Luke Upton: Many thanks for the time today. as an introduction, can you tell us a little bit about your current role at Rosemount Tank Gauging?
Rajagopal Kittu (RK): “Hello Luke, as the Business Manager with Rosemount Tank Gauging MEA offices, my role covers Technical Sales, Marketing, Key Account Management, Project Pursuit, and allied business partner relations in the region. Having the privilege of early and continuous engagement with regional users since inception of Radar Tank Gauging technology in late 90’s in ME, makes my role even more interesting to see the adoption and maturity of this niche application.”
LU: Thanks and Smart wireless technology is a growing development found within many terminals, what are the main advantages of employing it? RK: “Extending Intelligence” – To see what’s happening in areas and applications that were previously out of physical or economic reach. Eg: Valve Position Indication for Manual isolation valves found in piping manifolds. Bringing reliable process measurement data via Wireless communication from proven Radar Level gauges have filled in the gaps, providing better insight, on sites with poor infrastructure to establish communication with the control rooms. Some users with existing wires, like to reclaim them for other critical use such as implementing ESD Overfill Prevention loops on storage tanks, by implementing Wireless Tank gauging. In sites where Tank gauging is more critical, the wireless communication provides a means for establishing a redundant communication path and enhances the overall reliability. It also provides a wealth of diagnostic data to the host system which in most cases is not available with legacy wired systems. Wireless technologies provide huge savings in infrastructure, design and labour needed for installation and commissioning, and remove the hot work and downtime often required by their wired counterparts.”
LU: Emerson recommends deploying a Gap Assessment Plan between Compliant and Non-Compliant tanks, can you tell us some more about this and the advantage of its use?
RK: “Yes. This is a logical fallout from API-2350 Ed.4 standard recommendations. The recent Tank farm overfill incidents and Buncefield recommendations are some of the major drivers for the release of API-2350 Ed.4. New research data from facility insurance claims, suggest that Atmospheric Storage tanks are amongst the most vulnerable processes within any typical petroleum / refining facility considering the volume of hazardous and / or inflammable products stored at one location. While safety measures are implemented from Process licensing stage for complex processes, safety on Atmospheric storage tanks and tank farms have traditionally been perceived more casually. API-2350 Ed. 4 mandates the adoption of a Management System to include Atmospheric Storage Tank Overfill Prevention Process which as a subsequent step leads to Tank farm users performing a Risk Assessment tank by tank to verify its compliance or otherwise (viz. Gap Assessment Plan). Based on the nature of tank farm, its automation level and usage, subsequent recommendations for Overfill protection are laid out. This way the End users can ensure they have a fully complaint and safe operating tank-farm facility.”
LU: Tank gauging and alarm systems have improved greatly in recent years, what are the most important aspects for a terminal managers to look for in seeking new systems in this area?
RK: “Non-Contact Radar Tank Gauging systems using FMCW measuring principle have become the most common and popular choice amongst major tank farm users worldwide as they are field proven and can be standardized for all Atmospheric and Pressurized Storage tanks and spheres. The Measuring principle yields itself to be fault tolerant and with Common electronics for all tanks and no moving parts involved, it is the most reliable solution there is compared to any other near equivalent technology available today. As Safety and Overfill Prevention on storage industry gets more mission critical, adopting the same grade of Continuous level measurement using independent FMCW radar devices is the ultimate protection the industry can get. Terminal Managers need to ensure that no risks are taken when it comes to selection of Safety certified Overfill protection devices. They further need to perform due diligence to ensure that Sensors so selected are Fully certified to IEC 61508 whereby, their responsibility for the device (Sensor+Logic Solver part) gets distributed with the 3rd party certification. Safety devices certified to IEC 61508 using “Proven in use” solutions impose greater documentation responsibility on the part of the End user in substantiating usage of such devices.”
LU: What developments most excite you about the future of the tank storage industry?
RK: “Safety, Accuracy & Efficiency on every aspect of the industry will be the major drivers in future. When it comes to Automation, Emerson addresses all these criteria in every product and solution for the industry. When it comes to Tank Gauging and Overfill, our 5900 series meets SIL3, OIML R85:2008 and is the first 2 wire Open Foundation Fieldbus based system meeting all these criteria for now and future.”
Rajagopal Kittu was an expert speaker and Rosemount® which is an Emerson Process Management brand were a sponsor of Tank World Expo, 14-15 April 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Emerson Process Management (www.EmersonProcess.com), an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries.Emerson (NYSE:EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2013 were $24.7 billion. For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.