Pump failures at oil production facilities globally—be it the Persian Gulf or the Mexican Gulf—are an occupational hazard, resulting in halted production and the loss of several thousand dollars of revenue and productivity for the business. It is mission-critical to get the production line up and running quickly.
While this scenario occurs frequently, many companies fail to anticipate it. Consequently, maintenance crews are usually scrambling to find spare parts, which if on hand, are likely to have been in storage for a few years, and are now covered in rust. If the crew is lucky, the spare part works. If not, more time and money are lost in trying to fix the old part or find a new one. With engineers focused on operations, this scenario is not as rare as it should be. Support services such as the preservation of spares are often overlooked and considered of low priority. Too often, critical spares are stored with no protection at all. Responsibilities are divided between departments, and discussions on whose budget they fall under are protracted. Unfortunately, nature does not pause for such discussions, and equipment continues to slowly but surely degrade. This disastrous scenario can be avoided with a little forethought and planning, minimizing downtime and ensuring operations are kept running at peak performance.
Preservation specialists at Cortec® work with asset owners in developing best in class, zero-defect, low-cost preservation solutions. Since many oils, gas, and power gen operations have warehouses full of spares that may have already rusted, critical spare preservation often starts with restoration. Non-toxic rust removers such as VpCI®-422 can effectively clean the rust off parts to restore them to usable condition on the same day. Biobased cleaners such as EcoLine® Cleaner Degreaser remove greases, oils, and other contaminants to prepare the parts for preservation.
Once the critical spares are rust free, an extensive range of Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitor (VpCI®) rust preventives, foams, emitters, additives, and films allow the cost-efficient preservation of equipment— whether on indoor racks or in open outdoor yards. Ease of removal renders this equipment operationally ready in a matter of minutes rather than days. Some Cortec® VpCI® water-based treatments have even been Non-toxic rust removers such as VpCI®-422 can effectively clean the rust off parts to restore them to usable condition on the same day. known to outperform oil-based protection. Spares may also benefit from temporary VpCI® coatings that can easily be removed by alkaline spray or maybe unnoticeable enough to leave on for installation. Spares that are effectively preserved with Cortec® VpCIs will be ready for rapid installation the next time a critical operating part fails. Instead of continuing to lose millions of dollars while plant operation is suspended and personnel scramble to deal with a rusty replacement part, workers can simply unwrap the VpCI®-preserved critical spare and install it as quickly as a completely new part. This not only saves expensive downtime losses but also lowers labor and preservation costs through more efficient protective materials. In order to avoid massive operational losses and headaches like these, it is definitely worth sparing a thought for critical spares.