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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.

Turnaround Critical Path Reviews – Recommendations and Examples

critical-path-review-for-TA
Critical Path Analysis, Schedule Optimization or Cold Eyes Review  (call it what you want) are all designed to check your Turnaround (TA) Schedule for logic, manpower and equipment efficiencies that can affect the duration of the TA Schedule.  When margins are high you can have unit-down-days that are worth upward of $1MM/day.  For this type margin it pays to have experienced third-party TA Field Supervision/Managers (as are all our Becht Advisors) to facilitate these sessions.  When Becht reviewers conduct these assessments, everyone in the review is told up front that there are no "stupid questions" - as there may be some who are afraid to ask a question.  We have found that these questions frequently lead to schedule or manpower savings. Other times, we just get people to look at doing a task a different and more efficient way. The reviewers not only evaluate the schedule to save time but also...
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Restoring High Energy Piping System Performance by Reducing Friction

pipe_friction2 Damaged/Destroyed Low Friction Sliding Surfaces
"When You're Stuck, You're Stuck" Over years of normal operation - like cycling and wear and tear - High Energy Pipe support friction can increase causing distress in these critical systems. Friction is a common phenomenon which is widely understood and considered in both piping analysis and support design.  Generally, a piping analyst models a piping system with a friction coefficient on all base type supports of 0.3 for steel on steel or lower if a low friction sliding surface will be used, and hits “run” on his design software program.  The stresses are evaluated, loads on supports determined, and the analysis is off to support design.  The support designer takes the loads (which include friction) and designs the support.  No errors were made, the calculations are correct, and everything should work. But what happens in the field after years of operation and cycling? That depends on several variables, including the...
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Reducing Coupling weights in Large Motor Driven Pumps

coupling Pump Coupling Assembly
One of the major issues in designing large motor driven pump applications is minimizing the overhung weight on the pump rotor.  Motor or gearbox drives are designed and sized independently of the driven unit.  They are based on motor frame size and/or gearbox frame sizes and the drive component manufacturer has no information on the actual driven unit.  In motors, the design of engineered motors is based on years of experience and rules of thumb.  The motor rotor is significantly heavier than the pump rotor, thus requiring it to be much larger in diameter than the driven unit size to support the rotor weight and give an acceptable bearing surface area.  It is not unusual for the motor output shaft size to be twice the input shaft size of the driven unit shaft. Size Matters The shaft size differences are basically a product of economics.   It cost money for a motor...
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Due Diligence - Making Rapid, Accurate Judgements

kidnapped_by_business_team
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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