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MOTOREX Magazine 2011 92 EN

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INSIDE NEW TANK FARM WITH PIG TECHNOLOGY Filling, producing and emptying fluids using multiple mixers in real time is a complicated affair in which the tank farm plays a key role. By expanding its tank facilities and installing the latest generation of pigging technology, MOTOREX is again expanding its innovative infrastructure. When a talented chef wants to conjure up a delectable feast, he may need quite a few pans, chafers, platters, etc. depending on the number of courses and length of the guest list. It’s the same with the over 2,500 different products that MOTOREX makes. The tank farm plays a key role in this process, supplying the mixers with the necessary raw materials. The semi-finished products produced by various Quick and thorough cleaning recipes are again stored in tanks before being sent to the final stage of production. And temporary tank storage is needed once more for any finished products that can’t be immediately packaged in the large or small filling plant. IMPROVING FLEXIBILITY With 7,000 cubic meters at Langenthal alone, MOTOREX’s base oil storage facility is the biggest in Switzerland. Additives and semi-finished and finished products are kept in separate tanks, divided by product category. The company is now adding 28 tanks that will provide over 500 cubic meters of additional storage volume. This will make it possible to use the mixing equipment more efficiently by storing certain products temporarily before filling and to optimize production sequencing. The construction will permanently improve production flexibility, and customers will enjoy even faster delivery times than they do now. 14

Photos: I.S.T. Molchtechnik GmbH, Hamburg “Pigging” makes costly flushing processes and the lengthy production stoppages they entail a thing of the past. These elastomer pigs are propelled through the pipes by compressed air, then captured at the far end. Compressed air forces the elastomer pig through the pipes and fittings, where it thoroughly cleans out residual contents. STACKED HIGH AND ENERGY-SAVING The 28 new tanks will be installed and ready to use by the end of summer 2011. This solution allows optimum use of the existing retention traps and space. So the recapture of waste heat from the products as they are pumped into the storage tanks while still warm from the mixers can be used. Every degree that the tanks are heated makes the fluids a bit easier to pump, which in turn speeds up transfer of media when the outside temperature is low. Thus recovery of heat in the tank farm saves not just time, but also energy. PIGGING SYSTEM CUTS COSTS Before and after production, a few hundred liters of residual contents can easily remain in the pipes and fittings that connect the tanks, filling equipment and mixers. To clean these lines thoroughly for the next production batch, many plants use flushing processes, which take time, generate waste and increase costs. A “pigging” process, by contrast, uses a driver medium to force a device (the pig) made out of a special flexible plastic through the pipes. The medium is usually compressed air, but in rare cases nitrogen may be used to reduce the risk of explosion. This allows the pipes and fittings to be almost completely cleared of residues without wasting any of the material from the production batch. The process boosts production capacity by quickly and thoroughly cleaning the pipe systems, eliminating the need for costly flushing. INVESTMENTS THAT PAY OFF When planning a production facility, installing a pigging system is always worth considering. A pipe system suitable for pigging costs about one-third more than conventional piping, but environmental considerations alone make this a wise investment for the future. Chrome steel pipes will be used exclusively for the tank farm expansion with the new pigging system at MOTOREX. To clean a pipe, the pig is launched pneumatically from a launching station, then directed to the right pipe by means of Y-sections. The entire pigging process is controlled and monitored by an upgrade to the existing process control software. By expanding its tank farm, MOTOREX is again investing in its Langenthal production site and laying an ideal foundation for further growth. • MOTOREX MAGAZINE I APRIL 2011 15



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