Pressure Vessel Replacement: Balancing Safety and Cost Optimisation
Pressure vessels are critical equipment for manufacturers, as they hold gases, vapours and liquids at a pressure that is significantly higher or lower than the ambient pressure. Various industries used the vessels. It is critical to maintain the design and manufacturing standards of pressure vessels, to avoid safety hazards. Pressure vessel replacement is a critical decision for plant safety and optimization.
An API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) manufacturing company was facing severe safety issues with their existing pressure vessel. The existing 100-KL pressure vessel was old, and due to its age and other aspects, the client company needed to have it replaced. They had to do this as per the standards; hence, they could not compromise on the thickness and other design aspects.
Given these constraints, the client would also face cost overruns.
Pressure vessels can often pose a safety hazard:
- When design or manufacturing is not proper.
- When maintenance is inadequate.
Using the wrong designs, materials, or construction methods can cause spills, leakages, and dangerous blasts that can injure people or cause damage to property. Consequently, engineering authorities backed by legislation regulate pressure vessel design, manufacture, and operation
Pressure Vessels Risks
Shakedown concept can be applied to solid metallic materials under repeated cyclic loading or to granular materials under cyclic loading. If repeated loading on the granular induces stress beyond the yield surface, the residual strain in the materials increases almost without
Creep is a process of degradation observed in steel and other materials used for pressure equipment. It is a high-temperature, time-dependent failure mode that limits the life of stressed components.
For this project, the client prioritized cost optimization, considering the standards that could not be compromised. The client sought a vendor who would not only provide them with a competitive quote but also guarantee that the design aspects and standards would not be compromised.
Various vendors studied the existing process and proposed
- Adding multiple pressure vessels would result in process issues for the client as well as delays. Adding more pressure vessels would not account for cost optimization as per the client’s requirements.
- A single vessel would require a capacity greater than 100 kL and an increased size. The challenge with option 2 would be to overcome the risk of pressure increasing due to an inadequate design or maintenance when enlarging it.
Proposed Options by Vendors
Analysis and Solution
Based on the proposal for option 2, the client shared a brief with the team at Maathrusri Engineers, detailing the requirements and expectations.
Maathrusri Engineers began working on pressure vessel prioritizing:
- Design standards (that were strictly followed);
- A cost-effective solution.
The team concluded that they could reduce the thickness of the vessel without compromising standards. They submitted a techno-commercial proposal with the workings and drawings.
The client shared the proposals and drawings with various departments and confirmed that the vendor could manufacture the vessels based on these specifications.
Meanwhile, given the focus on cost optimisation, the company decided to check parallel quotes for the same job from other vendors. Upon comparison, the client realized that Maathrushi Engineers would save them approx. Rs. 5 to 6 lacs on the total project.
About Maathrusri Engineers
Established in 2010, Maathrusri Engineers is an organisation approved by the Director of Boilers, Telangana, Hyderabad. They are a leading company providing superior customer service & high-quality equipment & fabrication of Coded Equipment like Pressure Vessels, Reactors, Heat Exchangers, Storage Tanks and other required equipment for Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Food and beverages, Petrochemicals, Water Treatment Plants and other Solid Waste Plants. They have built a reputation for providing a seamless interface between engineering, procurement, and fabrication.
The Outcome of Pressure Vessel Replacement
M/S Maathrusri Engineers executed the project successfully, ensuring the highest safety standards. At the end of the project, the client saved nearly Rs. 5 to 6 lacs, without compromising the design of the pressure vessel or the safety.
M/s Maathrusri Engineering designed the system as per pressure vessel code compliance and optimised the thickness requirement, which saved on equipment costs as well.
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