An example of productivity with LT Industries’ NIR instruments
Refinery blend monitor pays for itself...quickly!
LT Industries has been working on one of the largest automated, multiplexed process NIR installations in the world. A gasoline refinery is using an LT PetroScan system to monitor blending of gasoline from refinery components -- and thats a lot of liquid from a diverse group of tanks being formulated into a commercial fuel at high speed. The NIR instrument system is more than a simple spectrometer. It is a smart, multi-point chemical analyzer with electronic and software ties into the refinerys distributed control system. Needless to say, it is an installation with a lot of details.
Early comments from the refinerys project leader were along these lines, We have not received the quality of documentation from a vendor on any previous project.; The design procedures have been above standard and we are very pleased with the system. ( To be sure, this is a cooperative effort. The refinery personnel have put in major effort in getting this project to be a productive reality. Still, its nice to hear that the product is appreciated.)
Now that the system is on-line and running in its intended application, the comments address the continual money saving as the refinery sharply curtails octane give-away ... and improves its operational bottom line!
Blend monitoring in the motor fuel industry is happening as the refineries face the need for faster, tighter controls on what goes into their final blending tanks. Reformulation laws just coming into being may restrict the ability of a blender to use make up components in the mix. So, reliable chemical analysis on-the-fly is becoming a critical need. The passivity, speed and multi-parameter determinations available with a PetroScan system make it a valuable asset.
“What’s not to like?”
This was the response of a senior staffer in the fructose sweetener industry. about his satisfaction with his LT equipment. He was one of the senior chemical industry executives attending IFPACs process analysis session. During a break, he visited the instrument exhibition where LTs booth was being manned by the company marketing manager. Their subsequent conversation gave rise to our headline.
The gentleman introduced himself as, One of your Customers. When asked about his satisfaction with the equipment, he responded, Whats not to like? I have used one of your process instruments for about five years. In that time, its been running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Its only been shut down for maintenance a couple of times.
The conversation continued on about that maintenance. He indicated that they have changed the source lamp only two or three times, to his knowledge. [ LT Industries recommends a change every 4500 hours, but that number obviously has a generous margin --ed.] He also related that the instrument was quickly brought back on line with little or no disruption to the calibration.
The application is to establish the dextrose equivalent (DE) of fructose in hot corn syrup during production. Knowing the DE value of fructose and other sweeteners is a requisite when sweetener syrups are sold to the food industry. In this application, LTs Quantum NIR scanner is used in a multiplexed fiber optic sampling mode, with the vital parts housed in a NEMA environmental cabinet. The hot, humid and potentially sticky plant environment may cause an external mess, but the vital job of continuous process analysis goes on unabated -- as the user says, ...twenty-four hours a day... .