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A U.S. Gulf Coast Refinery is experiencing issues associated with engineered grab sampling stations.


A U.S. Gulf Coast Refinery is experiencing issues associated with engineered grab sampling stations.

Some of the typical problem indicators are:

  • Failed components
  • Leaking components
  • Improper and / or incomplete installation
  • Improper application design of sample station or auxiliary equipment
  • Insufficient or lack of training on how to properly "grab a sample”

These problems can and do lead to various consequences which put enormous pressure on plant safety and regulatory compliance programs. A partial list of consequences is:

  • Operators having to don PPE including fresh air when taking a sample
  • H2S monitoring devices are recording exposures
  • Untimely or inadequate 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 multifaceted solution begins with a field survey which is conducted to determine the condition and functionality of each station.

Included are assessments pertaining to suitable technology application and design review that takes into account sample conditioning, venting methodology & location, product filtering etc. The deliverables of the survey include a detailed report on the findings, detailed parts list per sample station and a list of recommended repairs which is designed to bring the station to an "as designed” state.

The next phase of the solution involves AES carrying out the recommended repairs or redesigning the sample station if required.


AES’s twofold process of conducting a detailed field survey and executing the repair work, produces consistent results which impact the customers’ business.

Safety is improved by minimizing or eliminating the number of leaks which can lead to employee exposures. Product quality is maximized through reliable, representative samples that have produced improved and consistent lab results. Lastly, risk to the company is reduced by ensuring regulatory compliance is maintained.


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