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Plan and re-plan

By Chemical Engineering |

FRI is lucky to have survived a simple valve-tray project. A few years ago, the low-pressure (LP) test column stood empty, because there were no trays ready to be installed. The intention was to install a set of new valve trays of a very simple design, but when the column was empty, neither a design nor the actual trays existed. It took five months for the trays to be designed, drawn, fabricated, shipped, received and installed. For five months, the FRI membership received no data. In retrospect, those trays should have been designed at least six months ahead of the projected installation date. In retrospect, FRI had not planned. In March of 2013, the FRI long-range test plan was reviewed by the staff. A huge gap was identified. From January to June of 2014, FRI had nothing to test, while the second half of 2014 was fully booked! At the Technical Committee (TC) meeting, the plan gap was brought to the attention of the members. A list of project possibilities was broached. Following a long discussion, the TC recommended a project to determine the liquid-distributor pour-point requirements of large-surface-area structured packings. Thereafter, following a month of careful project considerations, in July, packings and distributors were…
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