Maintenance & Reliability

Design of very-high-flow coefficient centrifugal compressor stages

Jariwala, V., Elliott Group

Centrifugal compressors are widely used in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries, with more than 15,000 operating in the U.S. alone.

Optimization: Plan before main air blower disaster strikes

Weeks before a planned overhaul of its coker unit, a synthetic crude plant’s main air blower for the furnace failed, throwing the engineers’ plans into disarray.

Case study: Extend tube life in a waste heat boiler

Lee, S., Kim, E., SK Energy

The sulfur recovery unit (SRU) separates sulfur from sulfur compounds.

Reliability: Strainers and thoughtful testing: Piping initiatives worth considering

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In two separate cases, foresight in the use of strainers on piping and following proper procedures for hydrostatic testing are recommended to preserve the integrity of offshore platforms.

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.