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Enterprise Culture – Stories of Persons

Editor’s Notes: in recent years, there emerged a number of outstanding technical talents. They have been constantly learning, working hard, inheriting and innovating to contribute to the scientific sustainable development of the Company. To further promote the artisan spirit and petrochemical fine tradition and create a good atmosphere to learn and compare skills and strive to become skill masters and technical experts, this journal established “Model Style” column to share the advanced deeds of about 6 top talents of the Company with the readers.

Li Ji: A Machine Train Specialist Staying True to Original Dream

The sky was as blue and clear after a typhoon rainstorm.

In the new plants of FREP, a middle-aged man in blue work clothes was bustling around columns and piping, checking rotary equipment with several young engineers.

The man’s name is Li Ji, one of the fist batch of high caliber talents of FREP, refining & petrochemical equipment specialist, and senior reliability engineer of Mechanical Dept.. Li Ji started his career in Fujian Refinery (the predecessor of FREP) after graduating from university in 1993. He has work experiences in project management, equipment maintenance and reliability management for more than 20 years. Extensive experiences combined with diligent study and research makes him a high-level rotary equipment specialist.

Negotiation: hold the ground and fight for interest

During the debottlenecking project for FREP ethylene plant, Li was appointed as the head in charge of rotary equipment and the signee of technical agreements, responsible for reviewing technical solutions to various equipment and for negotiations on technical agreements. To ensure the job be completed successfully and the capacity expansion and efficiency improvement be realized, for long he stayed outside on business. He discussed the technical solutions in design institute, inspected the manufacturing quality in manufactures’ workshop, and participated into and held dozens of technical agreement negotiations on equipment.

In selection of the manufacture of EOEG recycling gas compressor, he had to thoroughly grasp the features of individual equipment. Li collected documents from every possible source and study the usage of similar equipment in the domestic plants. Thanks to the carefully preparation, during the technical negotiations he precisely pointed out the gap between the technical quotation submitted by individual suppliers and the owner’s requirements, and adopted different negotiating strategies depending on technical features from different manufactures. In the end, a manufacture whose equipment meets the international standards and has the best cost performance was selected.

 “When we have dealings with manufactures, the foreign manufactures in particular, we should reasonably fight for our won interest for our company while attaching importance to tricks and manners. In addtion, language barrier is another challenge to overcome.”so said, Li Ji compared the technical negotions to battles. 

As a result of long term had work, Li Ji signed totally about 100 technical agreements on various machines and pumps, which covers more than 400 sets of equipment, including those in the revamp project for three compressors in ethylene plant, LP methane compressor, two-stage recycling hydrogen compressor, PE and PP extruders and air conveying system, the domestic manufacturing of PP membrane recovery system, EOEG recycling gas compressor, centrifugal compressor train in dry gas recovery unit, and the key and the imported large-sized pumps in various revamped units.       

Challenge: win the critical moment

The expansion projects for the tree compressors in ethylene unit and for the pelletizers in PP and PE units are the key to the debottlenecking project and make a difference between success and failure. Given the complexity and difficulty of the project, the Project Department appointed Li Ji as the project manager. His mission was to organize and participate into the whole process of all the work involved to ensure a successful revamp of the three compressors and pelletizers.

Li Ji, after accepting this mission, felt both stressed and motivated, and engaged in the work immediately. With the production team and also engineers from design institute he discussed the optimization solutions; with the manufactures he carried out challenged technical negotiations and in preparation of the construction of revamp project, he studied and determined the construction team, construction machines and tools and the construction site. In Oct. 2013 began the site construction of ethylene debottlenecking project, and during almost 40 days of tight-scheduled construction since then, Li Ji worked day and night on site, organized the manpower and resources for every party and pushed forward the maintenance of various machine trains.   

“That period of time was like lights plus darks (days and nights), with pressure constantly mounted. In retrospect, I can hardly remember exactly how I made it.”

With deliberate organization and reasonable arrangement by Li Ji, the three compressors in ethylene unit and extruders in polymer units were successfully revamped and achieved the expected expansion goals. The performance test shows a capacity of 1.15MTA for CGC train, 0.33MTA for pelletizer on PP Line 1, and 0.48MTA for each pelletizer on PE Line 1 and 2.

Dedication: ready himself at all times

Li Ji always deals with work with due diligence and enthusiasm, willing to do whatever is required by the work. In the second half of 2016, due to the restructuring of the company, he was transferred to a new post, reliability engineer of Mechanical Dept.. Facing the new challenges, he adapted proactively. Li Ji carefully studied various equipment maintenance techniques, consulted with an open mind with the new colleges and always tried to obtain the first hand data and information from the maintenance field. Soon enough he was qualified for the new role. In Nov. 2016 when the ethylene CGC was under urgent repair, Li Ji and his colleges on the field identified the causes, determined the solution and finally trouble shot the problem. As a result, the compressors were one-time successfully restarted up, minimizing the economic losses arising from shutdown.  

