Case Study

Mechanical Integrity – 30 Years and Counting

Reichhold – A Case Study in Comprehensive Solutions

Reichhold is one of the world’s largest suppliers of unsaturated polyester resins for composites and a leading supplier of coating resins for a wide variety of markets and applications. With plants located throughout North America, Reichhold required a partner that could deliver everything from mechanical integrity services and reactive relief system analysis to training and process procedure writing in support of their organizational goals. For this purpose, Reichhold decided to partner with GP Strategies in 1997.

The GP Strategies Solution

After consultation with Reichhold, GP Strategies undertook the following:

  • Conducted runaway reaction evaluation of their Seneca high-pressure co-polymerization reactor and specified a new cyclone-style knock-out (KO) vessel to separate liquids following high-pressure relief actuation. This 8,000 gallon KO tank is in service and has successfully protected two reactor trains (part of a 100% expansion of the plant)
  • Conducted Design Institute for Emergency Relief Systems (DIERS) runaway reaction and isothermal calorimetry testing, utilizing this data in the evaluation for new service of two reactor relief systems in Houston. GP Strategies also sized relief devices to protect these reactors, and carried out the specification and detailed mechanical design of the relief headers, complex pipe supports, and shared cyclone style KO vessel (30,000 gallons). In addition, we oversaw the system installation
  • Directed additional DIERS and isothermal calorimetry testing programs for acrylate polymerization safety improvement, including two-phase relief sizing and KO vessel functionality and integrity evaluations
  • Assisted Reichhold in developing customized tools for relief adequacy screening for atmospheric storage tanks
  • Assisted Reichhold in developing and presenting a comprehensive relief technology class for their North American production facilities
  • Wrote template mechanical integrity procedures for Reichhold Corporate that have been adopted by all the major Reichhold facilities. GP Strategies also provided training to key plant personnel on the implementation of the procedures. This work included evaluation of best practices at nine sites
  • Implemented customized mechanical integrity programs at three Reichhold facilities
  • Conducted Fitness-for-Service engineering evaluations of storage tanks, reactors, and other vessels at five Reichhold facilities. These evaluations used API 653, API 620, or ASME B&PV Code criteria, as appropriate, and included finite element analysis of nonstandard tank configurations
  • Provided training and certification of maintenance personnel in visual and ultrasonic thickness inspection at plants in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania; Houston, Texas; Newark, New Jersey; and Jacksonville, Florida
  • Produced a corporate welding manual to assist plants in standardizing the welding methods used in critical processes. This included commonly used welding procedure specifications and welder qualification guidelines in accordance with ASME B&PV Code, Section IX.

The Outcome

Over the course of a long and valued partnership, GP Strategies has helped Reichhold maintain a high level of mechanical integrity and reactive relief system, plus achieve the required organizational goals as set out by Reichhold.

Results at a glance
Over the course of a long and valued partnership, GP Strategies has helped Reichhold maintain a high level of mechanical integrity and reactive relief system, plus achieve the required organizational goals as set out by Reichhold.

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