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Some Problems We Find in A Processing & Production Plant

As a process engineer or production executive, we shall always hope and wish that the plant will be smooth. A processing or production plant will always have a problem whether we like it or not. What will the problem be? Are they thought in the university? Can you get them in the text books? I bet you would not get those valuable informations anywhere there?

So, how can you get them? You'll actually get them when you work and experience those problems yourself. Another way of getting those precious information is by asking and learning it from experience executives and engineers.

I've been working for almost three years in my current work place and I observed all these problems. I think it might be useful if I share all those plant problems with you guys. There are a lot of problems and I shall post it in this blog from time to time. The problems varies and comes from various angles and areas such as (without any particular arrangement):

1. Utilities problems :
power, natural gas, steam, water, chemicals, LFO, diesel, processing aid, air etc. Processing cost can increase the overall production cost.

2. Maintenance & Equipment problems :
Pump, piping, instrumentation, pressure transmitter, level transmitter, temperature indicator, NPSH, cavitation, control valve, steam trap, leakage, insulation.

3. Human resource problems :
Disciplinary, Late coming, absent, failure to obey instruction, negligence, psychology.

4. Report & Documentation problems :
Daily report, monthly report, quarterly report, yearly report, ISO & GMP related documents.

5. Communication problems :
Miscommunication, instruction, network, PC, server, bad relationship with up line, down line and colleagues.

6. Quality problems :
Laboratory, lab checking, quality control, testing error, solution/chemical contamination.

7. Supplier problems :
Raw material - product - goods out of spec, cheating.

8. Supporting equipment problems :
Deterioration of cooling tower performance, heat exchanger performance.

9. Planning problems :
Administration interruption, supply demand, market, margin.

10. Control system problems :
Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Human machine interface (HMI) and PC, IT, network, softwares.

11. Stock, raw material, storage tank problems :
Network, false information, over flow, insufficient storage tank, contamination.

12. Stress, Pressure & Health Problems :
Meeting deadline, lack of time, inadequate knowledge, 24 hours alert and standby, meetings, reports, various crisis, inability to manage pressure from top management.

OK. That would be some very general and surface introduction on what problems we can expect from running a plant. I'll try to update and add more on those details from time to time. I welcome anybody who want to share problems that they faced in their plant. We can discuss it here and share it with the rest of the readers.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 9:23 PM,


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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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