Delayed Coker Operations and Reliability

Flowserve Training

This two-day course will cover an introduction to the process, equipment, and operation of a delayed coker unit (DCU) in the refinery.

The coker is unique in the refinery world with a batch process and specialized solids removal (decoking) and handling equipment. All the unique aspects of the DCU will be covered with an in-depth review of the coker structure (coker island) operation and equipment. Special focus will be given to operator-based perspective on unit equipment and usage. Common safety and reliability concerns will be discussed at length.

Who Should Attend

Refinery staff new (less than 1 year) to delayed coking. This includes operators, engineers, inspectors, or maintenance staff. Everyone associated with the unit should have a fundamental understanding of the unit and this course delivers just that.

Vendor staff who supply services or equipment to delayed coker units. Get to know how your unit fits into the overall scheme.

Project staff working on design projects. Designing a pump or tower takes on new meaning when you understand the process from an operations perspective.

What You Will Learn

  • Learn the history of this process, the second oldest in refining
  • Explore the process flow and semibatch sequence
  • Introduction to the specific design and operation of specialized DCU equipment:
    • Steam purged valves
    • Decoking equipment
    • Heater fouling and decoking
    • Fractionator (distillation) dynamics with batch operation
    • Blowdown system
  • A special focus on real experiences in safety and reliability:
    • Operator ownership of safety
    • Common reliability issues with DCU equipment
    • A review of major safety incidents over the past 20 years.


Familiarity with delayed cokers.

Your Instructors

Gary Pitman

Gary Pitman is the Delayed Coking SME for Coking.Com. His roots run deep as an operator, maintenance technician and turnaround planner at ARCO/BP. He commissioned the Hovensa Coker in the Virgin Islands doing training for the structure block to the operators, then managed 315 craft people for a maintenance contractor on site. He has performed Coker Site Safety Audits and training in Asia, Europe, South America and North America and served as the subject matter expert for new product development for major manufacturers of delayed coking equipment. With his vast experience working with coker people close to the iron, “Mr.” is in high demand for consulting on un-heading, coke cutting, unit operations, design review, training and commissioning with his start-up team.

Roy Smith

Roy Smith is a training Specialist and Global Decoking Training Program Manager. Roy joined Flowserve (Pacific Pumps) in 1976. During his career at Flowserve he has been in sales, engineering, service center management and was senior decoking specialist. His current position is an instructor at the Learning Resource Center in Dallas and the Global Decoking Training Program Manager for training Flowserve mechanics and field service technicians as well as customers.

Prior to joining Flowserve Roy was a design engineer in the aerospace industry, US Naval Officer and a researcher at Texas A&M University. Roy has also had experience as operations manager of a peristaltic pump company and as a responsible engineer at Bechtel on a major expansion project.
Roy’s years of experience in sales, service, and production both within Flowserve and outside allow him to enhance the learning experiences for Flowserve employees and customers.

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