Li Ji always does his job in a down-to-earth way and never loses the enthusiasm that he had at the beginning of his career. Someone once asked Li Ji for his secret to success. Li Ji answered with a smile:” what I have done doesn’t count as success yet. It’s just some sort of progress in life made with the help of many others. This honor goes to me, but also to the entire equipment management team. Safe operation never has its end, so does my job.”  (by Xiao Wanyuan)

Zhu Jianjun: There is No Perfect but Better

“Shift lead, P114A pump motor has great noise with vibration.” The night shift staff reported after came back to shift room after previewing. He immediately rushed to the site to confirm and timely reported to the team manager.

His name is Zhu Jianjun, the shift lead of Fuels-1 Business Team of process department and senior technician. Over the past 25 years, he has been devoted to the frontline work. He is a technical talent in the eyes of the young staff and has won the FREP’s honorary titles such as “model worker” and “Excellent Communist Party Member of Quanzhou” and the Sinopec Group’s “model worker”. As long as he is in the field, the team leaders and the shift members will be at ease.

A standby pump had been removed for maintenance and the other one was empty to be repaired, in order to prevent the unit from shutting down, Zhu Jianjun promptly convened the staff on site to discuss and study the situation. They soon made a plan--- they decided to prim and pre-heat the empty standby pump for maintenance immediately at the fastest speed. He stayed in the field to keep an eye on P114A, and got ready for emergency shutdown. Due to the timely organization of staff and decisive discussion and handling, the standby equipment was started in a timely manner, which ensured the normal operation of the unit and avoided the unplanned shutdown.

Zhu Jianjun has dealt with an “emergency” like this for numerous times. Over 20 years, he has been fighting at the frontline like an emergency physician. With enriched “clinical” experience and experiences, every time when he encounters “intractable diseases” in production, he always can figure out a well-thought-out plan to handle it un-oppressively.

One time, the console operator of APS received a call from the operator of Offsites Business Team to inform them to transfer the crude oil tank from E to C. Within ten minutes, the console operator found that the inlet temperature of eletrical desalter tank dropped rapidly at a rate of 1°C within a short time; soon, it was found there was a great variation of voltage and current of electrical desalter tank and the pressures of flash tower and atmospheric distillation column rose by 0.38 MPa respectively from 0.12/0.13 MPa. The operator timely reported this to the site. Zhu Jianjun immediately determined that there was water in the crude oil. He timely reported it to SSI shift superintendent and personnel on duty, contacted the Offsites Business Team to replace the crude oil tank, and organized the console and field operators to handle that in accordance with Contingency plan for crude oil with water. Based on years of technical experience, he quickly arranged the console operators to force the heater’s No. 16 feeding stream low low trip. And then, he led the field operators on duty to the site to stop the desalter tank water injection, increase the crude oil demulsifier injection, monitored the desalter tank interface in the field, prevented water shearing and oil spill, and increased the opening of C101 overhead air cooling blower and water pump. He arranged an operator to keep a close eye on the C105 bottom pump to prevent a damage; one operator kept inspecting the crude oil heat exchanger frame to prevent flange leakage caused by water in the heat exchanger; one operator checked the combustion of the heater and put out the oil fire to reduce the inlet temperature. In less than half an hour, the overhead pressures of columns were stable after the oil tank was transferred. He kept guiding to resume operation of the unit to start normal production.

They dealt with the first large-scale crude oil with water since start-up at the top speed and secured the safe operation of the unit, avoided the equipment safety accident and unqualified products in the process of adjustment and the unplanned shutdown, which was appreciated by the team.

Reducing energy consumption is a key focus of the Company. The heater is a major energy consumer in an oil refinery unit. Zhu Jianjun put forward the energy strategy “more oil and less gas consumption” for APS heater and led the vendor to carry out on-line ash blowing, which greatly reduced the costs of fuel.

Every day at work, Zhu Jianjun would go to CCR to check the heat exchange of the heat exchanger network. And a lot of staff asked him, why should the heat exchange temperature be checked so often? He carefully explained, “AVPS is different from other units because the crude oil properties are constantly changing, so is the heat exchange temperature. If it is not promptly adjusted, it will affect the energy consumption of the unit. As the major operator, you should constantly check and adjust to find the best heat exchange temperature to improve the final temperature for feedstock entering into the heater so that fuel consumption can be reduced.” With his persistence and careful adjustments, the final heat exchange temperature of the crude oil entering into the furnace was increased by about 5 degrees, which not only reduced the heater load, improved the processing capacity of the unit, but also reduced the total energy consumption of the unit by 0.15kg standard oil/T. In addition, he also guided the hydrofining staff to further optimize the exhaust temperature parameters of the two heaters for jet fuel and hydrofining. The thermal efficiency of the heater was increased by 1%. As a result, the annul fuel consumption can be reduced by 4.6 million.

