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Although the tube side and shell side hydrostatic tests are the last major witness point, several other processes occur before the heater is shipped. After the hydro, the tube side and the shell side is evacuated and dried out, then pressurized with nitrogen. If not already done, the heater must be painted if specified. Finally, the heater must be properly fastened and secured to the shipping skid mount.
As discussed, there are several parts of the heater fabrication process that warrant independent inspection by the Purchaser beyond the Vendor’s own QA department. The amount of time and effort expended in conducting these inspections are well worth it, however they are often forgotten or overlooked as part of the overall procurement process. Identifying and correcting a problem during fabrication that will prevent a problem in operation easily justifies the expense. As the saying goes, “You get what you inspect, not what you expect.”
Michael C. Catapano has more than 35 years experience in the operation,
Eric Svensson graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1993 with a bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering. He joined the Naval Nuclear Propulsion program shortly after graduation, where he received training in Nuclear Power Theory and Operations. In 2000, he received a master’s degree in Operations Management from University of Arkansas. His current role as vice president of Engineering at Powerfect is devoted to consulting, troubleshooting problems, as well as operations and maintenance activities. Since joining Powerfect, he has been involved in writing the specification and conducting quality control checks for more than 20 replacement feedwater heaters. He also is a member of the ASME Heat Exchanger Committee and has co-authored several technical papers.
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