As part of a gas field expansion in Saudi Arabia, an international group approached the specialists at pump manufacturer Lewa Nikkiso Italy in February 2019 to commission the planning and delivery of 16 canned motor pumps. The systems that were ordered will be used in Saudi Arabia in raw oil processing and removing unwanted by-products from the gas flow. In addition to powerful pump technology, it is crucial to remove the medium reliably and safely, since the substances separated with this method often form a toxic, highly corrosive mixture. The Nikkiso Non-Seal pumps being used function without dynamic seals and also feature twin safety shells consisting of an inner stator lining and external pressure-resistant stator housing. As a result, leakage and the associated risks for the environment and employees can be effectively prevented. An integrated E-Monitor also ensures increased process safety at the customer’s onshore installation by monitoring the bearing conditions of the hermetically tight pumps. The project is expected to be completed in 2020, including detailed planning and procurement plus construction and installation work.
In the course of raw material processing, unwanted by-products are continuously removed from the oil or gas flow. “The unusable mixture of substances that is derived from the clean gas flow mostly consists of hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and amines,” explained Riccardo Marcotti, Senior Product Manager at Lewa Nikkiso Italy. “Hydrogen sulfide is particularly worth mentioning here, since it is a highly toxic chemical compound even in very low percentage and, dissolved in water, it is also highly corrosive to piping and equipment by sulfide stress cracking.” This is why it is only possible to remove unwanted by-products with conventional pump technology to a limited extent – the risk of leakage and thus the release of hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere is too high.
Second protecting shell and elimination of dynamic seals
In light of these challenges, the global oil and gas company contacted Lewa Nikkiso Italy, a subsidiary of the Leonberg pump manufacturer, in February 2019 and commissioned the production and delivery of a total of 16 Nikkiso Non-Seal canned motor pumps. The pumps are necessary to guarantee that the toxic by-products are transported without complications, while avoiding negative effects on the environment and personnel at the expansion of the onshore gas field. “As you can imagine, the user’s requirements for pump quality and project organization were very detailed,” said Marcotti. “Above all, the customer placed priority on the aspects of pump reliability and safety. Our Nikkiso canned motor pumps were able to meet their standards optimally.”
In total, the delivery to the major customer from Saudi Arabia includes six type HN23F-D2 canned motor pumps, two type HN24E-D3 models, four pumps in the HN23F-D3 basic design – as well as additional four warehouse spare pumps – each model sized for rated performance conditions. All of the variants being used feature a motor that is integrated right into the respective canned motor pump and is protected against leakage by a seal-welded, corrosion-resistant lining. And the entire motor exterior is encapsulated in a second leak-proof protective shell. As a result, we can eliminate the possibility the mixture will escape and contaminate the surrounding area and the environment. “Omitting dynamic seals has also allowed us to significantly boost operating safety during the work process,” added Marcotti.
E-Monitor determines current bearing condition
Absolute process reliability also includes ensuring constant motor cooling to prevent immediate and long-term damage to the pump. Therefore, in the canned motor pumps being used, the medium being conveyed circulates in the area between the rotor and stator lining, affecting the motor temperature while lubricating the slide bushings at the same time. The integrated thermostats attached at the overheating points of the winding monitor the temperature and switch the motor off in case of overheating. This prevents subsequent damage.
In addition to monitoring the temperature, it is possible to check the bearing condition during pump operation. To do this, the sensors integrated into the stator transmit the relevant measurement data to a modern E-Monitor – for example, if the rotor leaves the safe operating position due to bearing wear. The sensors register this type of status change and report it to the monitoring unit. “A green LED lights up on the display to indicate a good bearing condition to the personnel, for example,” explained Marcotti. “A yellow light, on the other hand, indicates that the pump should be checked during the next system downtime. If a red LED lights up, the pump must be shut down immediately.” The device makes it possible for customers to perform preventive maintenance work based on bearing wear and check that the pump’s direction of rotation is correct. As a result, it is not necessary to measure phase rotation during commissioning.
Everything from a single source
In this major project in Saudi Arabia, Lewa Nikkiso Italy has been entrusted with the full spectrum of project implementation. This means the subsidiary of the Leonberg Group has been commissioned with detailed planning and procurement, as well as carrying out the supervision assistance for construction and installation work. “Thanks to our extensive experience with other EPC projects, we will be able to meet all the existing requirements without a problem,” said Marcotti. “In addition to the necessary levels of safety and reliability, this applies to the specifications for compactness and maintenance, in particular.” The modular structure of the pumps to be delivered is helpful here, since they consist of just a few components. All that is required is straightforward assembly and maintenance – without any spacer discs or clearance settings. And no additional motor or pump bearing lubrication is needed, since the medium being transported coats the sliding parts on its own. “This makes the pumps extremely easy to maintain and minimizes expensive downtime at the same time,” Marcotti explained. Delivery of the 16 canned motor pumps is planned for February 2020; he expanded onshore gas field is expected to start up in 2022.
