Within any constraints the plant is subject to, design parameters are optimized for good economic performance while ensuring safety and welfare of personnel and the surrounding community. For flexibility, a plant may be designed to operate in a range around some optimal design parameters in case feedstock or economic conditions change and re-optimization is desirable. In more modern times, computer simulations or other computer calculations have been used to help in chemical plant design or optimization. In process control , information gathered automatically from various sensors or other devices in the plant is used to control various equipment for running the plant, thereby controlling operation of the plant.
Instruments receiving such information signals and sending out control signals to perform this function automatically are process controllers. Previously, pneumatic controls were sometimes used. Electrical controls are now common. A plant often has a control room with displays of parameters such as key temperatures, pressures, fluid flow rates and levels, operating positions of key valves, pumps and other equipment, etc. In addition, operators in the control room can control various aspects of the plant operation, often including overriding automatic control.
Process control with a computer represents more modern technology.
Competitiveness in Batch Processes | Chemical Industry | Siemens
Based on possible changing feedstock composition, changing products requirements or economics, or other changes in constraints, operating conditions may be re-optimized to maximize profit. As in any industrial setting, there are a variety of workers working throughout a chemical plant facility, often organized into departments, sections, or other work groups. Such workers typically include engineers , plant operators , and maintenance technicians.
Large quantities of fluid feedstock or product may enter or leave a plant by pipeline , railroad tank car , or tanker truck. For example, petroleum commonly comes to a refinery by pipeline. Pipelines can also carry petrochemical feedstock from a refinery to a nearby petrochemical plant. Natural gas is a product which comes all the way from a natural gas processing plant to final consumers by pipeline or tubing.
Large quantities of liquid feedstock are typically pumped into process units. Smaller quantities of feedstock or product may be shipped to or from a plant in drums. Use of drums about 55 gallons in capacity is common for packaging industrial quantities of chemicals. Smaller batches of feedstock may be added from drums or other containers to process units by workers. In addition to feeding and operating the plant, and packaging or preparing the product for shipping, plant workers are needed for taking samples for routine and troubleshooting analysis and for performing routine and non-routine maintenance.
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Routine maintenance can include periodic inspections and replacement of worn catalyst, analyzer reagents, various sensors, or mechanical parts. Non-routine maintenance can include investigating problems and then fixing them, such as leaks, failure to meet feed or product specifications, mechanical failures of valves, pumps, compressors, sensors, etc. When working with chemicals, safety is a concern in order to avoid problems such as chemical accidents.
In the United States , the law requires that employers provide workers working with chemicals with access to a Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS for every kind of chemical they work with.
Batch to continuous chemical manufacturing process
An MSDS for a certain chemical is prepared and provided by the supplier to whoever buys the chemical. Hazmat hazardous materials teams are trained to deal with chemical leaks or spills. In , the U. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has become operational. The actual production or process part of a plant may be indoors, outdoors, or a combination of the two.
It may be a traditional stick-built plant or a modular skid.
Large modular skids are especially impressive feats of engineering. A modular skid is built including all of the modular equipment needed to do the same job a traditional stick-build plant may perform. However, the modular skid is built within a structural steel frame , allowing it to be shipped to the onsite location without needing to be rebuilt onsite.
A modular skid build results in a higher functioning end product, as less hands are required in the onsite setup of the modular skid process unit, resulting in minimized risk for mishaps. The actual production section of a facility usually has the appearance of a rather industrial environment.
Hard hats and work shoes are commonly worn. Floors and stairs are often made of metal grating, and there is practically no decoration.
Difference between Continuous and Batch Process
There may also be pollution control or waste treatment facilities or equipment. Sometimes existing plants may be expanded or modified based on changing economics, feedstock, or product needs. As in other production facilities, there may be shipping and receiving, and storage facilities.
In addition, there are usually certain other facilities, typically indoors, to support production at the site. Although some simple sample analysis may be able to be done by operations technicians in the plant area, a chemical plant typically has a laboratory where chemists analyze samples taken from the plant.
Such analysis can include chemical analysis or determination of physical properties. Sample analysis can include routine quality control on feedstock coming into the plant, intermediate and final products to ensure quality specifications are met. Non-routine samples may be taken and analyzed for investigating plant process problems also.
A larger chemical company often has a research laboratory for developing and testing products and processes where there may be pilot plants, but such a laboratory may be located at a site separate from the production plants. A plant may also have a workshop or maintenance facility for repairs or keeping maintenance equipment. There is also typically some office space for engineers, management or administration, and perhaps for receiving visitors.
The decorum there is commonly more typical of an office environment. Chemical Plants used particularly for commodity chemical and petrochemical manufacture, are located in relatively few manufacturing locations around the world largely due to infrastructural needs. This is less important for speciality or fine chemical batch plants. These manufacturing locations often have business clusters of units called chemical plants that share utilities and large scale infrastructure such as power stations, port facilities, road and rail terminals.
Corrosion in chemical process plants is a major issue that consumes billions of dollars yearly. Electrochemical corrosion of metals is pronounced in chemical process plants due to the presence of acid fumes and other electrolytic interactions. Recently, FRP Fibre-reinforced plastic is used as a material of construction.
The British standard specification BS is widely used for design and construction of the vessels, tanks, etc. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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This article needs additional citations for verification. This fundamental principle is the basis of the 'fit the equipment to the process and not the process to the equipment' school of thought. The concept has been developed as a series of process design tools by Britest, a not-for-profit organisation combining academics, fine chemicals and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, and engineering contractors. This Britest Methodology - a step-by-step guide to process design and equipment selection - forces the user to develop a greater understanding of the whole process, and thus to adopt the optimum solution.
A wide range of 'process intensified' PI equipment has been developed that can give rates of mass and heat transfer several orders of magnitude greater than that of the standard batch stirred tank. This does not, however, agree with the holistic approach needed to produce the most economically sound design see 'An example of a 'Process Intensified' approach', which is linked at the end of this article. In April , Foster Wheeler carried out a detailed review of small scale continuous processing equipment, concluding that all items required to continuously carry out unit operations in a typical pharma plant are available in industrially proven, packaged equipment.
In many cases this had been designed for use in industries with similar requirements, such as food and semiconductor fabrication, thus minimising the need to 'pharmaceuticalise'. A continuous plant should be designed to make the optimum return. Process plants are not exempt from the law of diminishing returns, and when one is moving into new technology the process designer needs to assess the cost-benefit-risk of their decisions, and keep in mind the question: 'how much of this plant needs to be continuous to give the step change in performance I need?
The solid raw material for the plant is most likely to arrive in batch form, and the finished product will probably leave the same way. It is between these two batch operations that the process designer must decide where the interfaces between batch operations and continuous operation lie. A Foster Wheeler design study in June where the design for an existing batch API plant was converted to operate continuously, revealed moving to continuous processing to be inherently more efficient as:. Figure 1 shows the process flow diagrams PFD for the existing batch plant.
The process stages in green are the stages where value is added; those in red are carried out only because of the stage-by-stage campaign operating regime of the batch plant. Figure 2 is the PFD for the integrated continuous plant. Not only are there far fewer stages, but the scale of the equipment for each stage is greatly reduced the filter-dryer is replaced with a continuous pressure filter with a hundredth of the volume. The batch-to-continuous design study 1 quantified the utility and warehouse reductions, and showed that for a new plant the utility requirements were a fraction of the required cost, space and duty compared with a batch plant of the same throughput.