What is the real cost of process commissioning?
It is not just the direct costs of staff and resources, but often more significant are the opportunity costs of delayed production due to inefficiency and delays. What is a one day delay in commissioning really worth to your business?
Most people will acknowledge that commissioning is quicker, cheaper and more effective if commissioning planning is done well. But in many cases the project team are too busy building the plant to spend sufficient time planning the commissioning. As a result, commissioning takes longer than scheduled resulting in increased costs and delayed revenue. This can be overcome by getting on top of commissioning planning by using a structured methodology at an early stage and integrating this into the overall project planning process.
Engineered Efficiency are commissioning planning experts with commissioning planning experience in many industries including Alumina, Chemical Production, Water Treatment, Gold and Rare Earths.
Engineered Efficiency kick off the commissioning planning process with a commissioning planning workshop. The best time to conduct a commissioning planning workshop is early in construction. This timing is important because the outcomes of the commissioning planning workshop can affect the construction schedule, particularly around the order in which particular areas of the plant are completed and handed over to commissioning.
Our commissioning planning workshop is a structured, facilitated process where you will:
A workshop would typically take 2 to 5 days depending on the size and complexity of the plant to be commissioned. Once the workshop is complete Engineered Efficiency will populate the commissioning plan detailing the outcomes of all the areas discussed in the workshop. The plan can then by used by the commissioning manager and their team to manage the commissioning process.
Engineered Efficiency can provide a proforma commissioning procedure template for the team to use to develop the area specific work-packs, or you can draw on our extensive commissioning knowledge and we can prepare them for you.
We are pleased to announce the signing of a distribution agreement with Pulsar Process Measurement for the distribution of non-invasive process measurement and control equipment in Australia.
The Pulsar range is built around ultrasonic and radar technologies, and they are world leaders in their field. By taking a step forward in echo processing technology, Pulsar has been able to address applications previously thought to be beyond the scope of ultrasonic level measurement. Their improved initial signal processing at the transducer head has opened up a greater range of possible applications for this technology.
Pulsar's equipment can be found installed around the world and across Australia. As a testament to the robustness of the equipment, Pulsar have been selected as preferred supplier of level monitoring equipment for sewerage wet-wells by a number of water utilities worldwide, where reliability and accuracy are required for safe and effective operation of sewer networks.
In line with our philosophy of building operational efficiency, this range of products can be used for process monitoring and control under arduous conditions.
As well as being suited to new installations, we are excited about the possibilities for brownfields installations where the non-invasive technologies provide reliable and accurate metering without the need to stop the process for installation.
We welcome your enquiry as to how the Pulsar range of equipment can benefit your business.
As part of its continued growth Altrum Pty Ltd (t/a Engineered Efficiency) is pleased to announce that on 1 July 2017 Jeff Hughes became a director and shareholder in the business. Jeff brings a wealth of project management and engineering experience and has been brought on board to continue to grow the business.
Jeff has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Graduate Diploma in Management and has over 20 years’ experience working in the mineral processing, chemical and utility industries. He has a comprehensive understanding of the project lifecycle, from concept and initial design through to construction and commissioning. His experience working in small and medium sized engineering companies will be an asset to Engineered Efficiency as it continues its growth.
Founding director Jon Langford said “It has recently become clear to me that to enable Engineered Efficiency to continue to grow we need additional senior management to facilitate that growth. I have known Jeff for nearly 20 years and felt that his skill set would dovetail nicely with my own as we grow the business into new markets.”
When we think of flow metering for liquids, we rarely get past the industrial workhorses of the Magflow (Magnetic Flow Meter) or the turbine meter. I have no real beef with these; years of development has led to accurate and reliable meters and are still the meters of choice for countless applications.
However, lurking in the wings for many years has been the clamp on ultrasonic flowmeter. Often dismissed as being only for temporary installation and of dubious accuracy, this technology has advanced to the point that it is a viable alternative to "mainstream" metering, and when well installed can offer similar levels of accuracy.
Having worked with ultrasonic meters for over 20 years, I remember the difficulties of setting up and getting reliable metering values from the early units. I can also say that those days are gone, and with improvements in the metering technology as well as the interface, setting them up is more-or-less childs play (so long as the given child can use a screwdriver, measuring tape and keyboard).
The main advantage of the ultrasonic technology is that there is no need to break into the pipe to install the equipment. As well as offering higher integrity for hazardous materials or hygienic systems, they are ideal for retro-fit metering installations.
Here is an example of an ultrasonic meter Engineered Efficiency installed on a live fire water system at a Perth hospital.To install a more conventional flow meter would involve draining the line, cutting into the galvanised pipe (and compromising the galvanising), welding in flanges before fitting the meter and re-hydrotesting, with a likely project cost of over $5,000 and many hours downtime. We installed the ultrasonic flowmeter in less than half an hour with no system downtime, at a significantly lower project cost.
So what about the accuracy? This meter has an accuracy of around ±2% or better, which is fine for most practical purposes. Whilst not quite the accuracy of a magflow meter installed under ideal conditions, it is probably as good (if not better) than a poorly installed magflow meter done in haste as a retrofit.
So next time you are looking at a meter retrofit, or are metering a product where minimal pipe fittings is an advantage (hazardous materials, hygienic systems), run the ruler over an ultrasonic meter.
The gold price is up, the Aussie dollar is down. Seems like a good time to dust off that gold plant you mothballed a couple of years ago. But you find that the thermal oil in the elution heating system has moisture in it and there is sludge and corrosion all through it, and the heat exchanger plates are pitted because the system wasn't flushed when it was put to bed. And a whole new thermal oil circuit is not really viable...who knows how long the run on gold will last this time?
Perhaps a direct fired elution heater would be a better option? But what are the benefits and the downsides of going direct?
In answer to this, we have dusted off a piece written by Jon in 2004 on direct fired elution systems, and (like many things in process engineering), nothing has really changed. You can find the article on our Resources page, but to make your life easier, here's a link.