Thursday 19 June 2014

Measurement technologies increase plant efficiency and reduce costs for Romanian plant.

Flowmeters solve measurement problems and enable annual savings of €1 million

CAROM Onesti has improved mass balance, increased boiler efficiency, and reduced tanker turnaround times at its petrochemical production and distribution facility in Romania. Vortex and Coriolis flow measurement technologies from Emerson Process Management enabled more-accurate and reliable measurements that reduced product loss in the MTBE plant by 150 metric tons per month, improved boiler efficiency by 3 per cent, and eliminated the need to rework tanker filling operations in its distribution terminal. These improvements together have provided savings of €1 million per year.

Mass balance is vital for complex processes within reactors and distillation columns, and achieving that balance requires accurate and reliable flow measurement. However, the differential pressure (DP) flowmeters CAROM used previously required frequent maintenance because process fluids sometimes polymerised inside the meter − clogging impulse lines and leading to bad measurements.

To solve this problem, CAROM installed Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters from Emerson. The new meters’ reliable accuracy enabled the required mass balance to be achieved, reducing product loss by 150 metric tons per month for savings of €700,000 per year. Based on current production figures, this saving translates into a 2 per cent increase in overall plant efficiency. In addition, because Micro Motion flowmeters have no moving parts, maintenance costs have been significantly reduced.

Emerson’s measurement technology also helped CAROM improve the performance of nine boilers that provide superheated steam to the site’s production units. Impulse lines for the three orifice flow meters previously used to measure the flow of superheated steam suffered a number of leakage problems, requiring on average around 300 hours of maintenance a year. In addition, the loss of up to two tonnes of steam per hour meant that more fuel was being used to meet the production demands.

“Following the installation of Emerson’s Rosemount 8800D Vortex flowmeters with integral temperature sensors for each line, the improvements were immediately evident,” said Marian Stancu, chief energy engineer for CAROM Onesti. “Maintenance requirements were reduced to almost nothing, and because steam loss was eliminated, boiler efficiency improved by 3 per cent, saving more than €200,000 per year in fuel. This meant that our initial investment was recovered in just 25 days of operation.”

Within the fuel distribution terminal, tankers leaving the facility by road or rail are weighed to ensure they have been correctly filled. If the filling is not accurate, the tankers have to return to the terminal − extending the time and cost for loading. Additional personnel and labour hours are required, and vehicles and locomotives are left standing idle.

“CAROM needed a measurement technology that is suitable for our diesel and petroleum products, and is accurate, reliable and easy to use and install,” continued Stancu. “Having successfully used Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis technology for mass measurement in other areas of our plant, we extended the use of this technology to diesel truck loading.”

The Micro Motion flowmeters improved measurement accuracy and enabled CAROM to optimise truck loading. With a typical train comprising 10 tanks, the loading process that used to take at least two days can now be completed in less than one day. The optimised loading has enabled savings of over €90,000 per year, and the faster train turnaround is also saving over 300 labour hours a year.

“Combining the process knowledge of our local team with Emerson’s product and application knowledge has provided the best solutions to our measurement problems,” added Stancu. “Emerson has become a trusted partner, and its Rosemount and Micro Motion measurement technologies have enabled savings of €1 million per year.”

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