END USER INTERVIEW
The Necessity of Hoses In the Chemical Industry
To have a successful career in the Oil and Gas industry , one must be highly skilled , well-rounded , and always looking to further their existing knowledge . Gilbert Alonzo , a Mechanical Engineer and Technical Consultant for BP Oil and Gas Exploration , knows this well . Across the span of his almost 40-year career , Alonzo has faced numerous challenges and gained experience working with several process vital systems and components of the Oil and Gas industry – including the often-overlooked application and usage of hoses in an industrial plant . Hose + Coupling World had the privilege of interviewing Alonzo about his career , personal triumphs in several chemical plants , and all things hoses .
By Sarah Do Couto and Angelica Pajkovic
Pursuing Engineering When Gilbert Alonzo was in high school , he had no idea what he wanted to do when he graduated . That is , until his math teacher encouraged him to pursue engineering . Alonzo , who said he did not have a lot of personal guidance growing up , took this to heart .
“ I did not know what an engineer did ,” said Alonzo . “ So , I went to an engineering conference for two weeks at the University of Houston and I learned about engineering . I was instantly interested . They exposed us to all of the different branches of engineering .” Although initially , he was unsure which branch of engineering to pursue , he ended up pursuing mechanical engineering .
Alonzo went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A & M University . While in school , he did a two-semester co-op with The Dow Chemical Company . Shortly after graduating , he was hired as a full-time mechanical engineer . After 30 years of work at Dow , Alonzo left to join BP Oil and Gas Exploration as a Senior Mechanical Engineer and Valve Subject Matter Expert . Today , though Alonzo is retired , he still works as a consultant with BP , specifically on special projects .
Throughout his long career , Alonzo was able to build a strong foundation of industrial knowledge and technical skills . This knowledge is vast , and includes an extensive understanding of valves , mechanical equipment , chemical processes , and of course , hoses .
Hoses in Industry “ As there is a lot of equipment in a chemical plant , hoses are sometimes taken for granted ,” stated Alonzo . Unlike other applications that require constant attention , hoses are often dismissed as a secondary piece of equipment . To disregard hoses ,” explained Alonzo , “ is a mistake .” In a chemical plant as well as offshore production platforms , a wide variety of hoses are used on a relatively constant basis ; they are vital to the continued operation and success of the plant .
The flexibility , various available sizes , and the wide range of materials of construction are the primary assets that
industrial and hydraulic hoses have to offer in a chemical facility . “ The ability to reach areas and applications that are inaccessible to fixed piping make hoses essential for the transfer and dispersion of various medias .”
“ Without hoses it is very difficult to move the fuel , chemicals , and other liquid-based media , not only from onshore locations to offshore vessels , but also from one containment unit to another . We use hoses for loading and unloading railcars , tank trucks , and ships . To mitigate the risk of hazardous accidents , both the connections for the hose as well as the hose integrity have to be continually monitored by onsite personnel ,” stated Alonzo .
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