Inline Blending: Storage and Processing System Upgrade

CHALLENGE

The Client needed to relocate several key product lines from a Midwest site to an East coast site to realign and strengthen production capabilities. The East coast site’s challenges included:

  • Relocating while active production lines were in operation;
  • Lack of raw material storage;
  • WIP storage capacity; and
  • Site infrastructure challenges.

The project included handling and processing flammable liquids and integration into existing facilities, processes and packing systems.

SOLUTION

Lack of storage capacity. TAI reworked the use and prioritization of a rail spur unloading station and 23 existing raw material storage tanks. One additional 100,000 gallon tank was field fabricated onsite to accommodate a high usage raw material that was new to the site. TAI provided a code compliant design to increase the flexibility and capacity of the raw material storage at the site. TAI provided design and engineering for the new tank foundation, electrical and controls modifications, piping installation and automation upgrades. Careful coordination of the onsite construction activities and scheduling of tie-ins allowed the site to maintain full production while the storage capacity tasks were safely executed.

Introduction of novel process. Property and code restrictions considerably reduced the allowable footprint available to house the relocated production process to accommodate the site’s traditional batch blending process method. TAI and the client worked together to design and fabricate a custom skid to perform inline blending for the new products. The skid was designed and engineered by TAI and fabricated by TAI’s Speciality Construction group in their Baltimore area shop. A FAT was conducted in the shop by TAI’s ISA certified instrument technicians and PLC/HMI programmers. Through design, programming and careful selection of instrumentation, the skid was able to maintain output properties of the product in the narrow band required by the customer and government regulators.

Upgrade facility infrastructure. Facility utility and process upgrades were made to accommodate the new production processes. Thoughtful tie-in to live utility and production piping and systems was achieved through the creation of phased design documents. The RO water loop was expanded and upgraded to include the new process. Other tie-ins were executed to the process piping, compressed air system, process waste and HVAC. New VFD and PLC cabinets were designed and integrated into the area’s electrical and automation systems without process interruption. A hands-on approach to project planning and contractor coordination allowed the site to continue production and packaging in the building while upgrades occurred.

Safety. The project was completed with no near misses or lost time incidents. TAI was responsible for the procurement and performance of craft/trade subcontractors.

Schedule. The phased project was completed in approximately 15 months. All phases were completed on schedule with no production interruptions.

Budget. The project was completed at 94% of the amount estimate and budgeted during the FEL engineering phase.

RESULTS

TAI worked closely with the client to execute a full life cycle EPC project. Front-end engineering activities provided a cost estimate used in the client’s CAR and assisted in identifying and mitigating project risks. TAI leveraged the capabilities of several of its divisions while completing preliminary and detailed engineering and design, PLC/HMI programming, procurement, project and construction management, start-up and client operations and maintenance staff training.

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