The Problem. In the 21st Century, facilities (power, refining, chemical plants etc.) are being operated long past the intended design life. Often management is focused only on the process equipment and systems, and degradation of critical structures that can adversely impact operations are overlooked. Structural failures can be caused by:
- Environmental Degradation – natural elements leading to structural corrosion;
- Operational Degradation – process operating conditions, such as chemical exposure and mechanical loads, can degrade structural elements; and
- Machine-Structure Mismatch – incompatibility between the operating equipment and supporting structure/foundation can result in excessive vibration and deflection, thus leading to degrading both the machine and the supporting structure.
The Solution is Critical Structures Age Management.
- Risk Management Principles can be used to define relative importance of structures particularly as associated with the supported equipment critical to plant process, and
- Identifying precursors to failure is the key to age management but structural degradation can often go un-noticed to the untrained eye.
- An experienced inspection is required to identify such problems, and
- By characterizing the health of critical facility structures – repairs/modifications that may be needed can be incorporated into routine facility maintenance or outages.
By coupling critical structures age management with an effective maintenance/inspection program for process equipment the entire facility design basis can be ensured long past the original design service life.
Augustus’ Partner engNoveX is a team of highly qualified Structural Engineers with decades of experience in age management of critical structures for large EPC firms. engNoveX provides quality-focused, and construction friendly solutions to structural degradation in industrial and power facilities. Typically, engNoveX personnel:
- Conduct a site inspection, coordinated with your management team, to collect data needed to characterize critical facility structure condition.
- Deliver preliminary inspection findings at conclusion of the visit.
- Provide a final report with a statement of structural conditions with near-term and long-term recommendations that can vary from No Issues, to Plan for Future Repairs, to Take Immediate Action and
- If desired, engNoveX can develop a complete package of construction deliverables for your qualified contractor to implement.
Next Steps. Let’s start the conversation about your facility and your needs.