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Dustin Smith, P.E.

Dustin Smith, P.E.
Mr. Smith has over a decade of experience, with a specialization in relief systems design and documentation, PSM compliance audit reviews, heat and material balance generation, PHA concern resolution, and flare system integration and optimization. Dustin is a chemical engineering graduate of Texas A&M University, a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas and LOPA certified.
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Recent Posts

Case Study: Flare Management Plan

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Dec 6, 2018 4:38:59 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States refinery, with a significantly high Nelson Complexity Index rating, had nine flare stacks and multiple engineering contractors working within the facility which made managing their flare design and documentation a challenge.

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Topics: Case Study, Flare Study, Refinery, Flare Header, Flare System, Flare Management, Flare System Documentation, Evergreening

Case Study: Flare Modifications Due to Rate Increase

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Dec 6, 2018 4:28:04 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States refinery was in the process of installing a site-wide rate increase and hired a competing engineering firm to perform the feasibility study. The engineering firm sized their crude fractionator and recommended new relief devices that would require modifications to their existing flare header. The refinery’s corporate office called Smith & Burgess and asked us to perform a third-party review on the engineering firm’s recommendations. 

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Topics: Case Study, Flare Study, Refinery, Engineering Review, Flare System, Third Party Review, Flare Header

Top 5 "RAGAGEP Deviations" in New Construction

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Aug 28, 2018 10:51:00 AM
 

Anyone tasked to start up a unit knows the engineers who designed it rarely miss a thing...

Every bleeder valve is in the right place, spectacle blind turned correctly, and bypass line scrutinized. So why would the flare and relief systems design be any different? The truth is that they are not. Engineering Firms today have perfected the art of throwing waves of engineers on design-build projects. Unfortunately for those engineers, relief and flare system designs are governed by a maze of regulations, codes, standards, and guidelines (collectively known as Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practice or RAGAGEP). Experienced Project Managers understand that relief and flare specialists are needed to ensure their projects are safely and properly designed before any construction occurs.

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Topics: Did You Know?, Process Safety Optimization, Maintenance Operation Studies, Relief System Documentation, Detailed Engineering, Process Safety Management

Case Study: Relief Systems Evaluation and Mitigation

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on May 1, 2018 6:04:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A major United States Refinery hired Smith & Burgess to perform a site-wide revalidation.

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Topics: Case Study, Pressure Relief Valves, PRV Study, Engineering Review, Relief Systems, PRV, Relief System Design, Refinery, Relief Systems Revalidation, Undersized PSVs

Top 5 "Best Implemented" PSM Processes - A PSM Check-up

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Mar 27, 2018 11:09:00 AM

Top 5 "Best Implemented" PSM Processes
- A PSM Check-up

Recently, as a follow-up of our webinar series, you might have taken part in the Smith & Burgess' "PSM Check-up" industry survey. This article is a reality check on what areas the survey participants thought they were doing well in compared to OSHA PSM standards as defined in OSHA 1910.119. In addition to looking into historical findings that were defined by our numerous PSM audits, we have also included some statistics from OSHA NEP Citations/Violations along with reviewing the 804 Chemical Safety Board Recommendations. This helps us to ensure that our project PSM audit's results are consistent with regulatory findings.

We see quite often that outside reviews help a facility find the regulatory gaps in their PSM processes that may otherwise go unnoticed by the client's onsite staff. It is our hope that the following items will help you see that a properly executed PSM audit can shine a light in the areas that really could use a little TLC. This independent third-party audit is a proven way to find gaps in processes.

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Topics: Did You Know?

Case Study: Elimination of a Remote Flare System

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Mar 4, 2018 6:09:00 PM

The Opportunity:

An offshore floating production facility was originally designed with two flares: one on a boom riser and the other remotely located. Due to the design, the remotely located flare required large amounts of gas to operate. The site was interested in reducing operational costs and emissions by consolidating the two flares into the flare on the boom riser, eliminating the remotely located flare. However, there were concerns with the feasibility of such a flare consolidation, the effects of thermal radiation, and the possibility that system changes would increase the backpressures on the relief devices. Smith & Burgess was hired to review this system.

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Topics: Case Study, Flare Study, Refinery, Flare Header, Flare System, Flare Management, Engineering Review, Flare Optimization, Flare Analysis, Flare Mitigation

Case Study: LOPA Action Item Review

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Feb 1, 2018 5:58:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A recent Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) of a cavern storage facility identified several equipment installations requiring safety system upgrades. While the facility management wanted to follow proper review procedures, these proposed mitigation options seemed excessive. As a result, the site hired Smith & Burgess to review the safety systems upgrades to ensure the installations were needed and met regulatory requirements.

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Topics: Case Study, Refinery, Mitigation, Action Item Resolution, PSM Review, PSM Audit, PSM, LOPA, Layers of Protection Analysis, OSHA

Case Study: Wellhead Gathering System Overpressure QRA

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Jan 1, 2018 5:58:00 PM

The Opportunity:

A review of the “overpressure protection plan” for a wellhead gathering pipeline found that the potential for “multiple simultaneous well shutdown system failures” had been overlooked. The flowing pressure on the inlet to the well choke valve exceeded the allowable pressure in the gathering system. If multiple well safety systems failed, there would be an unacceptable potential for large-scale loss of containment. A Quantitative Risk Assessment of the entire system was needed to determine if the existing overpressure protection system, as a whole, met corporate and regulatory requirements. Initially, the protection plan suggested additional shutdown hardware and increased testing frequency. Smith & Burgess was hired to review this system.

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Topics: Case Study, Detailed Engineering, Quantitative Risk Assessment, QRA, Overpressure Protection, Regulatory Compliance

Spring Loaded Relief Valve Details: Valve Internals

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Dec 22, 2017 11:33:00 AM

 

Spring Loaded Relief Valve Details: Valve Internals 

A spring loaded relief valve is used in many applications to protect the over pressurization of vessels, pipes and containers. Conventional and balanced bellows relief valves are examples of spring loaded relief valves. Codes and standards like ASME, API,and ISO (to name a few) require that these relief valves are sized to have a relieving capacity that is sufficient to maintain the integrity of the system by preventing the internal pressure for exceeding the design limits. In general, the relief valve is designed and selected by the relief systems designer to meet process-engineering requirements.

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Topics: Did You Know?

Case Study: SIL Design

Posted by Dustin Smith, P.E. on Dec 2, 2017 6:05:00 PM

The Opportunity:

As part of a relief valve study, a competing engineering firm recommended a major United States refinery to replace multiple relief valves and modify the associated piping on a column system in order to mitigate for a higher flare load. The proposed changes would have cost the refinery approximately $300,000. Unsure of the recommendations and associated expenses, the refinery reached out to Smith & Burgess to review the EPC’s findings.

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Topics: Case Study, Refinery, Pressure Relief Valves, PRV Study, Overly Conservative Assumptions, Third Party Review, SIL Design, SIS Design

 Safety Knowledge Should be Share...

“It should not be necessary for each generation to rediscover the principles of process safety which the generation before discovered. We must learn from the experience of others rather than learn the hard way. We must pass on to the next generation a record of what we have learned.” - Jesse C. Ducommun, Safety Pioneer
 
As Process Safety engineers and consultants, we believe our unique position creates a responsibility for Smith & Burgess to share our years of accumulated safety knowledge.


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