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A Broken Gauge Could Blow Up a Plant
10/17/2013

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This gauge failed due to impact damage.   (Source: Wika)
This gauge failed due to impact damage.
(Source: Wika)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: No surprise.
Ann R. Thryft   10/22/2013 5:09:48 PM
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Thanks for that info Rob. That's even worse than I remembered it.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No surprise.
Rob Spiegel   10/22/2013 4:00:59 PM
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That's right about BP, Ann. One of the gauges was working and indicating that pressure was building. Instead, BP personnel chose to trust a broken gauge that indicated everything was fine. At least, that's what the book on the accident claimed.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: No surprise.
Ann R. Thryft   10/22/2013 11:05:35 AM
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Rob, as many have pointed out here, correctly working gauges and meters are only as good as the people reading them--or not reading them. The BP disaster was due at least in part to faulty oversight, i.e., lack of/incorrect monitoring.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No surprise.
Rob Spiegel   10/21/2013 4:05:49 PM
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That's pretty scary, Ann. Maybe Wika is right. Maybe most of the recent plant accidents have been due to a faulty meter -- just like the BP spill.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: No surprise.
Ann R. Thryft   10/21/2013 1:06:16 PM
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I agree, Rob--even with the source of the information considered, that 25% still seems like a likely number.

Pubudu
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Re: It could blow up a plant
Pubudu   10/19/2013 2:04:13 PM
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Ron I do agree with you on this, proper maintenance will do all these necessary updates and cleanings.

It's better to those repairs with minimum cost than doing those in too late. 

Pubudu
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Re: A Real Surprise
Pubudu   10/19/2013 1:48:25 PM
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One of the main outcomes of the audits is to have a quality production. If it does not meet those what is the point of having that audit with wasting of money and resources. 

It's better to be a pro-active rather than being a reactive.

Charles Murray
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Re: It could blow up a plant
Charles Murray   10/18/2013 6:08:54 PM
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I agree, Rob. Your point yesterday says it all: "If the gauge doesn't matter, why have it there?"

Rob Spiegel
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Re: WIKA
Rob Spiegel   10/18/2013 12:25:54 PM
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Bob from Maine, I suppose one approach to this is to replace the gauge during scheduled downtime. That would mean some gauges would be inoperative during the wait for downtime, but that may be the most efficiently way to deal with this problem.

bob from maine
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Re: WIKA
bob from maine   10/18/2013 12:19:20 PM
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Rob; One issue about gauges is they are usually direct plumbed into whatever they are monitoring. Thus a broken gauge replacement requires shutting down that entire line and exposing the contents to contamination from outside or vice versa. Putting gauges on shut-offs that permit removal without leaks and making all gauges moveable such that the 'normal' is always in the same orientation. For most processes, gauges are 'trendicators' more than an accurate readout. The percentage of defective gauges is not surprising but what may be surprising is the number of gauges that no longer serve any purpose. 

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