March 2002

Heat Transfer/Reliability

Lower heat exchanger maintenance costs

Failure analysis was used to predict replacement times, saving millions of dollars per year

Andrews, S., Marathon Ashland Petroleum, LLC; Matusheski, B., Meridium, Inc.

One refinery saved nearly $3 million lost opportunity costs in one year by avoiding heat exchanger failures. Similar savings are realized in later years. The methods used modeled the common failure behaviors of the exchangers and then used these models to predict failures. Armed with this information, refinery managers then authorized tube bundle replacements and avoided the expected future failures of these bundles. Here's a description of the methods used to make the decisions that led to the savings. The reliability group at the Marathon Ashland Petroleum, LLC (MAPLLC) plant conducted the analysis using an enterprise reliability management system. The software facilitated the analysis and

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