A U.S. Gulf Coast Chemical Manufacturer is experiencing issues associated with maintaining the integrity of their engineered grab sampling stations.
Some of the typical problem indicators are:
- Product leaks
- Component failure
- Insufficient or lack of training on how to properly "grab a sample”
These problems lead to various consequences which put enormous pressure on plant safety and regulatory compliance programs. A partial list of consequences is:
- Employees having to don PPE including fresh air when taking a sample
- H2S monitoring devices are recording exposures
- Untimely or non-representative samples being sent to the lab
- Regulatory fines or penalties being levied by the EPA or OSHA
- Low availability of grab samplers
- Improper use of equipment
- A hesitancy to install new grab samplers due to poor performance of existing
A three phase approach is deployed to rectify issues and produce consistent results.
Beginning with a two part field survey, Part 1, the technical survey is conducted to identify the condition and functionality of each station. Included are assessments pertaining to proper technology application and design review that takes into account sample conditioning, venting methodology & location, product filtering etc.
Part 2 the human component, is a survey in the form of interviews conducted with the stakeholders linked to engineered grab samplers. A representative list of stakeholders can include but is not limited to, operations, maintenance, engineering, safety, environmental, lab and management. The interviews are intended to identify how the issues and consequences impact each group.
The results are compiled into a report and published to the stakeholders. The report consists of a summary, field report listing each sample point and description of discoveries, detailed parts list by sample station, a list of recommended repairs and cost.
Out of customer need, AES developed the Plant Sampler Reliability Program (PSRP). Customer survey results have shown that it is a common occurrence for grab sample stations to go uncategorized in plant maintenance programs. The result can lead to poor or no maintenance. Consequently, due to harsh environments or unintended misuse sample stations fall into a state of disrepair and can be dangerous to use.
AES POSITIVE IMPACT
The PSRP is designed to quickly deliver a "best in class” maintenance program to those customers where grab sample stations are not part of any plant maintenance program.
The program includes periodic inspections, parts, labor and training on use and identification of minor issues.
The results that AES can deliver to a customers’ business by deploying the methodologies described has proven to accomplish the following:
- Original investment protection due to lack of maintenance
- Ensures that samplers are kept in a safe state, minimizing employee exposures and eliminating the need for PPE like fresh air
- Ensures that samplers meet regulatory compliance standards and minimize the risk of penalties
- Increasing the availability and reliability of the sampler will result in timely, representative samples being captured, therefore reducing the risk of producing off-spec product