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.

Fired Heater Risk Ranking - Owners Can Mitigate Risks Of Operation

fired-heater-cover
...by Eileen Chant and Abby King Fired heaters are critical equipment items in the process industries and are often overlooked since they don’t fit nicely into a single category of equipment or existing programs in the same way a pump or pressure vessel does. Safe and reliable operation is essential to avoiding adverse health, safety, and environmental consequences. Poor heater conditions and plant practices can increase the risk of a loss of containment (LOC) event, potentially resulting in fire and/or explosion. This can also increase the likelihood of plant personnel being exposed to hazardous situations when starting and operating the heater, or when responding to emergencies. Plants should look for opportunities for improved operations, inspections and maintenance to mitigate the risks associated with the operation of fired heaters. The risk-based approach described is used to identify potential threats to health and safety during operation by assigning a risk to each identified...
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Abby King

Designer/Manufacturer

Ken, Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! We agree that the original design and as-built documentation is an important data... Read More
Thursday, 22 August 2019 16:31
Abby King

Operations input is vital!

Steve, Thanks for the feedback on the article and leaving a comment! We have had similar experience as yourself. The only way t... Read More
Thursday, 22 August 2019 16:49
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Acceptable Practices for High Voltage Motor Lead Routing

electrical_storm
Are Your Wires Crossed?   By Rick Hoffman and Joe Rammage We recently evaluated a 15kV, 5000 hp, induction motor in a WPII enclosure manufactured by a foreign company.  During an on-site inspection of the main terminal box it was discovered that the high voltage leads were touching.  This raised significant concerns about the long-term reliability of the motor. Becht Engineering investigated the issue to determine the industry standards and best practices concerning routing of the motor high voltage leads.    Shielded vs Non-Shielded Cables The National Electric Code requires all cables rated above 2.4kV to be shielded to prevent concentrated electromagnetic stresses from forming between the cable conductor and ground when the cable is in close proximity to a grounded surface.  The addition of the metallic shield smooths out the electromagnetic field eliminating high stress points.  Without it, the increased density of electromagnetic stresses where the cable is in close...
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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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Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) – A Key Element to Improved Reliability

Becht_Engineering-RCFA
Many companies and organizations have been on the reliability journey for a number of years, while others are just beginning.  There are many elements of a solid reliability program – establishing a reliability centered culture, tracking key metrics, bad actor elimination programs and establishing equipment reliability plans – to name a few.  But, one key element to a solid reliability program, and one that is very important to improving unit reliability metrics, is root cause failure analysis (RCFA). Historically, various methods have been used over time to assist in RCFA – Why Tree Analysis, 5-Whys, and Fishbone Diagrams.  However, one common tool to facilitate and document the RCFA is a Cause Map, or Cause and Effect Diagram.  Cause Mapping is a very flexible platform, which allows utilization for any type of failure investigation, regardless of equipment type, industry, or complexity.  Cause Mapping starts with a primary effect – where the primary...
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