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Posts Tagged ‘project success’

An interesting project has come to our shop that is leading to a new welding procedure. The project is a simple stainless steel pressure vessel, 6” diameter pipe, 0.432” wall approximately 18” long. While this seems overly simple it has led me to investigate the welding options we have qualified for stainless in our shop. We have stainless hardwire, flux core, stick, and TIG procedures but which one to use? Flux core fills very fast, hardwire is clean and neat, TIG has an artistic look when done right but is slower then hardwire and flux core. Stick welding is smoky and unless the welder is REALLY good it just doesn’t look as nice as the others. I’m beginning to think multiple processes. If we hardwire the root then no backing gas is required (meaning we don’t have to purge the inside of the vessel to remove any oxygen exposure on the back side of the weld) then we can fill the majority of the weld joint with either spray arc hardwire or flux core and finish with TIG. We get a solid, quick welded joint that looks like art! But I don’t have a weld procedure that includes three different welding processes. Do I need to break out some stainless steel scrap and weld up a coupon using the three selected processes and have it tested? Conveniently, I do not. Because I have Procedure Qualification Reports (PQR’s) for all three processes I can write a new procedure using the existing PQR’s. I can take the information from each PQR and implement a new procedure that includes all three processes. Each process must be noted on the new weld procedure and the essential variables must also be noted. One other item to be sure to review, the thickness of the additive PQR’s must yield the thickness range required for the intended joint. Maintaining documentation of all our welding processes and procedures makes this an easy accomplishment, an accomplishment that allows us to utilize our knowledge and history to go forward. If you like the way a certain welding process looks but have been told it costs too much or takes too much time, give us a call. We’ll help you find a happy medium that yields beautiful welding and cost effectiveness.

TIG Cover Pass

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Denver, CO – July 19, 2011 – We are thrilled to announce today the introduction of our groundbreaking liquid carbon dioxide based fabric and textile cleaning machine. CO2Nexus is a Denver, CO-based company dedicated to developing equipment and consumables that use liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) to clean fabrics and textiles. We are a spin-out of the premier worldwide CO2 R&D entity – FeyeCon Development & Implementation B.V. We are also pleased to announce our partnership with Denver-based Revolution Cleaners, who will field the first dry cleaning unit at their Denver plant.
Liquid CO2 – the same substance that puts the fizz in every carbonated beverage – has excellent solvent properties and is intrinsically sustainable, since it is in-exhaustible, cheap, non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-flammable, and cannot spill into the soil or groundwater. Chemical based solvents currently used in the dry cleaning industry are being phased out and/or have health and liability risks. Water based laundering methods are taxing already severely depleted water resources, especially in the Western U.S.
The CO2 used in the CO2Nexus systems is recycled from existing industrial processes and as such is completely carbon neutral.
CO2Nexus will also field a system later this year targeting the industrial laundry market, in partnership with one of the largest U.S. based service providers in that market. Industrial laundry uses water as the primary cleaning solvent.
Richard Kinsman, CEO of CO2Nexus comments: “Chemical and water based dry cleaning and laundering methods have real consumer marketing and environmental-health liabilities that will only get worse. At the same time, the performance, operating costs, sustainability and consumer marketing benefits of CO2 are attractive and will continue to get better, which is why we believe it to be the best long term option. Our association with FeyeCon on the technology side, and with the primary service providers at the industry level assures us that we have both the scientific and practical basis to implement the technology.”
CO2Nexus will offer commercial units starting in Q1 of 2012.
Denver-based Precision Pipe & Vessel, LLC will serve as our manufacturing partner. Mr. Kinsman: “PPV has tremendous know-how and a real track record in gas processing equipment and components. They bring tremendous value to our organization and we are proud to be partnered with them.”
Edward Pizzarello of Revolution Cleaners confirms their involvement: “We’re excited to be able to install the first unit in our facility. Revolution Cleaners has been on the leading edge of CO2 cleaning in Denver for over 6 years. CO2 has been our only cleaning solvent, and we’re thrilled with the opportunity to move to the next generation of CO2 cleaning technology.”
State and federal agencies have established grant based incentives to encourage the adoption of CO2 based systems, beginning in CA. Other states are anticipated to follow.
About CO2Nexus Inc.
CO2Nexus Inc. designs and sells equipment that uses recycled liquid carbon dioxide (CO2 ) to replace water and chemical based cleaning solvents in dry cleaning and industrial laundry.  Liquid CO2  – the same substance used to “fizz” beverages –  is an intrinsically excellent cleaning solvent and, unlike other solvents, is in-exhaustible, cheap, non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-flammable, and leaves zero secondary waste. www.co2nexus.com
About Revolution Cleaners
Revolution Cleaners cleans exclusively with recaptured, liquid carbon dioxide (CO2 ) & water (H2O); positioning themselves as the most experienced dry cleaner in Colorado using these methods. CO2  and H2O are naturally effective cleaning agents for a wide range of garments and household items. The absence of heat in Revolution’s  cleaning process ensures that stains come out more readily and garments have a longer life. With Revolution, your clothes are cleaner, softer and fresher than with traditional dry cleaning methods. www.revolutioncleaners.com
About Precision Pipe & Vessel
Precision Pipe & Vessel (PPV) is a Denver-based fabrication facility with extensive experience in gas processing, alternative energy and the cleantech industry. They offer top notch engineering, fabrication and product development services to clients across the US. With a track record of successfully serving customers for over 30 years PPV has proven themselves to be a reliable and effective fabrication facility. www.precision-pipe.com

