How to Manage Your Storage Tanks

If you’re like me, a technical article that begins, “How to…” attracts me like a bear to honey.

Managing-Vapor-SpaceAnd so it was, when I saw the article, Managing vapor space-how to accomplish total tank management. Control, Control Design and Industrial Networking magazines executive editor, Jim Montague recaps a presentation by Jeff Wolendowski with Emerson local business partner Novaspect.

Jim quotes Jeff defining tank blanketing as:

Vapor space management is used in oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, semiconductor manufacturing and any other applications where we need to preserve the quality of materials and products and protect the environment… To protect high-temperature oil, flammable final products, hydrocarbon wastewater, volatile organic chemicals, adhesives and sealants, solvents, industrial coatings and other materials, we use tank blanketing that puts an inert layer, usually nitrogen, on top of the product or material to control vapor.

Floating-roof and fixed-roof are the two main types of tanks. As you can guess, floating-roofs rise and fall based on tank level. Some of the systems involved with tanks include: Continue Reading

Refining and Petrochemical Industry Knowledge Exchange

While process automation has concerns spanning all industries, each industry has its unique challenges due the process, regulatory environment, climate, raw materials and other considerations.

Emerson's Marcelo Carugo

I mention this since the industry forums on one of the key ways industry-specific knowledge related to process automation is shared at the Emerson Exchange conference.

At this year’s October 12-16 conference in Denver, the refining and petrochemicals industry team has shared the forums, workshops and sessions that should be of interest to refining professional. I caught up with Emerson’s Marcelo Carugo who is the director of the global refining industries team.

Marcelo noted that the refining and petrochemicals industry forum will address refining-petrochemical integration, turnarounds and process safety. Here’s the abstract for the session:

The refining and petrochemical industries are positively impacted by the abundant and available shale gas and tight oil in the United States. As a result, new petrochemical facilities are being planned, including refinery integration to improve product flexibility for both fuels and petrochemicals. At the same time, some regions are experiencing shortages of skilled resources to complete a turnaround within the preferred duration; planning what work can be completed without schedule overrun is becoming more important as resource availability plays a role. Finally, process safety is always on the forefront of every manufacturing facility. Facilities are utilizing IEC 61511 to ensure their safety systems are both reliable and available (no accidental trips, and the system will work if and when needed).

We will convene a panel to speak about topics listed below, followed by an opportunity for the audience to participate in the discussion.

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Avoiding Depressurization on DP Flowmeter Removal

More and more we see knowledge exchange occur through social networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Here’s an example of a tweet from this summer asking about the removal process for a Rosemount flowmeter.

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Mounting Digital Valve Controller Howto Video

It has been a busy week as many of the experts around Emerson Process Management here in Austin to work on ways to improve their participation in the social channels.

James Holloway

James Holloway

I wanted to share a “how to” video, Mounting a Fisher FIELDVUE DVC6200 Digital Valve Controller to a 657 Actuator.

In it, Engineering/Industrial Management student and former Emerson intern James Holloway shows the process of mounting the DVC6200 instrument on the Fisher 657 spring-opposed diaphragm actuators. Continue Reading

Avoiding Rotating Machinery Downtime with PeakVue Diagnostics

We all appreciate the diagnostics in our cars that provide early warning to get a problem fixed before a breakdown occurs. We’ve chronicled how rotating machinery diagnostics, such as PeakVue Analysis diagnostics, can provide early warning to avoid unplanned shutdowns.

Emerson's Jacob Swafford

Emerson’s Jacob Swafford shared several PeakVue examples with me. A North American cogeneration power company was alerted to a high 2x peak with harmonics on a boiler feed pump motor’s inboard bearing. As this peak level increased, a machinery vibration analyst identified the problem as looseness in the bearing housing causing the bearing case to turn with the motor shaft.


The repair could be scheduled instead of worsening to the point of failure and causing a loss of electrical power for their customers.

A second example Jacob shared was at a chemical manufacturing plant. An increase in vibration on a gearbox shaft outboard bearing was flagged for the watch list and data analysis was increased in frequency to once every other week. This gearbox was on a critical agitator that runs in a batch process. Continue Reading