Revamping Crude Unit Increases Reliability and Operability



By improving the operation of nonrotating equipment, a refiner minimizes losses and raises process profitability.


Improving reliability increases profitability. When refinery margins are low, equipment reliability, or lack of, can be the difference between making a profit or losing money. Maintenance and rotating equipment engineers are aggressively improving rotating equipment reliability. Rotating equipment reliability programs are well established and have been successful in many cases. Yet, the same attention is not applied to nonrotating equipment.

Rotating equipment reliability programs have successfully increased the mean time between failures (MTBF) for rotating equipment. MTBF is a yardstick for rotating equipment reliability; it is a measure of time between failures and is easy to monitor. But, how do you measure the reliability of a distillation system or a preheat train? Reliability— applied to nonrotating equipment—is a measure of its performance relative to its intended design performance. If equipment does not perform as well as design, then it is unreliable. This reduces profits.

Refinería de Panamá (Refpan) revamped its crude unit in the fall of 1996 to increase middle-distillate yield and improve crude-oil processing flexibility...


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Tags: CDU, VDU