October 18, 2013
Pressure equipment, like other industrial equipment, is subject to failure or damage. Also like other types of equipment, when it becomes damaged, the decision must be made whether to repair or replace. Deciding which option makes more sense is always a situational choice, but follows the same steps and logic.
How complete a repair is possible? Some damage can be repaired to original quality and durability. For instance, a weld that has succumbed to intense pressure and blown in a single spot is something that a qualified repair person can rectify completely. On the other hand, if a segment of a large pipeline splits completely, the repair would more like a patch than a true repair. In this situation, it may be wiser to replace regardless of other factors.
How much would repair cost? Once again, this is a situational question that relies completely on the circumstances. When addressing this cost, it is crucial to remember any associated costs that may accompany the actual repair. Are there permits required? Excavation? If ignored, these costs can arise as a very nasty shock.
How much would replacement cost? In addition to the hidden costs that could easily be overlooked that could be present in either a repair or replacement, repair has another possible hidden factor - compatibility. Industrial equipment, especially infrastructure, often has a lifespan of several decades. In that time, advances or stylistic changes can cause new parts to fail to mate with old parts. In such a situation, the choices are custom fabrication of the replacement parts or a complete overhaul of the system in question.
The last factor to asses when deciding between the options of repair and replacement is the logistics of the situation. In some cases, the logistics will hardly matter. For example, a pressurized storage tank in a warehouse with loading bay doors large enough for the entire machine to pass can be repaired or replaced with equal ease of access. Replacing a pressurized pipeline running through a busy city intersection, on the other hand, may be a situation where the logistics of effecting repair are negligible next to the nightmare of disrupting the traffic flow of the entire city to replace a section.
Whether to repair or replace damaged equipment will always be one of the most carefully weighed decisions for people to make. By taking an honest and detailed look at the specifics of both options, the lesser evil can be identified and chosen.
Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619
1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915
Ph: (03) 5909 8218
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