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Why Joint Integrity?
With ever more challenging environmental, legislative and economic demands being faced, the need to reduce leaks and emissions is greater today than ever before. The costs of not doing so are high – in terms of inefficient plant operation and loss of product, downtime and repair costs, safety and environmental issues and potential fines.
Steps to eliminate leaking joints as part of a maintenance programme will therefore help drive down costs and remove unacceptable risk.
Achieving a leak-free start-up will avoid any delay and re-work, reduce equipment and testing costs, and allows earlier demobilisation of maintenance workforce.
For any Asset Manager, ensuring that all bolted joints remain intact and leak-free can be daunting. Containment of process fluids is critical to the safe operation of industrial facilities: leaks endanger the safety of plant, impact the environment and result in a loss of revenue for the operator. Bolted flange connections play a major role in containing fluids, and they are of particular importance because they are present in large numbers. Unfortunately they are often of low priority of maintenance planning and, unlike welded components, do not requires the technicians who assemble them to be certified to industrial standards.
It is not surprising, then, that joint integrity is enjoying an increasingly high profile within the plan maintenance programmes. Offshore, figures from the UK Offshore Operators Association, for example, indicate that 25 percent of critical joints leak on start-up and research shows that 10 percent of hydrocarbon leaks offshore are from leaking flanged and bolted joints. Downstream, it’s believed such joint failures may be even higher.
Why not join our ‘Joint Integrity Management’ group on Linkedin? This group is set up for all those involved or interested in implementing formal joint integrity management programmes to coincide with industry guidelines such as ASME PCC-1-2010 and legislative bodies such as the UK’s HSE (Health & Safety Executive).
It is encouraged that members share any experiences (good or bad) regarding joint integrity so that others may learn past lessons in what is such a critical subject – but often overlooked. All industry sectors are welcome and subject matters such as a) competency & training, b) change management, c) guidelines & legislation etc. are encouraged for open discussion.
Please click here to visit our Joint Integrity group…
January 14, 2015
Our Middle East office
January 14, 2015
Industry recognises the need to recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce and...
October 2, 2012
Zulu Engineering has launched its certified training in all aspects of bolted joint assembly. FIJI...