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CEED Project Abstracts 2010 -2011

School of Mechanical Engineering

  • Factors Influencing Pipe Failures in the WA Environment
  • 3D Investigation of Seabed Stress Around Subsea Pipelines
  • Hydrodynamic Forces on Subsea Pipes
  • Asset Management Modelling Spares Investigation
  • Port Hedland Model Shutdown Investigation
  • Port Hedland Maintenance Model Verification
  • Thermal Fatigue of Power Plant Components
  • Automatic “A Sample” Acknowledgement
  • Consumable Costing Review With Relation To Mining Conditions
  • Implementation and Comparison of Solution Methods for Material Flow in
  • Discrete Event Simulations
  • Grain Covering Beyond 2010

UWA Business School

  • Estimating the Total Economic Value of Water in the Millstream Aquifer of the Pilbara

School of Agricultural Economics

  • Hindsight Review of EPA Assessed Projects

School of Psychology

  • Improving workplace safety through increased engagement with BHP Billiton’s Take-5 process

School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering

  • Control of Static Electricity during the Fuel Tanker Delivery Process


Factors Influencing Pipe Failures in the WA Environment

Christopher Pratt
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
Water Corporation

This document summarises an investigation conducted into the deterioration and failure of the Water Corporation’s pipeline assets in the Perth metropolitan region, focusing on Reinforced Concrete and Cast Iron pipes. Pipeline failure is a common occurrence, generally resulting in damage to surrounding land and infrastructure, and loss of water and water supply to housing. The main objective of this project is to improve the knowledge base of the Asset Management Group by implementing a sample collection and analysis procedure, and analysing relationships between pipe failure rates and the Western Australian environment. Cast Iron pipes were observed to regularly fail as a result of external corrosion and failure rates show a strong correlation to the Ferrous Corrosivity Scale. Reinforced Concrete pipes were most commonly observed to fail as a result of joint failures. Failure rates of both pipe materials were found to peak in mid winter, which is attributed to an increase in soil moisture content causing soil expansion

3D Investigation of Seabed Stress Around Subsea Pipelines

Wenwen Shen
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
J P Kenny

Field observations on offshore pipelines indicate that local scour around pipes laid on an erodible seabed is almost inevitable. As a major forcing mechanism for sediment transport, seabed shear stresses may dominate the deformation of the seabed. Little research work has considered sediment transport induced seabed deformation in the vicinity of a pipeline and thence the consequences for the design of subsea pipelines. This project is an extended project of the 2010 CEED project“2D CFD Modeling of Seabed Shear Stresses around Subsea Pipelines”. It provides a three dimensional view of seabed shear stress investigation, using DES kw SST turbulence model with user defined velocity turbulence functions, which distinguishes itself from the prevailing researches conducted so far on the topic of flow around circular cylinder. This project investigates the variation of seabed shear stresses induced by three-dimensional flows due to scour propagation under inclined current and wave incident angles. The aim is to modify existing two-dimensional models with data generated under various scour initiated seabed topographies in inclined waves and currents using CFD software FLUENT.

Hydrodynamic Forces on Subsea Pipes
Due to Orbital Wave Effects

Lisa King
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

Pipeline stability design relies on an accurate prediction of the hydrodynamic forces induced by wave and current motion. The motion of wind generated waves is generally orbital, and the orbit paths flatten to an ellipsoid with depth. This leads to the assumption in deepwater that the vertical components of the wave motion tend to zero near the seabed. Due to this simplification wave motion is often modelled as rectilinear for the purposes of analysing on-bottom pipeline stability. This simplification predicts that the magnitudes of the hydrodynamic forces are equal on the forward and reverse half wave cycle. In computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling results have shown the drag force exerted on an on-bottom pipeline was 7% higher than expected on the forward half wave cycle, and 5% lower on the reverse half-wave cycle when waves were modelled as orbital rather than rectilinear. This paper describes CFD modelling to be conducted to investigate this phenomenon and verify the validity of this result.

Asset Management Modelling Spares Investigation

Ashley Roukens
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
BHP Billiton

Reliability models of the equipment in mining operations are becoming very important in forecasting future costs and requirements. The purpose of this investigation is to develop a process to verify and validate the spares details in the reliability model for a Bucket Wheel Reclaimer, so that it better reflects actual operation. This will allow substantial improvements in the forecasting capabilities of the model in terms of spares costs and usage. There is also great importance in documenting the process and detailing the data used to perform the improvement of the model so the process can be repeated in the future for other assets. The updated model will allow more advanced questions to be answered in terms of spares cost forecasting and spares availability predictions.

