Tharakan, J.

Suncor Energy Products, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

John Tharakan is a corporate static equipment specialist at Suncor Energy Inc. in Canada. He specializes in mechanical integrity, with a focus on troubleshooting, failure analysis and fitness for service. He holds an MS degree in mechanical engineering design and has more than 30 years of experience in the oil industry.

Minimize engineering errors with competency and proper engineering review

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Products

Industry has seen numerous engineering errors during the commissioning phase of projects.

A deeper examination of thermal expansion issues in process equipment and piping

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Products

Piping and process equipment that operate at high temperatures experience thermal expansion. If free thermal expansion is restrained, mechanical stresses are created within the component.

Vibration studies offer valuable lessons for correcting problematic operations

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Products

All plants have a vibration monitoring program for rotating equipment. Portable instruments measure vibration at the bearing housing of machines at horizontal (x), vertical (y) and axial (z) directions. The frequency spectrum helps diagnose the causes of vibration.

Identify and correct coke drum foundation bolt failures

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Products

Coke drums in many operating plants experience foundation bolt failures.

Use root cause analysis to examine failure of a cooling water pump

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Products

Without a holistic approach and a structured root cause analysis, it is hard to unearth complex and multiple issues, particularly design deficiencies.

Evaluate piping for displacement-controlled loading

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Products; Anisuzzaman, M., Suncor Energy Inc.

In a Canadian case study, new piping under construction suffered some settlement in the underground portion, as evidenced by soil movement and slight deflection of the above-ground section.

Flare header failure: An investigation

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Products

A 60-in. flare header suffered three identical failures with buckling and cracking at the circumferential weld at the bottom of the pipe. The failures are believed to have originated during hot relief..