Fresh fragrance on feminine hygiene products
Smallest quantities sprayed continuously but flexibly
A new project of Visctotec Asia at the end of 2019 was the application of a fragrance on top of feminine hygiene products. Before implementation, dosing tests were carried out for the customer. A preeflow Eco-Spray dispenser was employed for this. The aim of the tests was to check the dosing accuracy and repeatability of the Eco-Spray for the small quantities. A particular challenge was to achieve precise results for various different products. Various quantities were to be tested for several products in the customer portfolio: 1.5, 1.8 and 2.5 mg per part – to allow flexible automated production. The in-depth dosing tests consistently demonstrated the accuracy and consistency of the small volumes required for the process. With the preeflow spray dispenser, Visctotec Asia is able to spray with less than 1 % deviation from the nominal value.
An example from the customer’s portfolio: The parts to be dispensed run in a roll form under the Eco-Spray. The speed of the roll is over 1,500 parts per minute. At the final stage, the customer wants to apply a small amount of <1.6 mg of fragrance to each product. The material is gravity fed from a container suspended about 2.5 meters above the floor. The method used up to now could not precisely dose such a small volume in each part and had poor repeatability. In conclusion, the customer decided to purchase the Eco-Spray from preeflow to integrate the spray dispenser into the existing line.
The key to success: The dosing tests proved that the customer required volume accuracy and consistency for product model could be achieved. In addition, the change from a pressure tank or gear pump tank, which was previously used, to product being fed by a gravity tank was convincing. An analog signal with PLC now also makes it possible to link the speed of the production line with the flow rate of the dispenser. This means that the amount of liquid to be sprayed can be dynamically adjusted according to the speed of the roll.
For consumers and the government, a maximum of safety and quality in the production of food is essential. In order to ensure the highest standards of hygiene, food producers and processors are obliged to clean their machinery regularly via washdowns. To guarantee that vacuum pumps are effectively protected from the used aggressive cleaning media, Leybold has developed a series of Hygienic Enclosures. The vacuum specialist offers users these stainless steel housings in seven different sizes, tailor made for each vacuum pump.
Risk of contamination eliminated
In the food industry, vacuum pumps are often placed directly next to the processing and packaging lines and thus not implemented in the equipment. On the one hand, this leads to a higher vacuum performance because, losses in pumping speed over longer pipelines are avoided. A direct positive consequence of this, are shorter process cycles and a better product quality. On the other hand, unprotected pumps are directly exposed to aggressive cleaning media during the rinsing processes. Over time, this leads to corroded vacuum pumps, shorter life cycles, higher costs and ultimately even to food contamination.
Effectively protected in stainless steel enclosures
In order to counteract these risks, Leybold has developed a new protection concept with the Hygienic Enclosures. Encased by these stainless steel enclosures, the vacuum pumps can be positioned near machines and systems without any problems. „On the basis of the protected Leybold vacuum pumps we can create better and more robust solutions for the demanding food applications“, emphasizes the responsible product manager Niels Gorrebeeck. „Of course, this applies all the more to applications such as stuffers, tumblers and of course packaging machines, where the machines and systems are cleaned and disinfected particularly frequently and intensively,“ the product manager explains.
Tailor made & easy to install
Gorrebeeck explains that these stainless steel enclosures are tailor made for each vacuum pump. As a result each enclosed pump can run constantly on every working pressure. The only limitation is the maximal ambient temperature for the enclosure. Nevertheless, the normal working temperature in F&P environments are around 10 °C, we qualified most enclosures up to 25 °C. Further all the enclosures are offered as a Do It Yourself kit and can be as well installed as commissioned by the user themselves without great effort. „These properties make of the Hygienic Enclosures a cost-effective, sustainable solution. In the end, Hygienic Enclosures makes investments in expensive piping obsolete and at the same moment they offer a better pumping speed performance“, argues Niels Gorrebeeck.
Incidentally, this also applies not least with regard to future packaging concepts. Gorrebeeck believes that the industry is also well equipped for this with the new enclosures: „Regardless of which solutions will prevail, food applications can be operated from today more hygienically, ergonomically as well as flexibly. Leybold can successfully accompany these processes into the future with our holistic solution approaches.“
Compressed air for jet milling applications
When it comes to generating compressed air, operators of jet milling equipment for the production of very fine powders can achieve significant energy cost savings through the skilful use of heat recovery. It is for this very reason that Kaeser has recently expanded the options palette for its range of oil-free compression rotary screw compressors from the CSG, DSG and FSG series.
Aside from steam, jet mills are most commonly operated using nitrogen or compressed air. In the case of the latter, heat energy can be recovered from the compressed air inside the jet nozzles and subsequently reused for the milling process. Exhaust heat arises as a by-product of compressed air generation, which essentially makes it a cost-free source of energy.
With the specific needs of jet milling applications in mind, Kaeser has now extended the options palette available for its two-stage, oil-free compression rotary screw compressors to include such features as compressed air discharge temperature control. Operating via flexible, controlled adjustments to the intercooler, this option can lead to a clear reduction in specific energy consumption per tonne of the final product, depending on the type of material being processed.
Kaeser offers the option of compressed air discharge temperature control on compressors from the CSG, DSG and FSG model range, featuring a power output from 37 – 355 kW and pressure from 4 – 11 bar. Both air-cooled and water-cooled versions are available.
Furthermore, Kaeser also offers compressors specially adapted for operation with nitrogen, in which the compressor can be individually configured to the specific nitrogen circuit.