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A typical tank farm company has many different use cases for manual valve positioning that can be made economically viable through IoT, as this way it is no longer necessary to automate every valve to increase safety, efficiency and avoid contaminations and spills.
In a tank farm, you typically find thousands of manual valves that are often part of the valve line up system to move products in-between the tanks and the loading areas. The valves part of the lineup procedure that are manually operated are subject to written procedures. Commonly, every step gets double checked (four eye principle). This effort by itself is time consuming and causes enormous inefficiencies.
Additionally, it is challenging to keep a good oversight during different stages of the lineup procedure due to the large number of manual valves. Leaving a valve accidently in the wrong position has proven to cause cross-contamination and spills which quickly add up to significant costs.
To further improve safety and increase efficiency around valve operations during lineup, Aloxy’s valve positioning solution is introduced. A LPWAN network (DASH7 or LoRaWAN) is installed and a selection of valves on the system has been equipped with the Aloxy Pulse valve position sensor. The Aloxy Pulse can be installed in a life storage facility without the need to modify or operate the valve. The valve position is now “real time” available in the control systems or on the operator’s handheld.
Typically, during a lineup procedure, both manual and automated valves need to be operated. At the same time, it is equally important that all valves linked to this lineup are closed to prevent contamination or spills. Having the manual valve positions available in
real-time in the control system will give confirmation that the valve is in the correct position after the standard procedures are executed. At the same time, an alarm can be triggered when a valve is not in the right position and a visual check can be done to make sure the valve is in its correct position.
Understanding the position of all valves and the number of times they are operated can also be used in analytics to determine the ideal and most efficient lineup.
Occupancy and throughput of the tank farm are important KPI’s. By increasing efficiency and eliminating the requirement to go outside and double check valve positions, the lineup process is increased, and more loading and offloading activities can take place. At the same time efficiency and throughput is improved by lowering the number of contaminations, incidents and spills.
Having a more efficient and safer tank farm will keep your existing customers happy and attract new customers increasing again your occupancy.