Maintenance & Reliability

Apply ceramic coatings to extend radiant tube life in process heaters

Bacon, J., IGS-Cetek

Process tubes in refining applications are typically steel alloy (ASTM A335 P22, P5 or P9), which contain 2.25%, 5% and 9% Cr, respectively. These grades oxidize at operating temperatures, and scale will grow continuously on the surface, often reaching 2 mm in thickness in higher-temperature/high-heat-flux units. The layers of scale are very insulating and represent a significant barrier to conductive heat transfer to the process.

Effectively clean air fan coolers with water and steam

In many refineries and petrochemical plants, air fan coolers (AFCs) become a major bottleneck to increasing plant capacity. Many plants suffer from lower heat duty than designed, especially during the summer months, which can lead to lower plant capacity.

Leveraging modern flow technologies to improve safety in refineries

The refining industry is facing increased pressures, such as crude oil supply changes, changing product distributions and increasing regulations. These pressure points create a highly competitive market where refiners are looking for options that include digitally transforming operations and adapting new technologies to enhance safety and improve uptime, flexibility and efficiency, while securing their competitive position in a dynamic market. Improving personnel and process safety remains a top focus area for refiners.

Managing dark data and visualizing your digital twin

Today’s tools are often specialized for a certain type of task; however, they often lack the connectivity that would enable the easy comparison and cross-reference of asset information. Engineering tools are well suited for design and build phases, but may be less suited for use in operations and maintenance.

Five key innovation concepts to impact frontline engineers in 2020

McIntee, A., KBC, a Yokogawa Company; Finnan, K., Yokogawa Corp. of America

Gas processing, liquefaction, oil refining, bulk petrochemicals and chemicals plants represent a large population of frontline engineers and technical managers. Their professional lives will become increasingly impacted by the growing adoption of disruptive digital technologies and digital platforms.

Industry Perspectives: The Main Column—Hydrocarbon Processing's new podcast series

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In December 2019, Hydrocarbon Processing's launched its new podcast series: The Main Column. The podcast series will feature the latest in hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) trends, technology developments, engineering and operations.

Editorial Comment: Adopting digital technologies to enhance operations

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

What is the future of refining and petrochemical operations? One trend that has been the focus of many articles, whitepapers and conference presentations is the digital transformation of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI).

Reliability: Consider successful pump redesigns: Start with a clean sheet of paper

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

You may recognize the “pre-owned” pump in FIG. 1 as an axially split, between-bearing, multistage model. Chances are that half of its impellers face right-to-left and half of them face left-to-right. In that case, there must be an internal seal or bushing that limits leakage flow from the pump’s higher- to lower-pressure sections. There must also be porting or piping that takes flow from the discharge of the lower-pressure section to the suction of the higher section.

Viewpoint: How digital transformation impacts daily manufacturing operations

Price, E., Honeywell Connected Enterprise

With the ever-increasing speed of technology innovation around the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud offerings, industrial manufacturers are evaluating how these new solutions can impact their daily operations. Specifically, they are looking at how these innovations enable real-time, actionable insights across processes, assets and the workforce. These insights allow for quicker and more informed decisions, thereby driving efficiency and profitability.

Inspection: A practical approach to internal inspection of pressure equipment

Anwer, A., Contributing Editor

Internal inspections of pressure equipment involve a full inspection of the equipment. Inspection engineers and inspectors depend heavily on internal inspections to retrieve useful data, which includes information on active degradation mechanisms, corrosion rates, remaining equipment life, failure occurrences and failure expectations, among other critical details.