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

refinery-at-night
I LOVE  Turnarounds!  The excitement - The planning - The organization One 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...
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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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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

oil-gas-cooling-towers-engineer
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...
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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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