By Amin Almasi, WorleyParsons Services Pty. Ltd. |
When it comes to rotating machinery (pumps, compressors, gas turbines, steam turbines, turbo-expanders, and others) operating in the chemical process industries (CPI), installation, piping, support, pre-commissioning, commissioning and startup play crucial roles. Machinery maintenance and repair can be quite costly, and perhaps because of shortages of skilled manpower, particularly at remote site locations, CPI plants have given less attention to technical details for machinery installation, piping and commissioning.
When one considers that the initial investment costs for a rotating machine can be in range of $200–2,000/kW ($0.2–2 million/MW), whereas daily production loss can exceed $1–2 million for many modern (and large) CPI plants, one can see that it is necessary to protect these machines by doing an adequate installation, piping, commissioning and startup job.
Figure 1. Shown here are examples of centrifugal compressor impeller assemblies (rotor assemblies) ready for shop balancing
Machinery piping design
Although there are rules and practices adopted for the design of general CPI plant-piping in order to facilitate the design and to avoid common errors, there are usually some special rules or exceptions…