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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, mechan...ical integrity and reliability experts. More

Multi-Discipline Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA)

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Becht Engineering is at the forefront of performing extensive Root Cause Failure Analyses (RCFA) for its clients in heavy industry. When a full scope RCFA is performed for a client, an experienced and committed team is deployed to multiple areas before, during, and after a Root Cause Investigation. These teams are typically led by an RCFA team lead and supported by appropriate Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who have specific expertise in the area(s) to conduct a successful Root Cause Analysis. Becht Engineering recently performed four successful Root Cause Analyses for its clients. These examples highlight how Becht Engineering utilizes our multi-disciplined SMEs to conduct thorough Root Cause Analyses for our clients. And as with any project, Becht approaches RCFAs from an “owner’s perspective”. Project 1: Mid-West Refiner - JET Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tests RCA The Client had experienced a ongoing challenges meeting Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tests (JFTOT) at its...
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Storage Tanks Floating Roofs - Challenges In Aging Tanks When Exposed To Extreme Weather Conditions

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Over one hundred thousand floating roofs have been used in hydrocarbon (oil) storage tanks since the 1950s. A majority of these tanks continue to be in service and are critical to meet strategic storage needs. An earlier article in this blog category describes Industry Best Practices for inspection and maintenance of such tanks. View Maintenance & Reliability of Floating Roofs . The article below responds to multiple inquiries - from domestic and international refiners - who are confronted with challenges to safely operate and maintain large diameter (200-350 feet diameter) floating roofs in service for 30-35 years.  In addition to age, these tanks may be exposed to extreme weather conditions such as hurricane winds above 100 mph and/or excessive rainfall.  For example, Hurricane Harvey dumped in excess of 50 inches of rain in the Houston, TX area with sustained winds of 130 mph in 2017. Under these extreme conditions, catastrophic...
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Reliability Program Implementation and High Altitude Climbing - What They Have in Common

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This is the third in a series of Blogs on improving plant reliability performance through changes in culture, programs, equipment design, maintenance and operation.   [Click link to review   Making Bad Actor Elimination Programs Work ; or the second blog, Reliability Beliefs - Driving Organizational Accountability ]    This blog compares experiences in successful high-altitude expedition climbing and the effort to implement a true world-class reliability program in your plant.  The similarities of implementing a strong reliability program and climbing a big mountain became apparent a number of years ago during the planning stages for a climb on Kilimanjaro.   This peak is the highest point in Africa and one of the “Seven Summits” or highest points on the seven continents.   From an altitude standpoint, Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet is in the middle of the pack with 3 summits higher and 3 that are lower than “Kili.” Although Kilimanjaro is a walk up, it...
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Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) – A Key Element to Improved Reliability

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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...
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