The technical department, in order to enrich the product structure and increase product efficiency, determined to carry out CDU straight-run asphalt technological transformation. Zhu Jianjun, as an expert of the unit, kept a close eye of parameters, made operational adjustments, and explored the operating parameters day and night to identify the control parameters for asphalt production with each kind of crude oil blending ratios. The successful fulfillment of goals laid the foundation for heavy crude oil of the Company (to reduce procurement costs of crude oil) and the monthly benefits were improved by about 3 million).

Zhu Jianjun often said, “There is no perfect but better. The unit is my home too”. That’s what he said, and that’s what he did. (by Xiao Wanyuan)

Chen Wenyong: Work on Technical Area with Ambitions

“Ask Yong, if you have any question.”

It seems that “nothing is a problem” to Yong, an instrument engineer who knows everything from field instrument to control system, from hardware to software, from technical negotiation to site construction and acceptance, and from field work to technical management.

“Yong” is a nickname for Mr. Chen Wenyong who is actually one of FREP’s first batch of senior talents, an expert from the petrochemical equipment team and a senior instrument engineer of Reliability Group in Mechanical Department.

On July 29th, 2015, the ethylene and propylene refrigeration compressor K501 tripped due to full opening of all anti-surge valves caused by the failure of instrument PT50006. Chen Wenyong went to the site losing no time and carefully inspect K501 to analyze the causes of shutdown. He collected more than 10,000 of SOE event records and interpreted them into the process of operating and control to the extent that even what the operator was thinking at that moment. That’s what a real expert can do. Finally, he identified a problem hidden deep in the program. By setting the stage-1 inlet/ outlet pressure ratio as the enable condition of all anti-surge valves, failure of any pressure transmitter will lead to full open of all anti-surge valves, and further result in compressor trip. In addition, Chen Wenyong organized inspection and handling of similar problems in all ITCC control systems by drawing experience from this big potential hazard.

Chen Wenyong has experienced the design and construction of the instrument system for the integrated project and the SCDB Project, he is very familiar with the instrument technical specification of project, and be proficient at technical negotiation, technical clarification, FAT and SAT of instrument system. There is nothing mysterious about field equipment to him. He knows how and why is equipment designed and what the strong or weak point of a design is. He always thinks deeply when it comes to solving an equipment problem, who is admirable. But he always keeps a low key. “Once you experienced, you’ll know how to do it.” That’s what he said.

Chen Wenyong has an inexhaustible passion for tackling challenges. When he found out the monitoring problems with the overspeed protection system of the two lubrication systems for the three SC compressors, he had a deep study and decided to cancel the overspeed protection for PROTECH203 and use ITCC as a substitute that is able to provide DCS rotating speed display, historical trend and historical alarm records. It was well recognized by operators of Process Department. As for the ultra-high pressure feed-water valve and intermediate valve at SC cracking furnace that started to leak seriously in no more than six months after they are put in service, Chen Wenyong quickly organized work with the manufacturer, and consulted Maoming Petrochemcial Co., finally decided to use the combination of large and small valve spools to reduce flow rate and offset high differential pressure as well as enlarging valve chamber appropriately, the leaking problem was solved effectively. The service life of valves was expected to extend from half a year to three even five years. “That is awesome. He is a treasure of the Company.” acclaimed his colleagues from time to time.

Apart from his strong technical ability, Chen Wenyong is even better at technical management like all excellent technical person. He proposed that anything that is useful must be promoted. He also put forward some good ideas. Such as to take “the three basic work” as the basis for everything; make a full use of the company’s “equipment management platform” in a dynamic way, accumulate the historical data of equipment, and constantly improve equipment management; adopt intelligent management, and use APM expert equipment management system based on AMS to improve preventive maintenance and the ability of maintenance. These are fundamental basis and direction for equipment management for which he has put his whole heart in.

Chen Wenyong is a man pursuing perfectness and fineness in work. He always tell us young people that a technician should have ambitions as the process for achieving ambitions is also the process for self-affirmation, self-proving and self-satisfaction. And unremitting efforts and a down-to-earth attitude are equally important. These are keys for achieving technical achievements and for the safe operation of the company. (by Xiao Wanyuan)

Tian Jianping:Create Conditions out of Nothing

“The consultancy fees for this year have to be increased by 15%.” The service provider issued a strong statement and listed the increase of labor costs, employee benefits and other expenses.

“It can’t be higher than the CPI growth rate and currently the international economy is not in a good condition.” He reasoned with the service provider and listed some potential competitors in the industry. Finally, he also goad the provider, “You think you can rank top five in the industry?”

