Environment & Safety Gas Processing/LNG Maintenance & Reliability Petrochemicals Process Control Process Optimization Project Management Refining

Bloch, Heinz P.

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Montgomery, Texas

Heinz P. Bloch resides in Montgomery, Texas. He retired as Exxon Chemical’s Regional Machinery Specialist for the U.S. and has authored or co-written more than 780 publications, among them 23 comprehensive books on practical machinery management, failure analysis, failure avoidance, compressors, steam turbines, pumps, oil mist lubrication and optimized lubrication for industry. Mr. Bloch holds BS and MS degrees (cum laude) in mechanical engineering from the Newark College of Engineering (NCE). He is one of 10 inaugural inductees into NCE’s Hall of Fame, which honors its most distinguished alumni.

Reliability: Consider successful pump redesigns: Start with a clean sheet of paper

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

You may recognize the “pre-owned” pump in FIG. 1 as an axially split, between-bearing, multistage model. Chances are that half of its impellers face right-to-left and half of them face left-to-right. In that case, there must be an internal seal or bushing that limits leakage flow from the pump’s higher- to lower-pressure sections. There must also be porting or piping that takes flow from the discharge of the lower-pressure section to the suction of the higher section.

Reliability: Things rarely heard at reliability conferences

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

We can only guess how many reliability conferences we have attended since accepting job offers in the refining or chemical processing industries. In my case, starting in 1965, it is somewhere between 60 and 80. If, in each of these conferences I listened to six presentations, the number of sessions attended is perhaps 400.

Reliability: When slow-rolling machines can cause failures, and how to avoid them

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

All the book learning in the world will fail if we do not use common sense. We could also say that we need to think things through and should recognize that intuitive logic can lead us astray. If that sounds like semantic banter, let us zero in on three practical field examples that illustrate the issues at hand.

Reliability: Improve condition monitoring with shock pulse technology

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

Shock pulse technology is generally well known to vibration analysts and reliability technicians. A handheld combination of sensor and display meter would typically be used to detect discontinuities in bearings and would respond to the impact of two masses. The resulting shockwaves will create a shock pulse of a certain magnitude that commonly manifests itself at a particular repeat frequency. The respective magnitude of relevant excursions and their trends can be observed by the person entrusted with the monitoring task.

Reliability: Viewing issues out of context may be a waste of time

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

An alternative to the above title would be “Test your rotating equipment engineers’ IQ.”

Reliability: Comparing and updating aeration blower technologies

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

As the main consumers of electricity in a wastewater treatment plant, aeration blowers can significantly affect the overall cost of plant operation.

Reliability: Find the cause of black oil in pump bearing housings

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

While on consulting assignments, observant reliability engineers often uncover (or rediscover) failure initiators that their long-departed colleagues experienced years ago.

Pumps handicapped by not using best available technology

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

Pump lubrication deficiencies are often denied, and the outstanding reliability performance of oil mist is vastly underreported.

Reliability: Where to place a constant level lubricator

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

No substitute exists for following the laws of physics, hydraulics and plain common sense when dealing with machinery.

Reliability: Know the pitfalls of excessively high oil viscosity

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

Since its inception in June 1990, more than half of the 347 “HP Reliability” columns published in Hydrocarbon Processing have incorporated consulting experiences and communications that span the globe.