Bloch, Heinz P.

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff,

Heinz P. Bloch resides in Montgomery, Texas. His professional career commenced in 1962 and included long-term assignments as Exxon Chemical’s Regional Machinery Specialist for the U.S. He has authored or co-written more than 750 publications, among them 21 books devoted to reliability improvement. The latest of these, Optimized Equipment Lubrication, Oil Mist Technology and Storage Preservation, was published in January 2020 by Reliabilityweb in Fort Myers, Florida. It describes many equipment-related traditions that should have been phased out long ago.

Reliability: Consider best available resources for reciprocating compressors

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Whether it is compressor selection, upgrading, routine maintenance, major maintenance, failure avoidance or failure analysis: Realize that the reciprocating compressor procurement and improvement options available today are surprisingly advantageous compared to the options of 30 yr ago.

Reliability: Oil in galvanized containers poses undue risk

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Professional advancement is often linked to obtaining certification. To prepare, the technician or engineer must study texts, culminating in taking a test or passing an exam that makes use of, or is based on, questions contributed by subject matter experts.

Reliability: Understanding right-angle gear backlash

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

By definition, all gear units have teeth. These teeth are designed and produced to a certain strength, or a defined force-on-tooth, or an allowable pressure-load on tooth.

Reliability: Achieve longer bearing life in rotary asphalt pumps

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

When a major asphalt manufacturer experienced random bearing wear in its gear pumps, there was justified concern.

Reliability: The risks of deferred compressor maintenance

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

At a recent conference attended by failure investigation professionals in San Antonio, Texas, a participant spoke about an explosion and fire event on a multistage horizontally opposed compressor in oxygen (O2) service. He had scant data, but he knew the machine did not have cylinder lubrication.

Reliability: Reliability and the EPC contractor

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In this column, I have often elaborated on critical information related to reliability thinking. However, reliability thinking is continually subverted by approaches that concentrate excessively on project cost and completion.

Reliability: Troubleshoot hot bearings in hot pumps

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The reliability engineering unit supervisor (REUS) working at a 400-Mbpd refinery wrote that he was greatly concerned about a bearing temperature excursion. He realized that certain rules of thumb had been handed down to his maintenance employees, and that not all of these conveyed the same numbers and guidance.

Reliability: Monitor equipment condition by collecting vibration signatures

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

With relatively few exceptions, industry guidelines and standards allow an increased understanding of best practices.

Reliability: Reassess and redirect your approach to a long-term career

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

It was not too long ago that a prospective employee could expect a 30-year career within an oil refinery or a petrochemical plant.

Reliability: Consider amended warranties for rotating equipment

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

If you have ever encountered a situation where an equipment manufacturer declined to offer warranties, allow us to share three case histories.