Regular Surveillance Protects your Plant and your Personnel
Carefully specified, designed and built to perform a critical role in the successful working of plants, the supports accommodate and control the considerable movement of pipes which can be experienced under different operating conditions. If the supports don’t do their job, then the movement may become unrestrained, or locked, and considerable damage can occur to people, pipework, capital equipment and the efficient working of the plant.
The demands of Health & Safety legislation and the issue of personal liability for injuries caused through preventable means both place preventative maintenance at the top of the list for evidence of good management systems and practice. Visits to sites have found examples of supports in such terrible disrepair that they cannot possibly perform the task for which they were designed. Examples are shown in the attached leaflet. While these are at the extreme end of the spectrum, many less obvious, but still important, issues can be spotted by the trained eye, ensuring repair and resolution before the problems become critical.
Regular visual inspection is vital, with the assessment of the supports being the key indicator of the satisfactory performance of the pipework itself. Many of the problems can be seen, even from a distance, and inspection when the plant is at hot and cold is recommended.
• Constant and variable supports with incorrect settings
• Corroded, worn and movement restricted supports
• Damaged, bent or incorrectly angled rods
• Bent and damaged pipe clamps
• Locked mechanical snubbers
• Leaking hydraulic snubbers
• Overloaded or damaged connections
• Incorrectly designed, specified or installed supports
• Build up of debris restricting operation
- in fact anything that just ‘doesn’t look right’ should be investigated.
Corrosion is the real destroyer of pipe supports. With many units operating in very harsh conditions, it is particularly important to regularly review their condition across the site to identify and isolate problem supports, or pipework corrosion and damage, before it becomes critical.
Often damage occurs during installation due to lack of care in handling. Pipe supports are carefully calibrated mechanisms and should be treated as such if they are to give long service. Damage to their structure or finish during installation can quickly affect their ability to perform.
Bergen Pipe Supports offers a full visual inspection service by trained pipe supports’ specialists, both for plants where its equipment is installed and also where other manufacturers’ supports have been used. The inspections can be annual or at intervals to suit the operating cycle of the plant. Support performance can be matched against original design criteria or over time against previous inspection information.
The report not only contains a snapshot of the condition of a plant’s supports, but also an action plan highlighting priorities, recommendations and costs.
If initial surveys throw up potential problems with supports or piping systems then more detailed studies can be undertaken to enable the piping systems to be restored to a safe and efficient operating condition.
So don’t wait for expensive damage and problems to occur – let us inspect your pipe supports now!