Their challenge

When this client decided that they wanted to increase the production capacity at one their Texas facilities, they engaged Salas O’Brien to analyze the existing operations and provide engineering designs for necessary modifications to the facility. The project scope included designs for the implementation of a variety of new systems and equipment, including a Safety Instrumented System (SIS) and automated emergency purge system. One of the key challenges of this project lay in planning for upgrades to existing electrical equipment that minimized production downtime. In addition, some of the systems and equipment needed to a meet specific Safety Integrity Level (SIL) for compliance.

Our solution

Our team created a model of the cooling water system that enabled us to simulate and analyze the effect an increase in cooling water flow (necessary for expansion) would have on overall system performance. During our analysis of the existing process, our team discovered a short circuit that was hampering production. We engineered a solution that would eliminate the short circuit, and we completed structural analysis and engineering designs for the necessary additions to the system. We then engineered tie-points which could be installed during the yearly plant turnaround and would allow for key process switchovers to occur with little to no production downtime. In addition, we also specified all instrumentation and controls to meet the process and SIL requirements and to integrate with the plant’s Distributed Control System (DCS) and new Safety Instrumented System (SIS). Finally, our team worked closely with the client to help adapt designs from a sister plant’s emergency purge system so that it could be properly implemented and operated.