Learning Center

Do You Know What’s Inside Your Towers?

Date: 03/28/17 | Author: AMACS Process Tower Internals | Category: Blog, Revamps, Tower Internals, Turnarounds |


Working in and operating a plant can be stressful! The number one goal in every plant is to make sure people go home safely at the end of their shift. Plants take extra care in designing each component, often times contracting the services of engineering companies to ensure that every part is mechanically sound and the construction and installation of each part meets specifications.

The following are a few “check points” that can be implemented to provide some assurance that the integrity of the equipment ordered for your columns meet the high standards necessary for safe operations:

Don’t Assume

When a company advertises a product as being part of their manufactured equipment line, the natural assumption is that they will manufacture that product in-house. That is not always the case. In an effort to cut costs or maybe because they no longer have the capability to manufacture a particular item, some companies will subcontract parts of an order. While outsourcing to a subcontractor isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the buyer and owner of the equipment, you need to be aware of where and by whom your order is being made.

 Perform In-Process Inspections

When placing a purchase order for manufactured parts, be sure to include that random inspections may be performed. Inspecting the order while in process will provide an opportunity for you to witness the quality and workmanship being performed and address any potential errors prior to fabrication being completed. This will also allow you to confirm that the parts of the order to be manufactured by that supplier are in fact being made there and not outsourced.

Check MTR’s and Heat Numbers

The survival of every company depends on their ability to maximize profits. Unfortunately, some will resort to providing inferior material or material outside of your Approved Country of Origin List, to reduce cost. Being able to provide proof of material traceability is critical. Demand that your suppliers provide MTR’s (Mill Test Reports) and that the Heat Numbers associated with every component can be traced back to the MTR provided. This must be done whether it’s for fabricated items from sheet material to the nuts, bolts and washers being used to assemble components as well as for consignment hardware being used for maintenance repairs for column internals during a turnaround.

Going home safely at the end of your shift is only half of the goal. Creating an environment for your coworkers on the next shift to safely go home at the end of their work day is the other half of the goal. Whether operating your plant at minimum rates or having to push to maximum rates, you want the comfort of knowing the equipment you purchased and installed meets the strict design standards you have set and that the method of construction and material used, meets or exceeds what has been specified. Make the time to ensure what you are being supplied is in fact what you have ordered.

AMACS extends an invitation to our customers to tour our facilities, inspect your orders while in fabrication and review our ISO Procedures. We work for you! With over 70 years of experience, AMACS is ready to partner with you. Contact us so we can share in more detail how AMACS can provide you with all your tower internal needs.