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D. Summary of work experience at Merisol (SASOL)

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D. Summary of work experience at Merisol (SASOL)

  1. 1. Work experience at Merisol RSA (SASOL) Implementation of Reliability Engineering in Merisol RSA Reliability engineering is a relatively new concept in the field of engineering, despite this reliability engineering is on an up rise in all environments. The importance of reliable equipment has been acknowledge by top management and the implementation of reliability programs and advanced maintenance strategies are now a priority. The main purpose of this report is to inform the reader about the vital importance of reliability engineering and to guide the reader in understanding reliability engineering. We will also discuss some of the tools available, for example RCM, RCA and MTBF to help you reach reliability in the plant environment. We will also look at Merisol in terms of reliability and the status of equipment in terms of availability. This directly leads to the equipment uptime. With a well-rounded reliability program in place, using the previously stated tools the following improvements may be observed:  5-10% improvement in availability  10-20% decrease in maintenance costs  25-35% increase in equipment uptime. Areas where reliability in Merisol was investigated; 1. Plant availability 2. Identifying critical equipment 3. Preventive maintenance 4. Predictive maintenance 5. Spare parts management 6. Skill enhancement
  2. 2. 7. Equipment history Recommendations on areas of improvements: 1. Set Plant availability goals  Operations, Maintenance and Technical must establish the availability goals for each plant based on the required production targets and equipment utilisation.  To put perspective on your availability goals and current availability it is wise to group together availability, capacity and utilisation. 2. Identify critical equipment  Update the procedure of identifying critical equipment. This ensures that equipment that has a large impact on production does not slip through. Reliability Centred Maintenance may reduce safety risks.  It is highly recommended to implement RCM `s. 3. Preventive/Predictive maintenance  Must move away from reactive maintenance which is a very expensive practise to follow.  Predict failures with the aim of preventing them.  Equipment should receive condition monitoring - allows us to predict when equipment will fail and prevent future failures. A life cycle analysis tool may be used. We will be able measure the performance of equipment in terms of the amount of production time and failures.
  3. 3. Gear Ratios of new spares New spares were ordered on a gearbox; the supplier changed the driver gear with no manual. The driver gear has changed in size and amount of teeth. Both the old gears had the same amount of teeth. How does the increase of size and amount of teeth of the driver gear effect the system. Rotating Equipment Preventative Maintenance Strategy Merisol required preventative maintenance strategies to increase both the reliability and availability of the critical rotating equipment. The objective was to look at a practical and efficient solution and keeping in mind the financial implication. Pump Inspection Permit System To investigate changing the pump inspection philosophy and to propose an alternate solution to increase the frequency of pumps inspections if applicable. The Sasol Group Procedure for Work Permits (SSC-SAF-GPR-00003) outlines the necessary rules to exempt pump inspections from the permit process. F7101B Containment Area An investigation into the F7101B (Value CA) tank containment area was carried out. This was to verify that the concrete containment walls will be suitable, to contain a leak, overfilling or rupture from F7101B. The capacity of the current concrete containment walls was measured and compared to the maximum and operating capacity of the tank.
  4. 4. FER – Analytical Report Sasol Infrachem Merisol has an FER severity index 10 times higher than the overall Sasol Infrachem Business Units. This is unacceptable. This report aims to decrease the severity and frequency of FER incidents by identifying the common failure modes through FER data analysis. From the data captured (Sasol FER Severity Calculator) thus far, we were able to identify the following as possible high priority areas for the Merisol business to focus on:  Lines left open  Corrosion  Gasket failures Additional investigation indicated the following: Leaving process lines open, display a steady reoccurrence in accordance to the data captured. Lines left open is a result of valves or drains open to atmosphere, where an unintended release takes place. There has been a steady decline in gasket related failures throughout the four years analysed. Corrosion related failures are on the rise overall. Figure 13 is a more detail set of data, for the current year (2013). This allows us to see what the relevant incidents are and their impact on the overall FER severity index. Prior to the analysis of the FER data, it was assumed that gasket failures were a major contributor to the high FERs at Merisol. However, after analysis it was evident that gasket failures should not given a high priority to their role in FERs as it only appears twice during 2013. Corrosion has shown a steady decline in 2013. Whereas, process lines being left open is on a slow rise in frequency. This gave us the data we needed to identify that Lines left open and corrosion are the main and most relevant contributing factors to the high FER severity index and is where priority should be given. To solve the current and most relevant contributing factor that is lines being left open; would be to review problematic standard operating procedures, provide appropriate training to operators where applicable, ensure competency of the operators before being allowed to operate the plant and review that the correct check lists are in place to ensure that no lines
  5. 5. have been left open unintentionally. Prioritising this as a problem correctly, could result in a 32% reduction in the FER index. Integrity of C43164 due to crystallisation of E29 overheads During Value CA mode the E29 Overhead steam needs to be routed to the feed tank F5113A.If this is forgotten or overlooked the product in C43164 might crystallise on the shell side due to the high content of phenol and ortho-cresol. The crystallization point of the mixture is < 37 °C.

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