Quantifying the Resource Efficiency of the Global Steel Sector: Why is Our Metric Better?

Emerson's Ana Gonzalez Hernandez

Author: Ana Gonzalez Hernandez

In my last post, I introduced Emerson’s new resource efficiency approach. With it, Emerson proposes a new way of thinking about resource efficiency. One that encapsulates many aspects of modern industry solutions: we leverage the value residing in available metered data, communicate key knowledge through powerful digital visuals, and do so by tracking more a holistic metric – be it continuously or as part of corporate strategic exercises.

In this blog post, I now briefly describe how we applied this resource efficiency approach to analyse the improvement opportunities available in the steel industry worldwide. More details on the method used and the results obtained can be found in this ScienceDirect article; this is the article that this post is based on.

The global steel industry: ripe for change

Strong, durable and formable, steel is the dominant engineering and construction material in our modern economy. Ranking among the five most energy-intensive industrial processes, the production of steel alone consumes about 6% of the global final energy use and generates about 7% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. This equates to over half of the total energy consumed in the European Union in 2016. Future projections do not bode any better: forecast increases in wealth and population are predicted to at least double the demand for steel (and that of other metals) by 2050. Continue Reading

PeakVue Analytics for More Reliable Machinery Performance

Emerson's Robert Skeirik

Yesterday, in a post, How to Prevent Bearing Failures, we described how PeakVue analytics technology can provide early warning for bearing problems.

In this 6-minute YouTube video, PeakVue Signal Processing Demo, Emerson’s Robert Skeirik describes how these advanced analytics can spot bearing problems much earlier that traditional vibration measurements.

This extra time allows the operations and maintenance teams to plan and resolve the issue before a failure occurs.

In the video, Robert compares and contrasts simple vibration data measured in inches or centimeters/second versus PeakVue analytics measuring peak impact in g’s (g-force). He shows data of a bearing heading for failure. Continue Reading

How to Prevent Bearing Failures

Emerson's Brian Overton

Rotary bearings for industrial machinery reduce to friction between the moving parts. As with other mechanical parts, they wear over time.

Plant Services: 6 steps to preventing bearing failureIn a Plant Services article, 6 steps to preventing bearing failure, Emerson’s Brian Overton shares ways to extend bearing life and avoid unplanned shutdowns.

He opens highlighting their importance.

Without effective bearing motion, a machine shaft can fail, and the machine can break down.

His 6 steps include: Continue Reading

Weathering the Storm: Equipping Wastewater Treatment Plants with Flood-Proof Actuators

Author: Steve Poling

As we approach the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and just passing the 1st anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the anxieties of facing another superstorm weighs on the minds of every coastal wastewater treatment operator. And with Hurricane Florence approaching the U.S. Carolinas, this string of major storms continues. Are we prepared?

By design, most wastewater facilities are in low-lying areas near the bodies of water into which they discharge their final effluent and allows for gravity fed collection systems. Some systems also include pump stations where head differential is insufficient for flow. Thus, these facilities are prone to flooding from severe storm surge and high tides.

Additionally, most older sewer systems use combined sewer collection systems. This means that storm drains are combined with sanitary sewer lines which, in heavy rain, can cause a combined sewer overflow (CSO) event. These are characterized by a potential high flow or surge of water following a heavy downpour that inundates the facility for a shorter time. In either situation, the facility can be overwhelmed, and processes can be disrupted, throwing off the balance of the treatment processes and can lead to raw sewage spills into the environment.

After experiencing costly failure issues with existing hydraulic actuators, a large Northeast municipal sewer authority realized they needed a more reliable solution to help them weather the next storm and asked the experts at Emerson for help. Continue Reading

Avoid Corrosion-Induced Asset Integrity Loss

Emerson's Christiane Lederer

A U.S. Energy Information Administration’s post, When was the last refinery built in the United States?, reveals that more than half the “newest refineries” in their list were built in the 1970s or 1980s, or 30 to 40+ years ago. And, with 137 operating U.S. oil refineries, the rest are even older. A lot has changed over this time, but much of the piping and vessel infrastructure remains the same.

Chemical Engineering: Using Corrosion Data to Stave Off ExtinctionIn a Chemical Engineering article, Using Corrosion Data to Stave Off Extinction, Emerson’s Christiane Lederer discusses how changes in crude oil feedstocks, aging assets and regulatory changes are increasing the difficulty in containing corrosion with the plant piping, vessels and asset.

Christiane cites a NACE International study which:

…put the total annual cost of corrosion in the oil-and-gas industry at $1.372 billion.

Integrity loss from corrosion can lead to:

…unplanned downtime and costly repairs, or in the worst case, an incident posing major risk to personnel, the environment and stakeholder value.

The choices for refineries with aging assets are: Continue Reading