Texas….Pipes, Pipes, Freeze Baby

Alright; stop, grab a seat, and listen… It was COLD in Texas.  REALLY cold. However, with simple planning for reliability, Texans could have possibly prevented multiple pipe-freezing failures that are continuing to plague many as we thaw out from Winter Storm Uri.  Hopefully, my story and observations of our collective pipe-freezing situation will remind us…

Economics and Process Engineering

As the famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh, said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” The “small things” in process engineering are no different and can have a big influence on a project’s bottom line. The impact of process engineering on the economics of a capital project is often overlooked…

Keyed-Valve Interlocks

  Several years ago, while working in a refinery, I noticed a relief valve with its inlet block valve completely closed. I radioed an operator for assistance. Within minutes, two operators arrived and confirmed that the valve should not be closed. They opened the valve and thanked me for notifying them. In following up a…

Considerations when Establishing a Mechanical Integrity Program for a Process Safety Management Regulated Facility

Energy organizations such as chemical manufacturers, oil and gas production, and even pharmaceutical manufacturers strive to maintain a Process Safety Management (PSM) program to ensure the safety of their employees and those around their facilities. Many of these organizations are familiar with the requirements of PSM including the process of conducting Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)…