Save a ton of flatness inspection time by moving away from dial gauges and be aware of certain bolting specifications to improve your flange management program so you can avoid critical leaks involving high temperatures, toxic gases, or steam.
While there are codes such as ASME that can provide guidance on flange management, it’s important to have criteria for your own facility that describes what exactly is permissible in terms of imperfections for scratches and deviations.
You want your people trained on what to look for, or you want a contractor managing your bolting that understands how to inspect flanges for imperfections.
For example, if you have heat exchangers, then you’ll want to set specifications for flatness requirements for heat exchange. This is because exchangers are prone to having different temperature gradients at different parts in the phases of the heat exchanger.
Some parts of a bolted flange will be warmer or cooler than others which can cause a load loss in your bolting. Have a plan for those situations. Figure out your tolerance.
Don’t just say twenty thousand flatness – is it plus or minus ten, or plus or minus twenty? Having that spelled out is key.
Speed Up Inspection Time
The traditional method of inspection uses dial gauges, but they limit how much work you can do.
For example, normally you might want to take apart 50 heat exchangers on your turnaround…
Which could be up to 250 gasketed surfaces to be checked for flatness.
And this is really impractical. There isn’t enough time on the turnaround.
But there is a solution…
And that is laser flatness inspection.
With this, you can inspect all your surfaces(not just the critical ones), and do it all for less cost because of what you’re saving on indirect costs.
You don’t need to move bundles and components away from the work face. You can shoot them right there and only pay for components that need to be machined.
There was one client in particular we inspected 300 components for, and he saved $250,000 in logistical savings.
Tighten up your flange management program with proper training and advice…
And use laser flatness inspection to save costs and have all your surfaces scanned on the next turnaround.
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