For over 35 years, the Sulzer Chemtech Field Services group has been a successful tower internals specialty company, performing tray and packing installation, tower maintenance and plant turnaround projects.
In Part 5 of this series on distillation control and optimization, we find that adding a side-stream component to your process gives an additional degree of freedom, but makes it even more essential to not mismatch the variables.
For maintenance and condition-monitoring, wireless technology offers much more than just reducing or eliminating costs. However, wireless also requires an integrated infrastructure approach rather than independent, proprietary point solutions.
Many companies decide not to build up certain capabilities in-house mainly because they dont have sufficient regular demand for them. Gamma scanning of distillation columns is a case in point, but on-site scanning specialists may be the wave of the future.
From large petrochemical units to tiny pharmaceutical pilot plants, day-to-day operations depend upon providing compressed gases in a controlled, safe and environmentally conscious manner. Correct gas handling also can improve process efficiency.
With increasing energy prices and public sensitivity to energy consumption, many plants are paying more attention to optimizing distillation. Simple and low-risk operational changes often can provide substantial savings.
Consider the impact of slope, fittings and valves. Plants can lose sizable amounts of money each year because of contamination caused in process lines. Owners and contractors alike can take steps in the design and construction phase to enhance the drainability and cleanability of a system.
More and more companies are placing greater emphasis on maintenance and seeking help from vendors to boost the effectiveness of their efforts, as some recent major investment decisions demonstrate. Many automation companies now are benefiting by building up asset management services alongside process control capabilities.
Design provides improved reliability in a polymer-precursor batch reactor. Sensors must respond quickly and survive a harsh environment. Poor probe reliability can make the difference between a process that makes money and one that doesnt.
Control's Béla Lipták continues his series on control of distillation processes, this time focusing on managing reboiler flow, temperature, feed rate, loading and reflux for economy, stability and safety.