This is a miniature of the business negotiations between the company’s purchase department and the service providers. Based on the data and facts, supported with logical and detailed analysis, and putting forward the arguments step by step, he made both the negotiation opponents and their colleagues sincerely convinced. And he is right the gentlemanly young man in front of you. He is the company’s first senior talent, procurement and contract negotiator and Senior Economist Mr. Tian Jianping from Supply& Distribution Department.

Careness: Identify the Problems in a Way like Showing Slides

In winter of 2007, when snowstorm hit the south China, Tian Jianping had been working in a transformer factory in Zhongshan of Guangdong for more than a week. As the Spring Festival was around the corner, the factory workers started going home for holiday. However, the problem of transformer was still not identified. The main transformer of the 220KV substation was the general power source for the company’s integration project. The unit test run was in urgent need of electricity. And it was the second time that the transformer was returned to the factory. It passed the test before left the factory for both tines. However, during the on-site commissioning, the twice partial discharge tests failed. What was the cause on earth?

“Unaccustomed to the new place?” Someone made jokes.

The leader talked with Tian Jianping and hoped he could help the vendor solve the problem.

On this day, he came to the vendor’s workshop as usual. He was still not satisfied with the scheme discussed with the technical personnel the day before. As the key causes of failure remained unidentified, he could not feel relieved.

Going through from the blanking, processing and assembly workshops, Tian Jianping didn’t think there could be a problem with a process flow like this. Since the process had no problem, could it be the problem of management? He repeatedly referred to the main transformer production records for many times. From raw materials incoming inspection to final assembly factory pre-delivery test, all the data were qualified. From the inspection sheets, the test reports to the operation cards, thousands of documents were flashing in his mind like slides.

Suddenly, a cool breeze blew and a word “exemption” occurred to his mind. Yes, it was a document about insulation material with an exemption certificate stamp. Could it be this material? Tian Jianping immediately contacted the vendor’s inspection bureau to check the material. According to the inspection results, the problem was here. Because the insulation materials produced by Chongqing high voltage plant were the internal products exempted from inspection, the manufacturer did not identify the problem for the last two times. And they did not replace the material with problem. With the problem solved, the main transformer was put into operation without delaying the unit start-up.

Project: create conditions out of nothing

In 2013, the willow catkins flew over the streets of Beijing in March. Tian Jianping, who was organizing the technical exchange for Steam Cracker Debottleneck Project in the Design Institute, had no mood to enjoy the idyllic beautiful scenery.

“Please confirm the long cycle large equipment technical scheme and ordering conditions for PX Complex Revamp.” Tian Jianping received an emergency call from the leader of Technical & Planning Department. The basic design of PX energy-saving revamp had not been completed. And the project was to be completed during the turnaround. The long cycle equipment ordering must be started in advance.

Grain and fodder must be prepared in advance for the soldiers and horses. Tian Jianping, who had been engaged in the project for many years, was fully aware of the importance of long cycle orders. Without design data, he could only use his “old face” to seek help from the designers of different divisions of the Design Institute; without place for technical clarification, he set up a temporary conference room with desks in the design institute’s empty office area. He kept negotiating between the owner, the design unit and the manufacturer and confirmed the process, design and manufacturing standards one by one.

“I’m the monkey Sun, changing roles to deal with them every day.” Tian Jianping mocked himself.

With full support of the company’s professionals and technical personnel, within less than two weeks, Tian Jianping organized and completed the confirmation of long cycle large equipment technical scheme and ordering conditions of PX project, which secured the smooth implementation of the project.

Emergency Maintenance: no error is allowed to affect the start-up

In 2016, right after the company’s 11.24 SC substation bus bars short-circuit incident, Tian Jianping rushed to the site upon being entrusted with a mission at a critical and difficult moment. Giving play to his expertise, he spared no effort to engage in emergency maintenance tasks, fighting in the field three days and two nights. With rich professional knowledge, he made a quick determination on the site emergency procurement task and arranged the surveying and mapping and processing of more than 700 pieces of parts in urgent need. This enabled the power system to be quickly recovered in a short time, which reduce the company’s gross profit loss.

At that time, his wife gave birth to the second child for two months, and Tian Jianping did not have time to accompany his family. After three days and two nights of overtime for emergency maintenance, Tian Jianping want back home, stinking. Even his wife and child stayed away from him.

All that Tian Jianping thinking about was only one thing: he could not affect SC unit start-up schedule because of any of his fault.

In the company, the colleagues called him “authority”. This name was gain by Tian Jianping with his own efforts. He successively obtained the master’s degree of Xiamen University and then received the national level 1 vocational qualification certificates for two professionals: electromechanical and utilities. With extensive professional knowledge, he is a truly versatile person. Over 10 years, from the power supply workshop to the Supply & Distribution Department, from maintenance electrician to procurement specialist, his pace of learning and practice has never ceased, but has grown and developed with the company. (by Xiao Wanyuan)