Case Study - Crisis Support 1

Plant Machine



A UK based manufacturing facility had a catastrophic machine failure resulting in a significant fire. The facility had been built in the 1970s and much of the equipment destroyed by the fire was obsolete and could not be relaced on a like for like basis. Original documentation and records were available, however numerous projects and upgrades had not always updated these master records.

Insurers gave permission for work to start quickly, as the policy cover included lost production. The need to achieve beneficial operation as soon as possible drove deconstruction, design and reconstruction to be undertaken in parallel to achieve minimum programme.

JBA Remit

JBA supplied all the design, supervision and technician labour to complete the project.
The root cause of the fire was quickly established. Prevention of a repeat failure required review of the trip and alarm systems to ensure they provided adequate risk reduction for major accidents of this nature and were designed to meet the current IEC61511 demands.

Methodology and Work Carried out

Deconstruction commenced almost immediately with JBA mobilising a team of 25 design and technical personnel to work on the client’s site. The JBA design and deconstruction teams worked closely together to ensure that “As Built” information was verified quickly to allow new, long lead, items to be specified and ordered without delay.

Once the overall programe was established the client seized the opportunity to bring forward the 4 yearly maintenance turnaround. Additional plant upgrades required were handled by the JBA site and office based design teams. Design deliverables were scheduled to allow reconstruction and plant upgrades to run in parallel during detailed design.

Client Insurers constantly demanded every opportunity to achieve beneficial operation in a minimum time frame. JBA resoures worked 24 hour shifts throughout Christmas day and New Years day to enure progress was maintained. Working safely was of paramount importance to all involved and audits by the UK Competent Authority armed with CDM regulations were a regular occurance. The work was completed without any harm to people or the environment.

As design was concluding JBA Engineers took on the roles of commissioning planners, quality controllers and commissioning managers at the client’s request.

The plant has been safe and reliable since it was returned to beneficial operation in April 2012.

Case Study - Power Distribution Analysis 1


A successful fuel storage distribution terminal with an ambitious growth strategy had planning permission granted for a significant expansion, including the provision of new storage tanks, fuel loading racks and associated services. Engineering design had been completed and new equipment specified however little regard had been given to the existing terminal power distribution network.

Project hazard study 3 had highlighted the need to understand the impact of power failure on the new equipment, thus client engineers had an outstanding requirement to study power system performance and reliability. Typically reviews at FEED study stage would have highlighted the need for integration and modification with the existing site network.

JBA Remit

JBA were engaged to analyse the site distribution system and provide a report on the suitability for expansion, performance under fault conditions and impact on terminal operation. Site documentation was extremely accurate so limited survey work was required to validate existing site loading.

Methodology and Work Carried out

JBA used SKM Power Tools and in-house developed spread sheets to model site loading, system fault levels and protection co-ordination. Site surveys provided valuable information regarding equipment type, condition, maintenance history and performance and ensured that the Network operator’s upstream equipment and that belonging to the Terminal operator were assessed. Network operator billing records were examined to validate the site loading. Operational data was used to support load diversity assumptions made in loading calculations.

Criticality of terminal equipment analysis was conducted by the client and referenced in the report.
The JBA report detailed changes required to the network operators protection settings and supported the client argument to replace the main incoming breakers to allow maintenance intervals to be maximised.

The report validated the need for the site to be reconfigured as a ring main and operated as such to minimise the impact of distribution failure and ensure subsequent timely recovery. Major accident scenarios were also considered and proposals for future more detailed criticality, hazard identification and cause and effect studies provided. JBA also provided recommendations for equipment upgrades, maintenance and operational improvements based on our own experience, aimed at further improving availability and reliability of the terminal distribution network.

Case Study - Legacy Plant Compliance 1

The Recomissioned Blast Furnace
The Blast Furnace


A Thai owned steel maker had recently procured a UK based blast furnace and steel making facility that had been mothballed for a number of years. As part of the start up conditions stipulated by the UK Competent Authority (Health and safety Executive) the plant had to be compliant with UK legislation, some of which had changed since the plant had been mothballed. To further complicate matters a large amount of electrical switchgear and programmable logic controllers (PLC) had to be replaced for safety and reliability reasons.

Restart after two years

JBA Remit

JBA were selected to provide a review of the new installations compliance with IEC61511 Safety Instrumented Systems and BSEN60079 Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (ATEX).

Methodology and Work Carried out

JBA consultants initially conducted a compliance audit and gap analysis of existing operating and maintenance procedures to identify where the facility fell short of achieving compliance.
Remedial work included revising some of these procedures, conducting reviews of process hazard reviews, achieved SIL calculations and control system design.

Unfortunately the design of the new PLC’s did not meet the SIL reliabilty criteria. This was discussed with the client and the design contractor and changes were quickly made to ensure a compliant system was delivered. JBA then acted as an independant party to conduct functional safety assessment and provide documentation to validate compliance with IEC 61511.

Area classification had not been reviewed for a number of years and inspection records for equipment were limited. JBA were able to compile a risk assessment and undertake equipment inspections to document a compliant installation and prevent start up delay.

Many of the existing electrical wiring and loop drawings had not been revised and did not reflect the plant installation and it became very clear during the early construction phase of the project that the new switchgear and PLC’s would require changes to field wiring to allow installation and commissioning to be completed. JBA mobilised a team of 14 design and technical staff to asssit the client, completing site surveys and producing design drawings whilst allowing construction to continue, minimising the impact on the start up programme.

The plant restarted successfully in 2012.