Type of service: Acquisition Request (Research paper)
Problem Statement: Pumps P-101 A/B are Viking Carbon Graphite Rotary Vane pumps. According to maintenance records these pumps are having their vanes broken, and losing their seals on average twice a month. Downtime to fix the pumps is anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. This is a large loss of production time and management wants to solve the problem. T-100 contains a strong oxidizer, specifically in this case hydrogen peroxide. The existing piping is 1” 316L stainless steel. The pump must be able to vary its flow rate from 0.5 GPM up to 35 GPM. A figure of your existing site is shown below.
Your plant manager wants you to make your system match that at the headquarters-manufacturing site. The difference between your site and the headquarters site is shown in the following figure.
The difference between the two systems is the piping, the pump, and the oxidizer feed tank, T-100. At headquarters they use an AODD pump instead of a rotary vane pump. The piping for the oxidizer goes into the top of R-100 instead of near the bottom of the reactor as at your site, and their P-101 A/B pumps are on the second floor.
It has been determined that one of the major issues contributing to the destruction of the carbon graphite vanes, and the loss of seals in your Viking pumps, is that when operators make up the oxidizer batch, they will often drop the cap from the gallon jugs of hydrogen peroxide being added to T-100 into the tank
You will write an acquisition request to purchase the required equipment to solve the current issue. An acquisition request (AR) consists of three basic parts.
- A description, in detail, of the existing issue/problem, including existing equipment, where the issue is occurring, the expenses involved in maintaining the current system (including down time costs, maintenance), etc.
- A detailed description of your proposed solution, including all equipment, piping, valves, the number and type of contractors required, time to install, a method to handle the down time, etc.
- List of the vendor quotes for the parts and labor. You do not have to get actual vendor quotes for this third part, but you must look up values online to get relative costs, and include these values in this part of the AR.
Though your manager is adamant about making the existing system match the design currently in place at the manufacturing headquarters, can you determine a better design than just adopting the set up at the headquarters manufacturing site? As an engineer you need to come with a comparison of costs and plans to solve an existing issue, but keep in mind that management may not be an engineer and that they may not have the best possible idea for the problem in mind. It is your job to come up with the best engineering fix at the lowest cost.