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It wasn’t too long ago that I walked onto a refinery job site that Precision Pipe was supply equipment to.  At this site I saw an interesting event about to transpire.  A welder who was not associated with our company was getting ready to light a torch next to a vessel we had just delivered the day before. It appeared to me that he intended to cut into the vessel. Surprised to be seeing this, I quickly made my way over to him to see what he was doing.  He informed me that the construction manager (from a well respected and large engineering firm) instructed him to make a modification to the pressure vessel as a solution to a piping problem.  I asked him to stand by for a second so that we could discuss with plant manger the implications his modifications might have.

The welder became rather irritated with me and informed me he had his directions and he intended to follow them.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with the ASME code, let me explain the implications of this kind of modification in the ASME code world. First, if the welder had actually brought his torch to the shell of the vessel he would have undone the ASME certification on that vessel.  In other words the vessel would have no longer been a certified ASME pressure vessel and the customer would have wasted several thousands of dollars on that pressure vessel.  As the manufacturer I would have been required to remove the name plate from that vessel the moment I saw the flame come into contact with it. Second, that vessel would have no longer been acceptable to use on the job site as it was being implemented at a refinery in an ASME mandatory site and State.  Lastly, Precision would have likely had to of retaken possession of that vessel, repair it according to ASME standards, re-certify and qualify the vessel as meeting the ASME code.  The vessel would have also required a second name plate identifying it as an “R” or “Repaired” pressure vessel.

The reality of the situation was, the construction manager was under immense pressure to complete the project and at that point he was willing to cut corners.  What he didn’t anticipate was getting caught in a major blunder which would have added greater delays and expense to his project.  Anything worth doing is worth doing right and this is especially true for engineered products like ASME vessels. Knowing what the proper proceeders are for welding and modifying an ASME pressure vessel is imperative.  In this situation, the only way to modify the vessel is following the ASME code by using a qualified ASME shop with an “R” stamp.  Any welding or cutting on an ASME pressure vessel must be performed by a qualified shop that is in good standing with the National Board.  The pressure vessel will have to be reinspected by a third party authorized inspector and may need to have X-ray and hydrostatic testing to keep the ASME certification and name plate.

