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 can provide resources with an owner's perspective to help ensure your projects and turnarounds are successful in terms of safety, quality, cost and schedule.  We have seasoned professionals to successfully manage, plan, review and supervise plant projects and turnarounds.

Is Your Execution Contractor Ready for the Turnaround?

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In our experience as Turnaround Readiness reviewers and participating in lessons learned events, owners who pay close attention to contractor readiness end up with better turnaround performance.  While this seems an obvious observation, the details which emerge from lessons learned from post-turnaround reviews reveal the complexity and criticality of the Owner/Contractor relationship. Preliminary review of basic items such as the Contractor’s understanding of scope, critical path and scheduling are underpinned by a side by side review of specific contractor readiness: Critical path work packages should contain quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) definitions to assure effective work package turnover and the understanding for those owner/ contractor personnel required to sign off on the completed system.   Dimensionally check the spools versus cut points, validate the Bill of Materials versus warehouse package, and talk through the setup, execution and breakdown of the craft at the work point. Field walkout(s) of critical path packages between the...
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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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Crane Mats of the Future – Timber, Composite or Steel

crane_mats_fig4
Where will crane mats be in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years? It takes approximately 90 years to grow a 12-inch by 12-inch oak timber twenty feet long. High quality hardwood timbers are becoming harder to find. This is widely known but rarely discussed. The shortage of wood timbers is a national problem. Timber Mats Crane mats have typically been constructed using oak or other select hardwood timbers.  In recent years, as supply dwindles, timbers do not measure a full 12-inch cross section. As they are milled, we often see one or more sides are not square but rounded due to the smaller diameter of the raw cut logs. In some cases, we are seeing timber mats made from mixed wood species, and some with combined hard and soft woods. Ground bearing pressure and load distribution calculations for timber mats are based on a full cross section of matched hardwood with...
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Risk-Based Work Selection (RBWS) – Choosing a Software Tool

software-tool-cover Choosing the right software tool for RBWS
Using the right software tool can save time and improve results of Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) which is a standalone work process aimed at optimizing turnaround (TA) work scopes.  RBWS uses risk assessments to determine if individual worklist items are justified by Health, Safety, & Environmental Risks or Financial Risks.  Significant reductions in turnaround work scopes typically result from this structured work process. Becht Engineering has conducted RBWS sessions using a variety of tools ranging from Excel spreadsheets to our custom-built STRAITS Software.  Some tools have distinct advantages over others, so we wanted to highlight why a specialized tool should be used for RBWS and what are the key features to look for when selecting a tool.  Why is a Specialized Tool Needed? The information necessary to conduct an RBWS should already exist.  The challenge is digging the information out of desk drawers, databases, and excel spreadsheets, and organizing it...
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