Port Hedland Model Shutdown Investigation

Navdeep Khosa
School of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering
BHP Billiton Iron Ore

This project provides an approach on incorporating planned shutdown scenarios in reliability modelling by using a previously existing model of a Bucket Wheel Reclaimer. Historic data was collected from data storage facilities and analysed to identify the shutdown tasks. The identified tasks were then modelled using Reliability Block Diagrams. The finalised model provides a more realistic production profile of the equipment

Port Hedland Maintenance Model Verification

Andrew Chau
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Ltd

Reliability models of assets are being used by industry to forecast costs, availability and to optimise maintenance strategies associated with the asset. In order to accurately forecast and optimise, it is necessary to verify and validate the model. A reliability model of a bucket wheel reclaimer from BHP Billiton Iron Ore (BHPIO) was used as a case study to develop a method for verifying and validating reliability models. The failure distribution and initial ages in the model were verified and then validated using maintenance data from BHPBIO. Linking of similar tasks were also created in the model. The procedure for verifying and validatin will be documented, which can then be applied to other reliability models.

Thermal Fatigue of Power Plant Components

Russell Sanders
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
Verve Energy

Recently Verve Energy have been required to operate their baseload Cockburn power station in a two-shifting (cyclic) manner. The detrimental financial and mechanical consequences of two-shifting are well known; the project objectives deal with quantifying these consequences. Mechanical damage was evaluated using a software package capable of assessing creep and fatigue and estimating remaining lifetimes. Of the components examined, analysis indicated that the majority have useful remaining lifetimes exceeding the operational requirement. Two components were identified as critical, needing further investigation; recently attached thermocouples will verify the temperature conditions experienced by one. Financial analysis required fuel usage and power production to be monitored during start-ups. The data was used to calculate the short-term differential cost of two-shifting compared to baseload operation. As an alternative to two-shifting, Verve Energy is considering operating overnight at low-load; this option has been found to be more expensive.

Automatic “A Sample” Acknowledgement

Mithran Ratnam
School of Mechanical Engineering
WesTrac Pty. Ltd.

This project develops a decision-support tool to identify whether an oil sample is at an acceptable quality. An acceptable oil sample, known as an “A sample”, contains no contamination and has experienced relatively low deterioration. Oil samples are sent to WesTrac from companies who utilise their Caterpillar equipment. They process over 400,000 oil samples per year. These samples are tested using a number of techniques and the results assessed by fluid analysts (or Interpreters). The implementation of the decision-support tool and the associated software will help to screen the “A samples” out of the manual analysis, thus reducing the number of samples that the Interpreters have to analyse. This will allow them to focus on the low quality oils (B, C and X samples) requiring higher-order analysis. This paper presents a mapping of the decision making process, the training method and the results of this training. The support tool was applied to five oil compartments and analysed approximately 90% of the “A samples” correctly for each one.

Consumable Costing Review With Relation To Mining Conditions

Jean-Paul Kozman
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
Downer EDI Mining

Downer EDI Mining is a leading provider of contract mining equipment and services throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Their business’ profitability and reputation depend greatly on their ability to accurately estimate the cost of running their fleet and delivering services to their clients. This project utilises historical cost data from Downer EDI Mining to produce cost profiles and models for their mining equipment consumables which include buckets and bodies (B&B) and ground engaging tools (GET). Such models are used by estimators to produce tenders and predict future costs in running their fleet. An investigation is also made into the factors that contribute to the wear and subsequent costs of consumables. Findings suggest that the wear and costs of most mining equipment consumables are related to their size. In some cases there was also a significant correlation to the number of hours of work, suggesting that older machines tend to incur higher costs. Finally, it was also found that equipment subject to intense exposure with abrasive material have GET costs related to the abrasion index of the material. 

Implementation and Comparison of Solution Methods for Material Flow in Discrete Event Simulations

Jovana Taylor
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

TSG is in the process of developing a library of reusable components to assist in creating models of material transfer systems within Wolverine Software’s SLX 2.0, a commercial tool for discrete event simulation. An important feature of this library is the flow engine, which calculates the material flow rates in the model at discrete points in time.

This paper describes the method currently utilised to solve the flow rates and compares it against two implementations of alternate solution methods, based on Dantzig’s Revised Simplex and Edmond-Karp’s Minimum Cost Flow Algorithms respectively.