As an ASME qualified shop we encourage anyone to use us or another code shop as a resource to answer any question you may have on qualifications, modifications, and inspection of ASME pressure vessels, Heat Exchanger, or Boiler’s.  We would rather take a few minutes to understand and explain what your options are according to the code then risk an accident or injury .  In addition, if we can simply answer your question this a a free service we offer to any prospective customer.  If you are a plant manager and you are unsure if you can use any certified welder?  Give us a call and we can walk you though what it takes to maintain your ASME certifications.  If you have an ASME pressure vessel, Heat Exchanger, or Boiler that needs work or an addition of a nozzle or coupling.  Call us we can tell you what you must do to add the new components in a safe and code qualified manner.

As it turns out I was able to get the welder to wait a minute.  Explaining to him the consequences of his modification calmed him down long enough to bring in the decision makers.  The plant manager, the construction manager (having tucked his tail between his legs), and I all discussed the changes that were necessary and it was ultimately decided a ‘T’ in the process piping was the most effective work around for the problem.  Having an ASME specialist onsite that day saved thousands of dollars, countless hours, and potentially the integrity of the plants operational safety in the future.  Don’t be shy to email or call us or any other ASME qualified shop to discuss your project or equipment with ASME name plates. Your local rig welder or fabrication shop may be good, they may be able, they may even have a piece of paper that  say’s they are certified to make a weld. However, it is imperative you at least speak with a shop that is ASME qualified before you make any welds on a certified ASME pressure vessel.

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com

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Having a market advantage is a huge goal for most companies especially during market down turns.  Often times a company may have such an advantage and not know it, or at least not know how to capitalize on such opportunities.  One market segment that Precision Pipe excels at and enjoys is building Dew Point Processing Plants also know as refrigeration plants, NGL, or Natural Gas Liquids Plants.  What sets Precision Pipe & Vessel aside from our competitors is we have many different approaches to building gas processing equipment that other fabricators don’t consider or offer to their customers.

Our approaches include remanufacturing used equipment in a quality manner giving the appearance the equipment is new (often times it is as good as new).  We also painstakingly examine and inspect each mechanical component to ensure reliability and give estimated time before component overhaul.  We also build complete brand new plants from the skid up.  All of our products are turn key with complete instrumentation and piping interconnect as specified by each customer.  As soon as the plant has been connected to utilities and the associated site piping our systems are ready to be started up and turned over to operations.

Our most recent gas plants have taken yet another approach that provide the longevity  and the associated technology of new and modern Gas Plants yet maintain the cost savings of remanufactured equipment.  Recently we have assembled a plant that used brand new wear components such as a refrigeration compressor, glycol pumps, instrumentation, heat exchangers, and other moving components.  However, we created substantial saving to our client by using ASME pressure vessels and a glycol re-boiler off of used equipment.  We simply identified vessels in our inventory and evaluated condition and specification according to the refrigeration plant.  Next, we transplanted the vessels onto the new skid and re-registered the vessels with the National Board.  This process cut months out of the fabrication schedule and reduced the cost of the plant by nearly 30% for our customer.

When it was all said and done we shipped a modern gas plant to our customer complete with computerized controls and modern instrumentation at a greatly  reduced cost.  We were also informed by our customer that our delivery was several months quicker then the next best offer.  As it stands today the plant has operated for nearly a year with no shut downs and only routine maintenance performed.  This has become a good case study for cutting costs and improving our customers ROI by using creative and alternative fabrication techniques.

Precision Pipe and it’s staff has fabricated nearly 100 NGL plants over the last 30 years that are operating in various locations in North and South America.  We have developed a reputation for finding good quality used equipment, rebuilding our customers antiquated systems, and building brand new equipment to operate in todays modern gas fields.  Precision Pipe

NGL Plant

Precision Pipe uses new and used equipment to build great products

is a fully qualified ASME code shop (U,R,S, & NB stamps) that specializes in gas processing equipment, gasification, alternative energy, and product development engineering and fabrication.

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How do you feel when a project is due to ship in two-weeks time?  Now how about one-week?  Is there a sense of confidence or sheer panic?  When it’s crunch time who/what do you turn to make your deadline?  There are only two choices:  One, ramp up with resources to get the job done. OR, Two, go to your customer and explain why you won’t make your deadline.  (Side note:  When it comes to excuses, I always think of John Belushi in the movie, Blues Brothers, giving Carrie Fisher a long list of why he couldn’t make it to their wedding.)

