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Field reliability of plate heat exchangers in oil and gas processes - a market perspective

Rydén, Lisa (2003) MIO920
Production Management
Abstract (Swedish)
In the offshore industry, reliability of installed equipment is of paramount concern
due to safety, environmental and economic consequences. The costs of unplanned
shutdowns and maintenance have high economic implications and are of increasing
importance with tighter profit margins. Reliability is therefore of significance when
selecting equipment model and brand.
This report presents a survey of the field reliability of Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers
in offshore oil and gas processes with main focus on failure data. Because of the
increasing attention paid to the relationship between optimised maintenance and the
achievement of field reliability, preventive maintenance practices are also included in
the survey. Whether a... (More)
In the offshore industry, reliability of installed equipment is of paramount concern
due to safety, environmental and economic consequences. The costs of unplanned
shutdowns and maintenance have high economic implications and are of increasing
importance with tighter profit margins. Reliability is therefore of significance when
selecting equipment model and brand.
This report presents a survey of the field reliability of Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers
in offshore oil and gas processes with main focus on failure data. Because of the
increasing attention paid to the relationship between optimised maintenance and the
achievement of field reliability, preventive maintenance practices are also included in
the survey. Whether a product is reliable or not is in the end determined by the users.
The users attitudes regarding Alfa Laval reliability are therefore surveyed as well.
The method chosen was a cross-sectional survey focusing on quantitative primary
data. Data was collected by using self-administered questionnaires distributed by email
to maintenance personnel and process engineers at offshore oil production
platforms. Valid responses were received for a total of 174 installations, including 309
units at 60 platforms in nine countries.
For 65% of the surveyed installations, respondents reported no failures, 25% one
failure and only 10% two or more failures. A total of 104 failures were reported. The
average failure rate based on reported failures was estimated to 6,14 failures/106 h. As
a comparison, 114 failures/106 h correspond to one failure a year. There is a risk that
all failures have not been reported and the estimated failure rate should therefore be
seen as some kind of minimum value. It should be noticed that findings of previous
and related research indicate that in offshore oil and gas processes the estimated
failure rate of plate heat exchangers are lower than the failure rate including all heat
exchanger types.
Failure causes reported in the survey are generally the result of either none or
incorrect maintenance, or unsuitable operating conditions which the survey have given
many specific examples of. External leakage was the most commonly reported fault
mode with 45% of the failures. This fault was generally due to gasket wear-out or
gasket blow-out. Overall the most commonly reported corrective maintenance action was replacement of a few or all plates (including gaskets). Recurring failures appear to
be due to a lack of identifying the root cause of the problem, which can lie outside of
the plate heat exchanger, leading to inappropriate corrective maintenance actions.
The majority of all reported failures, 56%, did not have any negative influence on the
production process at the platform, only 16% of the failures were reported to have
caused a process shutdown.
Maintenance practices vary broadly between the oil and gas companies and platforms
but generally no or little preventive maintenance is carried out on the heat exchangers
on a regular basis. Opening the unit for inspection, manual cleaning and the
replacement of parts are most often only carried out on units that currently have or
recently had failures.
Overall, the end users’ attitudes and perceptions of the reliability of Alfa Laval and its
products and support are very positive reflecting the few reported failures. 88% of the
respondents consider the Alfa Laval plate heat exchanger to be a reliable or very
reliable product. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Rydén, Lisa
supervisor
organization
course
MIO920
year
type
M1 - University Diploma
subject
other publication id
03/5189
language
English
id
2007515
date added to LUP
2011-06-30 16:17:48
date last changed
2011-06-30 16:17:48
@misc{2007515,
  abstract     = {In the offshore industry, reliability of installed equipment is of paramount concern
due to safety, environmental and economic consequences. The costs of unplanned
shutdowns and maintenance have high economic implications and are of increasing
importance with tighter profit margins. Reliability is therefore of significance when
selecting equipment model and brand.
This report presents a survey of the field reliability of Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers
in offshore oil and gas processes with main focus on failure data. Because of the
increasing attention paid to the relationship between optimised maintenance and the
achievement of field reliability, preventive maintenance practices are also included in
the survey. Whether a product is reliable or not is in the end determined by the users.
The users attitudes regarding Alfa Laval reliability are therefore surveyed as well.
The method chosen was a cross-sectional survey focusing on quantitative primary
data. Data was collected by using self-administered questionnaires distributed by email
to maintenance personnel and process engineers at offshore oil production
platforms. Valid responses were received for a total of 174 installations, including 309
units at 60 platforms in nine countries.
For 65% of the surveyed installations, respondents reported no failures, 25% one
failure and only 10% two or more failures. A total of 104 failures were reported. The
average failure rate based on reported failures was estimated to 6,14 failures/106 h. As
a comparison, 114 failures/106 h correspond to one failure a year. There is a risk that
all failures have not been reported and the estimated failure rate should therefore be
seen as some kind of minimum value. It should be noticed that findings of previous
and related research indicate that in offshore oil and gas processes the estimated
failure rate of plate heat exchangers are lower than the failure rate including all heat
exchanger types.
Failure causes reported in the survey are generally the result of either none or
incorrect maintenance, or unsuitable operating conditions which the survey have given
many specific examples of. External leakage was the most commonly reported fault
mode with 45% of the failures. This fault was generally due to gasket wear-out or
gasket blow-out. Overall the most commonly reported corrective maintenance action was replacement of a few or all plates (including gaskets). Recurring failures appear to
be due to a lack of identifying the root cause of the problem, which can lie outside of
the plate heat exchanger, leading to inappropriate corrective maintenance actions.
The majority of all reported failures, 56%, did not have any negative influence on the
production process at the platform, only 16% of the failures were reported to have
caused a process shutdown.
Maintenance practices vary broadly between the oil and gas companies and platforms
but generally no or little preventive maintenance is carried out on the heat exchangers
on a regular basis. Opening the unit for inspection, manual cleaning and the
replacement of parts are most often only carried out on units that currently have or
recently had failures.
Overall, the end users’ attitudes and perceptions of the reliability of Alfa Laval and its
products and support are very positive reflecting the few reported failures. 88% of the
respondents consider the Alfa Laval plate heat exchanger to be a reliable or very
reliable product.},
  author       = {Rydén, Lisa},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Field reliability of plate heat exchangers in oil and gas processes - a market perspective},
  year         = {2003},
}