Project Spotlights - Reliability

FCC Regenerator Air Grid Repairs
Project Description: FCC Regenerator Air Grid Repairs
Client Name: Midwest Refinery
Project Location: Illinois

Introduction

During a Client’s pre-Turnaround planning activities on a Fluid Catalytic Cracking unit, historical trends indicated that there would be scope for refractory and nozzle repairs on the Regenerator air grid.  Due to the anticipated volume of repairs and operation of the unit, Brindley engineers integrated with the Client team to design a mechanically robust nozzle configuration, while not impacting unit operation or impacting turnaround duration.

Project Scope

Brindley Engineering first analyzed historical trends through review of Client equipment data in order to estimate the previous modes of failure and anticipated quantity of repairs.  Next, we integrated with several members of the Client team to design future replacement nozzles and installation methods.  Brindley Engineering then attained quotes from several different suppliers in order to procure the nozzles prior to the turnaround event.  Installation of the nozzles occurred during the planned outage, and Brindley Engineering was on-site providing technical guidance for installation and inspection to identify nozzles requiring replacement.

Project Challenge

A compressed planning and design window, as well as the resolution of several technical issues related to material compatibilities and refractory selection were challenges we faced on this project. Much of the scope was based on previous knowledge and historically analyzed trends that were validated during the shutdown.

Project Solution

Working with a fully integrated team, Brindley Engineering was able to facilitate a reliable nozzle design that is capable of withstanding previously seen damage.

Project Results

The replacement nozzles that were ordered prior to the beginning of the event were installed as designed.  Additional discovery work during the outage was partially mitigated thanks to procurement provisioning spearheaded by Brindley Engineering during the planning phases of the job.  The resultant modifications will cost-effectively extend the mean time before failure of the nozzles.



Steam Trap Reliability
Project Description: Improving the performance and reliability of steam traps.
Client Name: BP
Project Location: Whiting, IN

Introduction

In order to develop reliability assessments of the steam and condensate systems, a steam trap survey needed to take place.  These surveys will continue to take place yearly to determine any problematic areas in the refinery.

Project Scope

Brindley Engineering gathered data from field surveys of existing traps and analyzed historical data to observe failure trends.  We utilized this information to identify problematic areas and equipment and present our findings to the Owner for implementation in their reliability improvement programs. 

Project Challenge

The amount of data that was compiled was quite large with over 26,000 steam traps.

Project Solution

Brindley Engineering took all of the available data and made side-by-side comparisons of the steam traps.  We compared all traps by pressure, style, area, etc. to confirm our theory on which steam traps were the best for the refinery, what installations were problematic, etc.

Project Results

Brindley Engineering was able to use this data to identify defect trends that were currently unknown so that they can be improved upon by understanding the root causes and addressing these causes instead of the symptoms.

 

Stats

26,582 traps were analyzed



RCFA of Rack and Pinion Elevator
Project Description: Root cause failure analysis of emergency braking system on rack and pinion mast climbing work platform.
Client Name: Oil Exploration
Project Location: Alaska

Introduction

During preliminary load testing of a new, dual mast, rack and pinion climbing work platform, the emergency braking system failed, resulting in a fractured brake plate. The initial root cause failure analysis from an outside source was deemed inadequate. Brindley Engineering was consulted to provide an in depth investigation of the brake failure and to assist in ensuring its safe operation.

Project Scope

Provide a thorough investigation into the failure of the rack and pinion elevator emergency safety brake. The analysis was to be done in short time, providing high quality and accuracy in order to minimize the idle time of the elevator unit. Brindley Engineering was to manage and perform the investigation while maintaining communication with the client and the elevator manufacturer.

Project Challenge

One of the challenges presented by this project was the analysis of a braking system in extreme weather conditions. Brindley Engineering researched, in depth, the code requirements for these systems and analyzed each component for compliance and reliability. Furthermore, the analysis and quality control of brake calculation reports provided the challenge of working with engineers in a different country which mandated sound, clear, and concise communication.

Project Solution

Brindley Engineering provided the client with a complete and thorough root cause failure analysis detailing the issues found and proposed solutions. Specifically, the setting of the mechanical tripping spring system in the emergency brake was deemed to be too variant as a direct result of error in setting, as well as the previously described environmental conditions.

Project Results

As a result of the described root cause failure analysis, the client was able to put their rack and pinion elevator back in service on a limited basis while the elevator manufacturer addressed the problems communicated by Brindley Engineering. Additionally, the elevator manufacturer utilized Brindley Engineering to help create a more reliable and thorough brake analysis process.



Fireproofing Program
Project Description: Fireproofing Maintenance and Repair Program
Client Name: Undisclosed
Project Location: US Refinery

Introduction

Concrete fireproofing is a very effective form of passive fire protection but will eventually fail due to age, improper design, poor materials, poor construction, lack of maintenance, etc.  Failing fireproofing creates a severe hazard due to the energy contained in a falling object of some mass.  Further, the failed fireproofing often hides corroded and failing steel, another risk to systemic problems.  This Client hired Brindley Engineering to improve and manage their fireproofing maintenance and repair program.

Project Scope

For some time, fireproofing has been spalling off and falling to ground within this facility. This spalling concrete creates an immediate danger to both personnel and equipment due to the destructive energy of a moving mass. To alleviate and manage these problem the client hired Brindley Engineering to start a fast-paced evaluation and repair. This program is in charge of identifying the locations of the defects, ranking those defects in terms of severity and likelihood, and determine an appropriate repair for those defects.

Project Challenge

The main challenge of this program was to collect all data points and locations throughout the entire facility in an organized manner and present an execution plan to track and repair them. Also, another main challenge was to manage properly the execution of these repairs and the time spent throughout this process since multiple parties are involved in the repair.

Project Solution

The proposed solution to the Client was to create a program/system to prioritize all the known deficiencies throughout the refinery. This program is in charge of identifying the locations of the defects, rank those defects in terms of severity and likelihood, and determine an appropriate repair for those defects.

Project Results

The project has mitigated all major hazards throughout the entire facility. Also, all root causes from previous failures were recognized and modified to prevent future hazards and extend the life of the current fireproofing. Brindley Engineering successfully managed a large project throughout a multi-year period.