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Risks to plant safety, productivity could rise along with increase in oil production

Thursday, Feb 21, 2013

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of safety incidents at processing plants has increased as the nation's refineries have aged.1 During the first two weeks of 2013, a total of 27 process safety incidents, including fires, leaks and fugitive emissions were reported at U.S. refineries.2   This incident rate could climb even higher as the U.S. is expected to be the world's top oil producer by 2017 and plants are pushed even harder.  To further compound these risks, the industry is experiencing a "brain drain." More than half of the most seasoned oil and gas professionals are set to retire in the next few years.3

In response to these industry trends, WIKA has developed the Full Audit Service Team (FAST), a value-added program to help ensure plant safety, productivity and profitability. FAST Services are provided by a dedicated group of engineers with the expertise to investigate, diagnose and correct issues with pressure and temperature instrumentation at refineries, chemical and petrochemical plants.  FAST Engineers step in and review processes, gauges and inventory so plants know the exact instrumentation they need to help eliminate threats to process safety.

"Every component and every piece of equipment can help plants be more productive and safe," said Michael Gerster, president of WIKA Instrument, LP, one of the world's largest manufacturers of pressure and temperature instrumentation. "Failures of even the smallest component, especially the wrong instruments, can expose plants to unsafe conditions, fines, clean-up costs, and the financial burden of dealing with shutdowns and severe injuries."

In a typical plant, 25 percent of pressure gauges are damaged, broken or misapplied.4 That means that within 20 feet of workers there are approximately eight gauges that pose safety risks.4 A malfunctioning gauge may lead to leaks, fugitive emissions or even fires. But even more likely, a malfunctioning or improper instrument can prevent a plant from identifying larger system and process issues before they develop into safety incidents.

About WIKA Instrument, LP

For almost 70 years, WIKA Instrument, LP has continuously advanced pressure gauge, pressure transmitter and temperature measurement instrumentation. We have used our experience to develop a broad selection of stock and custom instrumentation solutions and professional services to support plant safety, productivity and profitability. A global leader in lean manufacturing, WIKA annually produces more than 43 million pressure gauges, diaphragm seals, pressure transmitters and thermometers worldwide for a variety of industries.

SOURCE WIKA Instrument, LP

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