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plant outlined, there are a number of general risks and failures modes that can apply. If process tank integrity fails then the risk of

aggressive chemistry flooding would present a major health & safety and environmental risk. For example, chloride stress corrosion cracking (CLSCC) is one of the most common reasons why austenitic stainless steel pipework and vessels deteriorate in the chemical processing and petrochemical industries. Tank failure can result from a combination of causes such as residual stress from fabrication and welding, a rough surface finish leading to a long period of slow localised corrosion and short periods of rapid crack growth when the temperature hits a certain level during cleaning cycles. Failure can also originate from equipment

overheating through failure of the heating and cooling elements. This also presents a fire risk, which is incredibly dangerous in facilities where chemistry is involved, often resulting in critical damage to the plant and the building in which it is housed. The chemicals themselves present their own risk.

Any process that involves chemical handling can lead to leakage and spillage from failed pipework, valves or pumps, which can damage parts of the plant and/or adjacent equipment that is not already protected from chemical ingress. Additionally, chemical spills from

poorly maintained plant and equipment can pose a significant health & safety risks to operators in the area. Wear and tear is one of the most common failure

modes in any type of machinery, especially when there are moving parts involved. For example, we tend to see excessive wear and breakage in components such as lifting belts and wheels in transporter lines due to a lack of servicing and maintenance whilst in air extraction systems, a lack of cleanliness can often cause premature wear and failure of the drive belts and bearings in extractor fans. Faulty or poorly maintained fume extraction equipment can also lead to a serious threat of legionella, again implicating the health & safety of employees. These risks can often turn to reality through the

failure of gauges, monitoring sensors, heating and cooling devices in process plant. Regular, planned maintenance and servicing can eliminate costly unplanned downtime resulting from the failure of these plant critical components.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE External factors are putting many companies under pressure to maximise production capacity and improve product quality while trying to cut their overhead 23

Automated surface treatment process lines

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