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16 petrochemical on-site projects and the field machining equipment needed


During their career, the more experienced field machinist will come across many different projects across a variety of industries, but for those new to in-situ machining, having a clear idea of what type of projects are likely to crop up from the petrochemicals sector will give you the confidence to demonstrate your knowledge when the opportunity arises.

With this in mind we’ve put together a list of field machining equipment for some of the more common petrochemical onsite machining projects.

Overview of the petrochemicals industry

Petrochemicals are traditionally known as chemicals derived from petroleum or natural gas. However, the term ‘petrochemical’ can be misleading as the same chemicals are increasingly being derived from sources other than oil, such as coal and biomass.

Basic chemicals, produced in large quantities, are mainly sold within the chemical industry and to other industries before further processing into many different types of end products, including; plastics, adhesives, paints, detergents, fuel, food packaging, electrical components and pharmaceuticals.

A petrochemical plant will process a basic ‘feedstock’, for example Ethylene, and through a number of different processes will turn this into other chemical types such as Polyethylene, PVC, s=Synthetic Rubber, or Solvents. You can download a very good flowchart from this webpage here, created by Petrochemicals Europe, which shows how petrochemicals end up as finished products.

What goes on in a petrochemicals plant?

A typical petrochemical plant utilizes a number of different processes and units including;

  • Piping Systems
  • Fluid flow Systems
  • Heat Transfer Systems
  • Evaporation Systems
  • Distillation Systems
  • Reactor units
  • Extraction Systems
  • Drying
  • Gas Liquefaction
  • Compressors
  • Pulverization Systems

It goes without saying that the integrity of joints between pipes and pump flanges is absolutely critical, as is the efficient operation of other related equipment such as heat exchangers, turbines, motors and pumps.

To ensure flange joints and other components are trouble free there is a need to carry out various on-site machining jobs not only at the commissioning stage, but as part of an ongoing maintenance programme.

Many tools and machines are available to carry out these projects and these are listed below for your convenience.



To view products relating to the above projects visit our Petrochemicals website page.

If you have an on-site machining challenge and cannot find the right product to help, it may be possible for us to develop a bespoke machine for you. Please get in touch get in touch with your regional contact here here to find out more.

Download the Complete Guide to Managing Flanges


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