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Q&A with Industry Leader S. Kay Bourque

Uptime® magazine had the opportunity to speak with Kay Bourque, Director of Maintenance Strategy and Services – Phosphates at Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC. Kay began her career in the phosphate industry in 1980 as a maintenance engineer in Louisiana at Mosaic’s Uncle Sam Plant. During the last 37 years, she held various positions in phosphates production, maintenance and procurement. In her present role, Kay is responsible for the strategic direction of Phosphates Business Unit’s asset integrity. She leads the maintenance services team as it partners with facility management in their improvement efforts to deliver safe, cost-effective and reliable equipment performance to drive operational excellence.


Improving Safety: 10 Tips, Tricks, Rules and Suggestions

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers sustained a collective 2.9 million workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015, and nearly 5,000 workers were killed on the job—an average of 13 employees every day.

As employers try to curtail those shocking numbers and improve safety throughout their facility, it’s important to examine the relationship between a safer workplace and ensuring uptime, reliability and quality asset performance.

These 10 health and safety tips for safety managers easily translate to the reliability and uptime maintenance sectors, and show you how they can help your company. Asset managers, in particular, can use these tips to acquire, operate and maintain assets in a safe, efficient manner.


Make Your ERP Implementation a Success

You probably have your own list of top items to address when implementing a major enterprise resource planning (ERP) project. But, depending on a person’s role in an organization, the perspective of what is necessary for a successful ERP implementation is likely to change. For example, an implementer may have a very different view than a maintenance planner responsible for planning upcoming work on key success factors for a project.


Part I of II: Ultrasound for Safety… If Not for Anything Else!

All through the late 1980s and 1990s, ultrasound was literally the all-purpose tool. Vibration and infrared (IR) were too expensive for most organizations to afford. Yet, you could purchase an infrared thermometer gun for $100 and an ultrasound instrument kit for between $750 and $7,000 and perform a multitude of applications on motor bearings, gear boxes, pumps for cavitation, leak detection (pressure/vacuum), steam traps and acoustic lubrication (introduced in early 1990s). You could hook up an ultrasound instrument to a vibration analyzer and utilize the contact or magnetic sensor on bearings to easily detect an outer race defect, sometimes missed by earlier vibration boxes unable to go above 20,000 Hz. Into the mid-1990s, ultrasound inspectors added electrical switchgear and substation inspection for arcing, tracking and corona discharge. A new era of ultrasound inspection had begun, dealing with SAFETY.


Mechanical Seal Flush API Plan 53B: What Can Plant Operators Do to Help?

Mechanical seals are a great cause of concern and failures in many operating plants. This is especially true of systems that are pumping or compressing dirty fluids. Some examples include bottoms pumps, sulfur pumps, or equipment that is handling abrasive or challenging process media. Mechanical seals are often redesigned, replaced and repaired simply because of the challenging conditions these seals face during operation. This has continually led to excessive costs in terms of repair or redesign, not to mention production loss and cost associated on a critical unspared asset.


Vibration Case Study: “Crack"ing the Root Cause

At Inter Pipeline Ltd. (IPL), a petroleum transportation, storage and natural gas liquids processing company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a cracked weld on the suction side of a three-inch, schedule 80 balance line of a four-stage MSD mainline pump was discovered during routine monthly vibration routes. As a result, all seven identical pumps were inspected in situ using magnetic particle examination.


Engineers Need a Nap

The overwhelming majority of industrial accidents result from human error. Engineers who sleep less than eight hours per night are less productive and almost 10 percent more likely to cause an accident, and many don’t get enough sleep. The solution: take a short nap.


The Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas on Electrical Components

Having a reliable predictive maintenance program at your facility is crucial to the health of your machinery. One cannot stress enough the cost saving benefits of detecting an issue early and being able to repair it versus the cost of fixing it after a catastrophic failure has taken place. For electrical components, infrared thermography is a great technology to incorporate into any predictive maintenance program.


ROI Calculations for Online Condition Monitoring Systems

Continuous condition monitoring (CM) is advised for those assets that run continuously, perform functions that are crucial to the production process, have grave failure consequences, are expensive to maintain, or pose a risk to personnel safety and the environment.

Before launching a CM program, though, plant operators have to identify the goals, such as increasing machine uptime, preventing failures of critical machines, protecting workers from the consequences of machine damages, or enhancing product quality.