Advantages of PreTurnaround and Baseline Scans

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jul 12, 2018 10:25:22 PM

Are you planning a scheduled turnaround and want to know the advantages of scanning before  and after your planned turnaround?

A Tru-Scan™ or Tru-Grid™ Scan will assist in defining and developing a turnaround critical path project scope at an early stage ensuring that your turnaround meets your goals. The most common use of gamma scans is to give process engineers and operations an online tool that results in understanding how a column is performing.  This data can be used in advance of a turnaround to identify tray or packing damage and other process problems without having to shut down the column for internal inspections. These results will fully prepare turnaround planners with the knowledge they need for critical path decisions that must be made prior to a shutdown. At other times the results from a Tru-Scan™ or Tru-Grid™ Scan can either justify an unscheduled shutdown or identify options that will enable a plant to continue operating until the next scheduled shutdown.   

Read more on how Tracerco scanning technologies can help to develop a plan for your turnaround planning.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Liquid maldistribution, packed column, Packed Beds, Tru-Grid Scan, Suspected maldistribution in packed beds, turnaround schedules, turnarounds, turnaround planning, tray fouling, gamma scan, liquid distribution, quantitative analysis pack beds, PackView Analysis, packed bed towers, packed bed scan, packed bed performance analytics, density of liquid, fouling, critical path

Remove any doubt about fouling issues found in trayed and packed towers.

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jun 4, 2018 5:37:55 PM

Diagnose and take control of fouling issues.Fouling_towers_web

In some processes a common problem that towers experience over a period of time is fouling of trays and packing with solid deposits. Fouling can cause conditions such as liquid maldistribution in packed columns or premature entrainment/flooding in trayed columns resulting in a loss of efficiency and an increase in operating pressure drop. Fouling may result from foreign material entering a column or from polymerization or decomposition occurring inside the column. The fouling may start under normal conditions or begin to build due to abnormal operating conditions.

Read more on how Tracerco scanning technologies can help to develop a plan to implement a routine maintenance programme for assets with fouling issues.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Liquid maldistribution, packed column, Packed Beds, Tru-Grid Scan, Suspected maldistribution in packed beds, tray fouling, gamma scan, liquid distribution, quantitative analysis pack beds, PackView Analysis, packed bed towers, packed bed scan, packed bed performance analytics, density of liquid, fouling

Packed bed performance analytics

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Apr 25, 2018 8:44:15 PM

 

Advanced analytics introduce a numerical and easily understood approach to tower gamma scanning

Refinery and chemical plant operations depend heavily on distillation and separation towers. Tower gamma scanning is well established in the process industries as a qualitative tool to help troubleshoot towers. Advances in data analysis have lead to a quantitative approach in expressing gamma scan data in numerical terms easily understood by process and operations engineers. 

In a recent Tracerco article published by Petroleum Quarterly Technology (PTQ) magazine you will be able to read three example case studies of packed towers that will answer questions concerning the state of liquid distribution through the packed bed and illustrate how Tracerco's PackView™ analysis was developed to consistently analyse Tru-Grid™ Scan data to reach a conclusive result.

 CLICK HERE To read the full article (Page 69) published in the Q2 2018 Petroleum Quarterly Technology (PTQ) issue.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Liquid maldistribution, packed column, Packed Beds, Tru-Grid Scan, Suspected maldistribution in packed beds, gamma scan, liquid distribution, quantitative analysis pack beds, PackView Analysis, packed bed towers, packed bed scan, packed bed performance analytics, density of liquid

Crude Vacuum Tower Wash Bed Optimization

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jun 6, 2017 5:58:02 PM

The crude unit of today’s modern refinery is where it all starts.  Good, clean fractionation from the crude atmospheric and crude vacuum towers greatly impacts the operation of downstream units.

