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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.

Piping Settlement Screening Tool

Piping Settlement Screening Tool
Settlement of a pipe support foundation is usually not a big deal to assess. A local piping flexibility model will reveal if the settled support keeps the pipe bending stresses within the allowable codes and, if the bending stresses are unacceptable, modifying the support and monitor periodically for further settlement is normally a quite manageable task. However, if settlement is occurring site-wide at a large site due to errors in the pre-construction soil surveys, the problem quickly becomes unmanageable. A client recently approached Becht Engineering with a request to develop a screening tool. A tool that inspectors at such a site can easily use in the field to quickly screen pipe circuits subjected to support settlement. The stated objective was to determine which circuits are acceptable without further study based on conservative criteria requiring detailed follow-up, i.e. piping flexibility analysis. This blog supplies an overview of the bases for this tool....
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Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) – An Essential Step for Turnaround Work Scope Optimization in Refining Units

Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) – An Essential Step for Turnaround Work Scope Optimization in Refining Units
Turnarounds (TA) in refining units are executed periodically, on a planned basis, to meet multiple objectives, such as regulatory compliance, process reliability improvement, and equipment inspection and/or repairs. In a competitive business environment, managing TA events in a cost effective manner is a well-recognized challenge. Key Step - Planning Development of a comprehensive Work Scope for the TA of equipment in a Process Unit is a key step which can make the difference when focusing on business goals for a Process Unit. Since a major turnaround can range from 500,000 – 1 MM man-hours and involve hundreds of TA tasks, Best Practices - utilizing Risk Based Work Selection  methods - are used for prioritizing and justifying execution of tasks. Execution of these tasks yields an optimized work scope and minimized TA duration. A principal outcome of this Work Process is that it enables the Unit to meet S, H, E, and Financial...
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Dimensional Control - Post Fabrication Pipe Spool QC Surveys

Dimensional Control - Post Fabrication Pipe Spool QC Surveys
With the advancements in dimensional technology, obtaining accurate measurements at the worksite has become common practice for most owners and engineering companies. New and replacement piping is being designed from behind desks without the designer visiting the worksite. This means there is no need for string lines, tape measures, or auto levels to obtain measurements or the need for notes on drawings stating “field to verify”. Despite these advancements, when it comes to the install of piping, it is still like playing Russian roulette on whether the pipe spools will fit or not. Failure rates are reported between 17% - 38% on spools inspected with these results being in the 70% range if the acceptance criteria was held strictly to industry specification. Failure stats are based on: Cause of Rejection Typical Value Industry Specification Dimensional Error +/- 1/2” 1/8” Bolt Hole Rotation 1/8” 1/8” Flange Face Deviance 1/8” 1/32” Wrong Flange...
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Risk-Based Work Selection - Key to Optimized Turnaround Workscopes

Operations and Maintenance Practices in refineries focus on maximizing safety, reliability and profitability, in a highly competitive industry, with tight margins. A key consideration is to effectively manage annual maintenance costs which can be as high as 40-50 MM$/year for a medium size refinery. These costs can escalate to several hundred million dollars, if unplanned shut downs occur, resulting in loss of production.  Risk-based work selection (RBWS) is used to plan, schedule and execute maintenance work and is an industry Best Practice for improved reliability. The result is a risk-justified, optimized work list which uses maintenance resources cost effectively while mitigating unacceptable business and S/H/E risks. For TAs which require 200,000 to 1,000,000 person-hrs, the process has identified potential savings of 15-30% on estimated direct costs for the planned work scope.  RBWS is used for task prioritization for turnaround (TA) work scopes and routine maintenance work. Rigorous use of RBWS enables...
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