What is the Purpose of Plant Equipment Evaluation?

August 30, 2018

If you've ever been inside a setting that's dominated by a predictive planned maintenance program, you know just how detail-oriented this work can become. In plant equipment evaluation, there are literally scores of log books to manage. On a larger site, perhaps a massive chemical processing facility, the books could fill an entire wall. Flipping open one of the hard-backed ledgers, you wonder why it's full of time-based log entries.

Level One Equipment Efficiency

Flow gauges and instrumentation banks are being monitored every day, perhaps every few hours. The on-duty engineers are keeping a virtual finger on the processing installation's fluid pulse. They're recording minimum and maximum operating pressures, temperatures, environmental conditions, and visually observed site incidents. Essentially, the hourly and daily measurements are tracking a required set of flow variables so that the site's efficient running can be monitored night and day.

Level Two Safety Monitoring

Plant equipment evaluation is a productivity-based discipline. However, dangerously high pressures are being restrained inside large and small pressure vessels. Are they functioning as intended? At some point, a servicing engineer will be dispatched from the fabrication plant to non-destructively test all such features. Safety valves are first on the agenda. Each and every safety mechanism requires evaluation. Here's where the wall full of site logbooks come in handy. Remember, all of the pressure vessels are continuously monitored, and the results are recorded on a time-based chart. In other words, the purpose of this manually run plant equipment evaluation system is to record trends.

Level Three Trend Recording

All protective devices are operating within acceptable tolerances. The on-site staff are up to date on their training, and they're following all system protocols. Next, the plant equipment evaluation operation is assessing the entire site. For instance, if a certain vessel is exhibiting an unusual behavioural curve, as recorded in the maintenance logs, this trend could indicate a material weakness or a weld flaw. The problem is highlighted, checked closely, and subjected to a non-destructive test routine. A replacement part is dispatched from the fabrication plant if the fault can't be remedied. Then, when the time comes, an entire system upgrade is actioned.

This discipline invokes thoughts of timelines and equipment statistics. The on-site engineering team is creating data sets from the statistics, all the better to assure processing efficiency. Behind such considerations, however, a more important assignment is underway. On this level, the plant equipment's safety systems are continually inspected. Then, with a fabrication engineer on-hand, comes the key moment. It's then that the evaluation work is laid out and compiled into a time-based chart, one that can be used to quickly find a worrying trend.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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