Problem Solving for Process Operators and Specialists

  • ID: 2171460
  • Book
  • 344 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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A dependable five–step problem–solving technique for chemical plant and refinery process operators and engineers

As chemical engineering processes increase in size, scale, and intricacy, industrial problem solvers need to embrace new strategies for resolving complex or chronic plant operating issues. Too often, these professionals rely on intuition and experience–based solutions for tackling problems that require rigid procedural standards, resulting in approaches that routinely fail to fix or even define what′s gone wrong. To institute a more effective industrial problem–solving environment, Problem Solving for Process Operators and Specialists combines cause–and–effect thinking with the formulation of theoretically correct hypotheses to create a five–step technique for overcoming the most challenging operational stumbling blocks. Discussion includes:

  • Techniques to find, define, and solve process problems and to create a daily monitoring system before they progress to the critical level

  • Methods for formulating corrective remedies for typical process equipment such as pumps, compressors, heat exchangers/furnaces, fractionating towers, and reactors

  • A thorough, well–balanced mix of underlying theory and practical field applications

  • Helpful tips on reducing repeat failure risk by teaching how to determine the root cause of a problem

Presenting pragmatic calculation techniques, real–world examples, and insight from an author with more than fifty years of industrial experience, this practical resource hones greater awareness and responsiveness to problems related to processes in operating plants, and helps establish a protocol these facilities can implement to attain and maintain peak performance.

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Preface ix

1 Initial Considerations 1

2 Limitations to Plant Problem Solving 9

3 Successful Plant Problem Solving 15

4 Examples of Plant Problem Solving 39

5 Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering for Process Operators 59

6 Development of Working Hypotheses 83

7 Application to Prime Movers 93

8 Application to Plate Processes 147

9 Application to Kinetically Limited Processes 167

10 Application to Unsteady State 197

11 Verifi cation of Process Instrumentation Data 219

12 Successful Plant Tests 241

13 Utilization of Manual Computation Techniques 261

14 Putting It All Together 281

15 A Final Note 315

Appendix: Conversion Factors 317

References 319

Index 321

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Joseph M. Bonem has had a highly productive five–decade career that includes over three decades in polymer manufacturing and process development with Exxon Chemical as well as fourteen years in consulting. He has taught numerous short courses in plant problem solving and has extensive experience working abroad.
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