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.

Becht Engineering has significant consulting expertise with improving reliability for chemical plants and refineries as well as upstream projects for oil and gas production. This multi-disciplinary task involves the clients’ representatives (operations, maintenance, inspection and engineering) together with Becht Engineering corrosion,...

Becht Engineering has significant consulting expertise with improving reliability for chemical plants and refineries as well as upstream projects for oil and gas production. This multi-disciplinary task involves the clients’ representatives (operations, maintenance, inspection and engineering) together with Becht Engineering corrosion, mechanical integrity and reliability experts.

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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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A Love Hate Relationship with Turnarounds (FMEA for Critical Path)

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I LOVE Turnarounds! The excitement - The planning - The organizationOne major focus with a million minor tasks that consume you for at least 12 hours a day (or night)As in the movie “Apocalypse Now” with Robert Duval as Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, delivers the classic line “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” something big is about to happen.  Turnarounds are a great learning and repair opportunity, getting into vessels and equipment that you may not see the “guts” of for another 10 years.  You finally get the opportunity to fix things that you have been “living” with for years.  It is a REALLY good opportunity.  The organization is all pulling in the same direction; Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Safety, Contractors all are focused on the Big 3… Safety, Duration, and Cost.  Complete the event on target and everyone feels good.  Plenty of credit to go around and high moral abounds.  The only issue is that…I HATE Turnarounds!The...
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Guest — Chuck Prejean

A Love Hate Relationship with ...

Tom, Thanks for sharing your views Tom. You are exactly right about the complexity of turnarounds, especially if you're role pu... Read More
Monday, 18 November 2019 07:22
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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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Cooling Towers: Benefits of a Cold Eyes Review

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One key decision that often needs to be made is repair vs. replace. When has a cooling tower arrived at the point where a new tower should be considered? Maintenance costs, overall tower condition, environmental constraints, and performance optimization are all factors that need to be evaluated.If a new cooling tower is justified, how are the specifications for performance selected? What range, fan horsepower, approach to wet bulb, and water flow rate should be specified to best match plant requirements? The range is the difference between the hot water (return) temperature and the cold water (supply) temperature. The approach to wet bulb is due to the fact that, if the cooling tower were infinite in size, the cold water temperature would be at the wet bulb temperature. However, just like a shell and tube heat exchanger with a temperature difference between two streams, a finite cooling tower results in some approach...
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