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.

Eight Pillars Of Excellent FEMI Programs

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INTRODUCTIONA refinery or chemical plant Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) program consists of eight basic categories or “Pillars” that are fundamental to achieve FEMI excellence. While every refinery or chemical plant has some form of these Pillars in place, they are often inadequately implemented or have significant gaps in the key elements that make up a complete Pillar. This paper describes these Pillars in detail and suggests what distinguishes good Pillars from those that are less than adequate.This article has been published previously in Inspectioneering Magazine - 2019 November/December Issue. If you would like to view the PDF of the article, CLICK HERE. The Eight Pillars of FEMI are:General and OrganizationResourcesCorrosion ManagementInspection Planning and SchedulingInspection NDERecordsRecommendationsInformation TechnologyTypically, when a FEMI audit is performed for a refinery or chemical plant, each one of these Pillars is reviewed and scored. The following sections provide an overview of the elements each Pillar should contain, as...
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Fired Heater Risk Ranking - Owners Can Mitigate Risks Of Operation

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...by Eileen Chant and Abby KingFired 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 credible failure....
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Recent Comments
Guest — Ken Lamb

Designer/Manufacturer

Input from the Fired Heater design firm and assessment of records from manufacturing and installation of the furnace can be quite ... Read More
Saturday, 17 August 2019 08:33
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
Guest — Steve Lancaster

Site Visit

Great article! I would have added a little stronger statement about the site visit, though. You said, "Although it is not always... Read More
Monday, 12 August 2019 10:33
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Acceptable Practices for High Voltage Motor Lead Routing

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Are Your Wires Crossed? By Rick Hoffman and Joe RammageWe 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 CablesThe 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 proximity to ground, deteriorates 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 MattersThe shaft size differences are basically a product of economics.   It cost money for a motor manufacturer to machine...
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