Although both methods implemented for this project show a substantial improvement in execution time over the existing solution, neither method proves to be as versatile

Grain Covering Beyond 2010

Megan Equid
School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
Co-operative Bulk Handling

A 2009 WorkSafe investigation into the tarping practices employed by Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) on their Open Bulkheads (OBHs) unearthed some significant safety issues.  The working conditions coupled with the heavy nature of the tarps have contributed to two deaths in Australia in the past 12 years, in addition to countless unreported injuries.  CBH are therefore looking to improve their method of tarping OBHs.  This project aimed to develop an innovative technique for covering grain that eliminates the need for workers to be on the grain stacks, while continuing to meet the requirements of being food-grade, impermeable and weatherproof.

Following the development and review of a range of concept designs, a new grain covering method has been compiled that involves deploying and joining sections of UV-stabilised LDPE material using extruded plastic ‘joiner track’ sections.  With the aid of two loader cranes, this technique will allow all manual labour related to the grain storage to be conducted from ground level.  Accordingly, the risk of personal injury due to the positions of personnel on the OBH during grain covering should be eradicated if the design recommendations proposed are advanced and later implemented by CBH

Estimating the Total Economic Value of Water in the Millstream Aquifer of the Pilbara

Estimating the Total Economic Value of Water in the Millstream Aquifer of the Pilbara

Sophie Rolls
UWA Business School

Water provides a number of different benefits to society, many of which are not traded in markets.  This makes it difficult to determine exactly what the Total Economic Value of water is to society, and how the water should be allocated between different uses.  This paper represents the first attempt to value the water in the Millstream aquifer of the Pilbara region, using a variety of techniques including Benefit Transfer.  This first estimate will allow WorleyParsons to work with its key clients on improving water management in the region.

Hindsight Review of EPA Assessed Projects

Brynne Jayatilaka
School of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Environmental Protection Authority

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is the primary body responsible for the defence of environmental assets in Western Australia. They assess all major infrastructure projects with the potential to cause environmental damage through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Fundamental to the success of the EPA in meeting its objective is a comprehensive EIA, leading to effective environmental conditions. Woodside’s Pluto LNG Project and Fremantle Ports’ Inner Harbour Deepening Project, which involved substantial amounts of dredging, were used as case studies when analysing the EPA’s EIA principles, process and outcomes. An economic model was created in order to assess the efficiency of the monitoring and compliance aspects of the environmental conditions.

Improving workplace safety through increased engagement with BHP Billiton’s Take-5 process

Marty Bertuleit
School of Psychology
BHP Billiton Iron Ore

Keeping employees safe at work is a high priority for BHP Billiton. As part of their push to achieve Zero Harm, they have initiated this research into improving the effectiveness of their “Take-5” initial task risk management (ITRM) process. Take-5 involves encouraging employees to pause before beginning a task, take a few minutes to identify any potential hazards, and ensure that the appropriate controls are in place. Unlike other safety behaviour such as wearing protective clothing, ITRM is only effective if an employee is engaged in the process. As such, simply changing some rules, or designing a new booklet, is unlikely to achieve a significant improvement. An employee survey was developed and distributed at two worksites, gaining 374 responses. Five categories of factors that influenced the effectiveness of the Take-5 process were investigated: The Organisation, The Supervisor, The Peers, The Person, and The Tool. Within these categories, the ‘ITRM regulations’ and ‘peer attitudes toward ITRM’ seem to be the most influential factors. However, it is the combined effect of a range of factors that needs to be considered when developing ITRM improvement strategies.

Control of Static Electricity during the Fuel Tanker Delivery Process

Hanxiao Yu
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd

Caltex Australia and the petroleum industry have experienced a number of incidents on retail sites, resulting in the ignition of fuel vapour during the delivery process. Static electricity is a known risk in the industry and these incidents are potentially related to the generation of static electricity in the delivery process. Though the likelihood of static related incidents is small with the existing control measures across the industry, the consequences can be severe. In order to support the identification of the likely cause of these incidents and further mitigate the possibility of them occurring in the future, there is a need to better understand the levels of static electricity generated at various stages of the fuel loading and delivery processes. Although subsequent investigations have identified static electricity as a potential cause of these workplace incidents, it is still not clear the levels of static electricity generated or the effects of changing conditions on static generation during the delivery process. Therefore, this project will focus on identifying the risk of ignition during the fuel delivery process and attempt to better understand through modelling techniques the level of static electricity generated at various stages of this process.

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