He said, “ I need you to be in front of the corporate office at 6 AM tomorrow. Hopefully you will return...
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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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Reliability Program Implementation and High Altitude Climbing - What They Have in Common

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This is the third in a series of Blogs on improving plant reliability performance through changes in culture, programs, equipment design, maintenance and operation.   [Click link to review   Making Bad Actor Elimination Programs Work ; or the second blog, Reliability Beliefs - Driving Organizational Accountability ]    This blog compares experiences in successful high-altitude expedition climbing and the effort to implement a true world-class reliability program in your plant.  The similarities of implementing a strong reliability program and climbing a big mountain became apparent a number of years ago during the planning stages for a climb on Kilimanjaro.   This peak is the highest point in Africa and one of the “Seven Summits” or highest points on the seven continents.   From an altitude standpoint, Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet is in the middle of the pack with 3 summits higher and 3 that are lower than “Kili.” Although Kilimanjaro is a walk up, it has...
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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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