We know that the two options have serious problems.  If we ramp up resources, our margins slip away fast.  When we go to our customer with a list of why we can’t, we look incompetent and incapable of completing a task we said we could do.  Neither of the two options sound very appealing to me, yet businesses engage in them countless times, usually, with no shame.

How then, do we carry our project through on time and on budget and mitigate the risks and unknown problems that may arise during the project lifespan?  Two words: Hard Work.

It takes hard work to plan out resourcing and stay on task.  It takes hard work to stay motivated to see a project to its completion, but the payoff – well, it’s usually worth the hard work.   Usually, there are simple steps that we can take to make sure we stay on task and that our hard work is not in vain.

Years ago, a mentor of mine encouraged me to write on a 3×5 note card the three most important things I had to do the next day.  (At the end of my day, everyday)  That way, when you come in the next day, you know exactly where to start and what is important to accomplish.  The great thing about this advice is that it keeps you on track in the midst of a chaotic day.

Another great tip from my mentor is to hold a 10 minute meeting at the beginning of each day with various leads and managers of the project that is in progress.  This gives you as project manager  the forum to ask of your leads:  “What are your priorities for the day?”  This in turn, leads to greater communication and accountability within the team.

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When it comes to kicking off a project we usually focus most of our attention and energies in moving the project from beginning to end.   For some of us, there is excitement in the start of a new project and a sigh of relief when the project ends (with a whole lot of hope and nail biting in between).  Not long into the life of a project there comes a sobering reality of the tedious tasks that are required to make a project successful.  Our follow through with these tasks are principal to the outcome and overall success of the project and ultimately how customers perceive us.  Follow through is best achieved within a team environment where every member of the team is using their strengths to maximize the effort given towards the project.   Within a team there is a greater level of accountability and creativity that leads to effective communication and clear direction.  Clear direction leads to efficient work flow and easy identification of bottle necks and other potential problems making your project economical and creating greater margin within your business.

Don’t forget to conduct follow up meetings regularly to track progress.  These brief meeting should be done at the beginning of the day, be brief, and cover what top tasks each team member has to accomplish that day.  Above all, have fun!  The more you enjoy your team and project, the greater strength you have to complete the tasks you have throughout your day.

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Undoubtedly, there are many formulas, methods, and styles used to help us take a project from start to finish with success.  We usually stick with what works best for us and utilizes our strengths.  Have you ever thought about what made a certain project really successful – or, a disaster?  Of course you have!  Have you found that you tend to spend more time and effort studying why a project flopped then why it was a success?  We obviously want to learn from our mistakes, but we shouldn’t chalk up our successful projects to flawless execution of the project plan and then dismissively move on without further examination.  More often than not, we find there were other factors involved to make a particular project a success and we must learn how to repeat success on a consistent basis.

Today, I want to focus on one reason some projects do better than others…Inspiration.  Inspiration is the catalyst to your project plan’s success.  In our world today, the “Why” is sometimes just as important as the “How”   In other words, it’s important to communicate to the project team why this particular project is important to the client, how it will benefit the client, and why caring about the client is particularly important  to your organization.  When we communicate effectively to our project team, we inspire them to look outside the walls that surround our business and connect to a project with greater ownership and sense of urgency.

Another form of inspiration comes from the Project Lead’s ability to become a servant-leader.  Asking team members, “What can I do to help?”  or taking action by jumping in can boost productivity ten-fold.  As I type this post, our QA/QC Manager is working alongside project team members to ensure that we send a project out ahead of schedule.  He is taking himself out of his everyday routine to help his team members achieve success and build the confidence they need for future projects.

What can you do to add inspiration to your project, today?  Inspire those within your team through vision, servant-leadership, and by showing them that they are valuable to the team.

http://www.precision-pipe.com

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