New York Terminals has installed an automated tank gauging solution from Emerson to provide safe and reliable overfill prevention, and to optimise operations.

The waterfront terminal stores diesel, lube oil, acids, chemicals, and biofuels in 39 above-ground tanks. Loading and unloading is made by rail, truck, or marine vessels. With safety being of supreme importance for the independently-owned company, it upgraded from manual gauging to an automated solution – including Emerson’s unique 2-in-1 radar level technology – to enhance its overfill prevention measures, maximise the use of its capacity, and increase efficiency.

The company has a long and successful relationship with Emerson, and selected it to implement its automated system for tank gauging and overfill prevention. By utilising Emerson’s Rosemount™ 5900S 2-in-1 Radar Level Gauges, high-accuracy temperature measurement and a SIL 2-rated overfill prevention system, the company eliminated manual tank climbing and hand gauging, therefore reducing risks for workers. The system allows for faster barge turnaround due to higher pump rates, while adjusted safe fill levels enable the tanks to be utilised to a higher degree. Also, with a failsafe overfill alarm system connected to the radar tank gauging system and overfill alarm panels located close to the groups of tanks, safety has been enhanced by another layer. 

New York Terminals’ General Manager, Craig Royston said: “Safety is our number one priority at New York Terminals, especially as our terminal is located 20 feet from the water in the New York metropolitan area. Therefore, we continue to invest in the latest overfill prevention solutions that help to minimise risk. With its SIL 2 capability and global safety approvals, Emerson’s Rosemount 5900S 2-in-1 technology enables us to not just comply with the current regulatory requirements and guidelines, but to stay ahead of the curve.”

Typically deployed within larger bulk storage applications, the 2-in-1 technology in the Rosemount 5900S enables it to simultaneously serve as both an automatic tank gauge and an independent overfill prevention sensor, using a single antenna. This is achieved by having two separate and independent electronic units housed within the transmitter head. The potential for antenna failure is very low and all failures are detectable by the electronics. The Rosemount 5900S 2-in-1 fulfils the requirements for independent protection layers stipulated in the IEC 61511 and API 2350 standards, and its need for only one tank opening creates considerable installation savings. The gauge can be remotely proof-tested in minutes, without affecting tank operations. This reduces labour, process downtime, and crucially overall risk to workers.

The automated system allows for higher pump rates and more rapid liquid transfers, saving barge dock time and costs. Due to the increased safety and reliability, it is now possible to utilise more of the tank space by raising the maximum fill levels, which means increased revenue.

The automatic system is more accurate than manual measurements, and tank data is always available, independent of weather conditions or time of day. This eliminates the need for tank climbing and hand-dipping, thereby reducing operator risks.

Before the radar system was implemented, unloading a barge into the terminal’s tanks required two workers in the beginning stages and three workers before finishing – one at the dock, one near the valves and one at the top of the tank. Now the company uses only one worker at the dock, and conducts tank monitoring from an office. This has saved eight manhours per barge, and with more than 100 barges per year, this equates to a total saving of more than 800 manhours per year.

Craig said: “Because radar tank gauging keeps workers off the tank roof and ladders, their personal safety has significantly increased, since climbing tanks can be risky. In addition to this enhanced safety, we have also experienced significant productivity improvements with the automated tank gauging system. Now we load at least 15% faster, and we can utilise more tank space by raising our maximum fill levels, therefore increasing operational efficiency.”

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15th Jan 2018

15th January 2018