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Reliability Ranking and Life Extension of Coke Drums

Presented By

Bobby Wright - Becht Engineering


coke drum bulging

An original risk ranking program has been developed which evaluates the current condition of coke drums including contributions from design, fabrication, operating and process conditions, maintenance, and inspections practices. The result provides a reliability “score” ranking which provides guidance on damage evolution, damage rates, and risk. The purpose of this coke drum assessment is to reliably estimate the current drum condition and to predict a future safe operating window to allow normal scheduling of maintenance activities and spending. Reliability targets are predicted to meet future needs and the assessment is intended to provide actionable mitigations and recommendations for preferred inspection types, inspection intervals, repairs, and remediations.

These recommendations include process and operational guidance from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), drawing on decades of experience from a wide variety of coke drum operations and experiences. These practical recommendations are coupled with a “Health Monitoring Program” which measures and monitors actual damage done to the drums. This information oftentimes leads to reduced damage rates while balancing the desired cycle times to obtain the maximum lifecycle value.

This approach has been calibrated based on our internal experiences, published performance data from coke drums, proprietary company work, and damage situations such as bulges, through-wall cracks, and skirt-weld cracking.

In summary, this program produces a plan for inspection, maintenance, and repairs for upcoming and future turnarounds, and a detailed plan to cost-effectively operate the drums for optimal performance. Finally, the program will dovetail into API RBI and IOW efforts, providing detailed recommendations so the site and corporation can plan for the financial aspects of coker operation to help optimize maintenance and capital spending across one or multiple sites.

Bobby-Wright BechtBobby has more than 38 years of refining, petrochemical and power generation fixed equipment and mechanical integrity problem solving experience.  He has worked in most plants in North America, including the U.S., Canada, Trinidad, Aruba, and Europe, with some experience in other areas of the world.  He is very involved in industry technical associations such as API, IPEIA, ASME, NACE. He holds a Texas PE and a BSME.

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