A manufacturing or heavy industrial facility is much more than machines and equipment. It’s also a vast reservoir of data generated by sensors, analyzers and human workers. When manufacturers are able to acquire, analyze and respond to all of that data, they elevate information into something far more valuable — business intelligence. See how Solenis helped an oil refinery improve its data visibility and, as a result, its competitiveness.
An oil refinery in the Gulf Coast region of the United States was experiencing high iron and surface pitting of carbon steel. The cause of these problems was identified as microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). After identifying low-flow heat exchanger velocity as a contributing factor, Solenis recommended that the refinery employ an OnGuardTM 2-plus control system to model the operating conditions of a challenged lean amine cooler in the sulfur recovery unit. Data from the OnGuard system revealed that the heat exchanger was leaking amine, which was contributing to microbiological growth. The system also quantified the effect of biofouling on corrosion and heat transfer. Armed with this information, the refinery was able to take corrective measures that resulted in a 66 percent reduction in carbon steel pitting and a 52 percent reduction in carbon steel corrosion. The refinery was also able to increase heat exchanger efficiency, extend heat exchanger bundle life by 30 percent and eliminate unscheduled downtime, all of which strengthened the refinery’s competitive position.