Top Quartile Performance in LNG and Gas Plant Production

At the recent 2018 Gastech Conference in Barcelona, Spain, Emerson’s Patrick Deruytter presented on ways for gas plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facilities to drive operations to top quartile performance.

The focus of the presentation was to look at the operational opportunities in the current gas & LNG plants to improve the reliability of the equipment and the process. By improving the current process measurement and control, and analyzing and benchmarking the current operational performance, plant operators gain a better understanding of performance compared to their peers.

Changes in global markets, regulatory environments and rapid technology advancements pose challenges. Existing plants have issues with reliability and operating at optimal performance. The traditional approach to reliability is chasing breakdowns and routine, scheduled maintenance. Also, aging equipment is approaching obsolescence in many cases. Continue Reading

Digitally Transforming Turnaround Planning and Execution

At the recent Emerson Exchange conference, a scenario-based exhibit demonstrated how technology, communications and enabled experts can fundamentally change the massive effort of planning and executing turnarounds, a.k.a. shutdowns and outages.

In this 2:39 YouTube video, Digital Transformation Experience – Turnarounds, Emerson’s John Sanders describes scenes from this exhibit and how these projects could be better planned and executed.

Continue Reading

Maintaining Pipeline Integrity through Effective Leak Detection

Emerson's Marc Buttler

Pipeline infrastructure here in the U.S. and in many parts of the world go back many decades. With the rapid technology advancements in oil & gas exploration and production and increasing production levels, some of these pipelines are at capacity limits and new pipelines are being planned & built.

Maintaining the integrity of these pipelines is paramount for safety and the environment. I received a great presentation from Emerson’s Marc Buttler on the subject of pipeline leak detection that I wanted to recap in this post.

There are many standards and guidelines governing leak detection. Here are some of the most prominent ones: Continue Reading

Stabilizing Pressure Regulator Performance

In many areas of the industrialized world, natural gas transmission and distribution companies provide gas to commercial and industrial users, as well as many of us in our residences. For commercial users, such as apartment complexes, and industrial users, stable pressure is critical for operations.

Whitepaper: Solving Instability Issues in Commercial and Industrial Natural Gas System ApplicationsA 6-page whitepaper, Solving Instability Issues in Commercial and Industrial Natural Gas System Applications, explores some of the causes of instability and ways effective pressure regulation technology can address these challenges. Once challenge is resonance. Pressure regulators have moving parts which can oscillate at resonant frequencies causing noise and wear.

Resonance occurs when the set of a vibrating system’s characteristics cause it to oscillate at much higher amplitudes in a specific frequency range.

The most common mode of instability is harmonic instability. It:

…is caused by a collection of system characteristics during normal operation which results in a “humming” or “buzzing” sound emitting from the regulator due to the vibration of the diaphragm or other parts.

Changes in flow rate or piping & regulator system components may: Continue Reading

Better Data, Better Beer

Emerson's Laura Chemler

At the recent Emerson Exchange conference in San Antonio, Emerson’s Laura Chemler developed a presentation with a Chief Technology Officer at a brewing company to share how data from flow meters helped produce the highest quality beer. This CTO is obsessed with data—collecting data, observing trends in the data, figuring out what the data can tell besides pressure or temperature in tanks.

Laura presented this case study and opened with the beer making basics. It is composed of four raw materials—hops, yeast, water and barley. There are basically 8-steps in the beer making process. The mash tun combines the malted barley with water and heat to produce a wort. The lauter tun filters the wort before it goes to the brew kettle where the wort is combined with heat and hops to give it the flavor, color and aroma. Next a whirlpool removes solids from the wort and a heat exchanger removes heat.

The wort is now ready to go into the fermenter where the yeast convert the sugars into alcohol where the yeast convert the sugars into alcohol producing beer along with lots of dead yeast. The dead yeast is purged out the bottom of the fermenter, and the suspended yeast is removed in a filtering process. Then the beer is ready for canning, bottling, or adding to kegs or growlers or lagering depending on the beer style.

While all beer is made from these four ingredients, it’s the style in which they’re combined that determines the style of beer. Everything from the quantity or type of each, when they’re added in the brewing process, and for how long that determines the flavor profile of the beer. This means consistently making the exact same type of beer in a manual craft brewery process can be incredibly difficult. Continue Reading