The wash bed in the Crude vacuum tower is one of those so-called evil necessities.  When it operates well, it does not seem to garner much attention but, when things go wrong challenges can occur.  The wash bed of the Crude vacuum tower is prone to coking/fouling due to the low liquid rates along with high vapour rates and high temperatures.  Generally, the wetting rate at the top of the wash bed is minimised to prevent high-value product loss, but lower wetting rates lead directly to coke formation in the bed.  The operating condition or the rate and severity of coking in the Crude vacuum tower wash bed is also one of the key variables determining the cycle time or run length between turnarounds.  So, the typical refiner works to balance the economics of product Heavy Vacuum Gas Oil (HVGO) recovery versus unscheduled or premature downtime to replace a coked bed. 

Marathon Petroleum Company LP’s (MPC) approach for operation of the vacuum tower wash bed is based on a novel approach.  MPC regards the packing in the wash bed as a consumable item.  The goal – fully consume the useful life of the packing by the end of the operating cycle to maximise operating profit, by maximising HVGO yield.  MPC uses Tracerco’s ThruVision™ technology to routinely monitor the wash bed density to help manage the wash bed useful life during the operating cycle.  The ThruVision™ technology provides a detailed density map at a specific vertical elevation that can pinpoint specific areas of liquid maldistribution or solids/liquid build-up. 

This case study shows the learning process over short operating cycles and an example of the operating stratagem to manage the operating life of the vacuum column wash bed over a multi-year operating cycle.

 CLICK HERE To download the full article that was published in the April 2017 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Tru-Grid Scan, ThruVision scan, gamma scan, liquid distribution, quantitative analysis pack beds, PackView Analysis, monitor wash bed coking, tomography scan

Are you looking for a way to detect fouled or damaged packing before entering a tower?

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Apr 13, 2017 4:20:42 PM

Tru-Grid™ Scans reveal vital process information that helps solve operating problems.
 
A Tru-Grid™ Scan of packed towers is a reliable and widely used field measurement used for evaluating the hydraulic performance in packed beds, including the results from plugging / fouling or damage. When experiencing problems there are two important questions you would like answered:
 
1. Where is the fouling / plugging or damage?  
2. What is the extent of the hydraulic problem due to fouling or damage to the packing?

Gamma scanning has proven to be an essential measurement tool to supplement operating history data analysis. Process engineers and operations personnel need to know what is happening inside their process equipment so they can take corrective action. A Tru-Grid™ Scan provides a density profile of the internal process to diagnose hydraulic operating conditions such as damage to internals, flooding, liquid levels on trays and distributors, and liquid distribution through packed beds.

Performing Tru-Grid™ Scans before a scheduled shutdown can help capture real-time data to optimize your turnaround and reduce cost over-runs. Scan results will prepare those planning the turnaround activities with the knowledge needed for critical path decisions. Scans performed five to six weeks prior to a scheduled shutdown usually provides enough time to order new equipment without expediting charges and to schedule the required manpower. 

In this latest blog, Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Plc, discusses how an unexpected pressure surge affected the performance of an acid solvent recovery column.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Tru-Grid Scan, gamma scan, packing mal-distribution, liquid distribution, quantitative analysis pack beds, PackView Analysis, packed bed towers, packed bed scan

Learn more about PackView™ technology at AIChE 2017.

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Mar 20, 2017 8:32:00 PM

Tracerco will be highlighting our latest technology and improved analysis, PackView™ for packed towers, at this year's AIChE 2017 Spring Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Topical 8 - Session: Kister Distillation Symposium 2017:
Distillation Troubleshooting and Controls: Lessons Learned 
 
Tracerco Presentation Details:
"Packed Bed Performance Analytics Based on Gamma Scans"
Wednesday March 29, 2017 8:05 am 
Room 302 AB, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center 

Mark your schedule to sit in on the paper "Packed Bed Performance Analytics Based on Gamma Scans" presented by Lowell Pless - Business Development Manager - Distillation Applications for Johnson Matthey - Tracerco. The presentation will provide actual case studies illustrating how this advanced analysis provides a new method of extracting quantitative information from gamma scan data to diagnose and characterize operation of distillation and separation towers. Read more about the the presentation in the following abstract that will provide an overview of what will be presented.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Tru-Grid Scan, gamma scan, packing mal-distribution, liquid distribution, quantitative analysis pack beds, PackView Analysis

How to define foam profiles in coke drums and verify level devices: A case study

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Mar 3, 2017 3:24:45 PM

Tru-Scan™ is used by refineries to define foam profiles and verify level detection devices in their coke drums. A Tru-Scan can determine the difference in vapour density throughout a typical drum cycle.

