Powerful combo: Magnetostrictive level sensors and wireless transmitters

Keeping close tabs on petroleum inventory minimizes potential product losses.

09/18/2008


Truman Arnold Companies (TAC) wanted to keep a close eye on its daily shipments involving more than 1 million gallons of petroleum at its Caddo Mills, TX, terminal. The approach would require very precise tank level measurements communicating via wireless over the tank farm.

The ultimate solution used a combination of MTS Systems Corp . MG Level Plus liquid-level transmitters combined with Siemens Energy & Automation's wireless control capabilities. "TAC needed a solution that would accurately measure the petroleum, and the MG transmitter provides required accuracy, field replacement, and compatibility with the Siemens wireless control system," says Lee Aiken, product marketing manager, MTS Sensors.

The TAC petroleum terminal in Caddo Mills, connects the company to the Explorer pipeline, which transports petroleum from the Gulf of Mexico to Indiana. For every 10-day cycle, the terminal receives an average of 200,000 barrels of petroleum that is stored in nine closed-roof storage tanks ranging from 20,000 to 110,000 barrels, with a total storage capacity of 650,000 barrels.

The challenge when moving such a large amount of petroleum products is maintaining accurate control of the process. TAC cannot afford to run out of any of the petroleum products they carry or have inaccuracies during custody transfer. Inaccuracy can result in TAC either paying for product that was not received or by not charging for product that was delivered. For every 0.5% in custody transfer error that TAC endures, the company loses 1,000 barrels of product per cycle at the Caddo Mills terminal. Given the number of terminals that TAC operates, such small inaccuracies can reach into the tens of millions of dollars over a year’s time.

MTS Sensors worked with Siemens to provide TAC with the ability to go wireless. Siemens transceivers and I/O modules work together to create a wireless network for any application.

Eliminating the need to install signal cables from the storage tank into a control room, TAC saved on costs for items such as conduit, wire, installation, and installation time. And because TAC engineers can now monitor all of the tanks without having to leave the central office, they can spend more time focusing on other more productive aspects of their jobs.

TAC engineers found the installation process easy since the MG transmitter and its stainless steel flexible hose allows a single person to carry the transmitter to the top of the tank and install it. The MG transmitter is suitable for vessels from .51 to 18.3 meter height (20 to 720 in.), and is ideal for process control, bulk storage, precision inventory control and product level, interface level, and temperature monitoring.

Modular construction allows the transmitter to be serviced or replaced without having to shut down the tank or process. MTS says the MG series provides 3-in-1 measurement of the product level, interface level, and temperature. Every transmitter is built custom to the application and can operate on either 12 or 24 Vdc via its 4-wire Modbus connection.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Control Engineering Process Instrumentation & Sensors Monthly
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of free eNewsletters .





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me