BASF and Teva Increase Energy Efficiency by Monitoring Steam Traps

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Asset Management, Event, Measurement Instrumentation

Emerson Exchange News Team

Emerson Exchange News Team

Optimizing energy use helps industrial organizations to increase their profitability while also achieving their environmental sustainability targets. However, identifying and addressing causes of energy inefficiency can be challenging without the right tools and expertise. Emerson provides a broad portfolio of measurement and monitoring solutions and services to help companies establish where energy inefficiency is occurring at their plants, so that they can take measures to reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

One area in which major energy efficiency improvements can be achieved is by optimizing the performance of steam traps. At Emerson Exchange EMEA 2024 in Düsseldorf, delegates heard presentations from two companies who have implemented an Emerson solution to help them improve their steam trap monitoring, leading to significant benefits.

Chemical giant BASF is committed to achieving a 25% global emissions reduction by 2030. Miguel Angel Alvarez, reliability engineer at BASF Mexicana, told delegates how monitoring steam traps has enabled the company to reduce CO2 emissions at its Altamira plant in Mexico.

Alvarez explained that steam trap inspections at the plant were previously performed visually and sporadically, which meant that their impact on energy consumption and emissions was unknown. Visual inspections are an ineffective way of detecting open-failed traps, and there is no way of identifying condensate accumulation within the lines when traps fail to close. This situation posed a risk to both the energy efficiency and integrity of the pipeline system.

BASF addressed the situation by implementing an online, real-time steam trap monitoring solution from Emerson. Utilizing Rosemount™ 708 Wireless Acoustic Transmitters, it is possible to detect trap failures and gather real-time data on trap conditions and temperature, thereby enabling prompt action to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Critical steam traps are now monitored in real-time

Critical steam traps are now monitored in real-time


Real-time monitoring facilitated by Emerson’s Plantweb Insight™ Steam Trap Application has provided BASF with a baseline for energy usage and emissions related to its steam traps. This serves as a benchmark when enhancing maintenance and operational practices. Since the Emerson solution was implemented, BASF has achieved a 25% reduction in steam costs, a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions, and a 10% reduction in maintenance costs by shifting from preventive to data-driven maintenance.

Delegates also heard from Levente Szuros of Teva Pharmaceuticals in Hungary. Szuros explained that as part of its greening mission, the company had undertaken a study to determine the biggest energy-consuming assets and processes at its major manufacturing site in Debrecen, and that based on the results, it had formulated a strategy to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions.

The study identified the plant’s steam distribution line as a major source of energy inefficiency, and therefore also of energy saving possibilities. The steam system includes more than 520 steam traps, which were being checked only once a year. To address the situation, Teva chose Emerson’s steam trap monitoring solution, which is quick to implement and configure, and would achieve a fast return on investment. Continuous, real-time monitoring of 40 critical steam traps revealed that eight of them had issues with leaking, blocking or bleeding. Having been alerted to these problems, Teva was able to address them within two days, whereas previously the faults may have gone unnoticed for months and resulted in significant energy losses.

Szuros concluded by revealing that as a result of implementing the Emerson solution, the company was significantly reducing its energy usage and its emissions. It now plans to install steam trap monitoring on 375 steam traps.



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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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