In this latest blog, Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Plc, discusses how a Tru-Scan™ can be a powerful tool for gathering much needed information to optimise a coke drum cycle.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Tru-Scan, coke buildup, coke deposits, gamma scan, level detection devices, coke drum cycle, coke drum optimization, coke drum, foam profile, coker optimization, coker units, delayed coke drum

How to determine catalyst loss in FCC reactor or FCC regenerator cyclones: A case study

Posted by Nicola Porter

Jan 5, 2017 11:09:32 AM

The loss of catalyst through reactor or regenerator cyclones is a fairly common problem. Identifying the reason for the loss is often difficult.

In this latest blog, Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Plc, discusses how a Tru-Scan™ can be a powerful tool for gathering much needed information regarding the loss of catalyst.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, Tru-Scan, fcc unit, fcc, fcc diagnostics, fccu process, fccu studies, cracking unit, fcc troubleshooting, fcc units, fcc unit process, fluid catalytic cracking diagnostics, fluid catalytic cracking services, fluid catalytic cracking unit, Catalytic cracking, fcc cracking, reactor cyclone, gamma scan, fcc additives, fcc services, reactor distributor, riser reactor, fcc reactor, reactor riser, reactor stripper, regenerator cyclone, catalyst loss, Intercat, fcc addition systems

The top three questions we are asked about our tower scanning technology

Posted by Callum Grieves

Sep 29, 2016 10:01:29 AM


It is common in many oil refineries, chemical, ethanol and ammonia plants, for critical process equipment to experience problems. Issues in trayed towers such as internal tray damage, missing trays, plugged downcomers and tray foaming can all lead to off-spec production and in some cases, un-anticipated shutdowns. Scanning technology can help you avoid these scenarios by providing you with an assessment of your operating conditions, whilst your process equipment remains online. In this blog post we will feature the top three questions we are asked with regard to Trayed Towers and our Tru-Scan™ technology

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Topics: Process Diagnostics, Gamma Scanning, Tru-Scan, Tray Damage, FrothView, tower scan, tower scanning, tower gamma scan, flooded trays, process equipment, Tray weeping, tray fouling, mechanical integrity

How to diagnose liquid maldistribution in packed beds: A case study - Part 1

Posted by Nicola Porter

May 12, 2016 8:52:49 AM

This post is the first of the "Diagnosing liquid maldistribution inside packed beds" series.

A challenge to process engineers is diagnosing liquid maldistribution problems inside packed beds that can cause severe mass transfer efficiency loss. In industrial distillation columns, common examples of the cause of liquid maldistribution are design, manufacture or installation defects of distributors as well as damage, plugging and process disturbance of packed beds.

In this latest blog, we will explain using a case study approach how Tracerco's scanning technologies can be used to diagnose suspected maldistribution in packed beds.

The first step to determine liquid maldistribution in a packed column is to perform a Tracerco Tru-Grid™ Scan to provide an initial look at the liquid distribution in the packing.  A Tru-Grid™ scan consists of four equal-distant chords, one through each quadrant of the tower. Under ideal conditions and uniform liquid loadings, each scan plot will overlay closely with all others.

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Topics: optimising plant processing, process systems, plant processing, scanning technology, Process Diagnostics, Gamma Scanning, Distillation Column Performance, packed column performance, distillation tower scanning, annular liquid distribution, Liquid maldistribution, packed column, Tru-Grid Scan, distillation column maintenance, Tracerco technologies, optimising plant production, Suspected maldistribution in packed beds

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