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African Petrochemicals Jan/Feb Edition 15_1

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Atlas Copco Industrial

Atlas Copco Industrial Technique’s Accredited Torque Laboratory talks the Torque Atlas Copco Industrial Technique is pleased to announce the recent extension of its SANAS accredited Torque Laboratory’s scope and capabilities. Industrial Technique is a business area within the Atlas Copco group that provides industrial power tools, assembly systems, quality assurance products, software and service to the automotive and general industry sectors including electronics, manufacturing, shipyards, foundries, and machine tool builders. The range comprises approximately 4000 electric and pneumatic tools that include air-line accessories; air motors hoists and trolleys; grinders; sanders; electric and pneumatic screwdrivers and nut-runners; battery tools; pulse tools; impact and torque wrenches; drills and chipping hammers. Atlas Copco Industrial Technique’s SANAS accredited Torque Laboratory can do SANAS accredited hydraulic calibrations on torque wrenches up to 45 000Nm. 4 “We now have ability to do SANAS accredited hydraulic calibrations on torque wrenches up to 45 000Nm,” confirms Calibration Laboratory Manager, Nicolas Van Zyl, adding that Atlas Copco is currently the only laboratory in South Africa that can perform these types of SANAS accredited calibrations. “We also have the ability to do nonaccredited calibrations up to 75 000Nm.” Further improvements to the laboratory’s accredited calibration capabilities include pneumatic torque wrench calibrations up to 2 000Nm as well as electronic displays for torque measuring equipment. “In addition to boosting our calibration and laboratory measurement capabilities, Deputy Laboratory Manager, Johan Kok, now takes up the responsibility as Technical Signatory alongside Van Zyl for the results that are issued on the certificate,” continues Van Zyl. “We have also appointed more personnel to increase our capacity for expansion. This will also ensure that we maintain our reputation to offer efficient customer service and quick turnaround times to our customers.” The industry norm for turnaround times on equipment calibration is anything between seven to ten days. Fully aware that maximum uptime is fundamental to customer and enduser productivity and profitability, Van Zyl and his team are committed to delivering a two-day turnaround time on their calibration services giving customers a competitive advantage. These latest enhancements follow close on the heels of the laboratory achieving SANAS accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard only a few months ago. “We are extremely proud of our SANAS accreditation as it benefits our customers throughout their production process and management of equipment lifecycle and improve uptime, with the end result of quality products and services,” says Van Zyl. Furthermore, the SANAS accreditation allows the laboratory to calibrate torque equipment in-house as well as on-site at customer premises across South Africa and the SADEC region. “In addition to Atlas Copco products accreditation also enables us to calibrate external brands,” adds Van Zyl. Van Zyl, who was responsible for the establishment of the Torque Laboratory in 2016 at the company’s headquarters in Jet Park, Johannesburg, explains that the objective of the laboratory is to support its product solutions from a calibration point of view. “The latest extension of our scope of services adds greater value in our portfolio offering to customers and bolsters our position as a leading innovator and service provider in our field.” Perfectly aligned with Industrial Technique’s strategy to develop and extend its product offering particularly in the motor vehicle industry, the Torque Laboratory meets the growing demand for more advanced tools and systems with an emphasis on service, know-how and training. It also answers an increasing call for shifts in manufacturing methods and higher requirements in quality assurance and traceability. Johan Kok (left) takes up the responsibility as Technical Signatory alongside Nicolas Van Zyl for the results issued on the certificate The Torque Laboratory’s complete ‘scope of accreditation’ can be viewed on the SANAS website under lab number 870. Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2016, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 101 (BEUR 11) and about 45 000 employees. Learn more at For further information please contact: Nicolas Van Zyl, Calibration Laboratory Manager, Industrial Technique, Atlas Copco Industrial SA (Pty) Ltd Phone: +27 0 11 821 9829 E-mail: /

Level measurement under extreme conditions Ultimately, level measurement in LNG/LPG processes, just like in other applications, is always about answering the simple question, How much product is in the tank? However, obtaining an exact value is not easy. The products are often under pressure, cryogenic and highly explosive. Sensors from Vega have been operating successfully in all stages of the LNG/LPG process chain for many years. Clemens Hengstler, Product Manager Radar at VEGA Grieshaber KG FRONT COVER STORY Vegapuls measuring the level in a heat exchanger on board of a gas tanker. Throughout the individual production stages, from liquefaction, storage, shipping, vaporiser and pipeline, to further processing in the petrochemical or chemical industry or consumption as an energy carrier, there are numerous measuring points where safe, reliable level measurement is required. But the installation situation and the process conditions present significant obstacles to reliable measurement. And the product itself, with its unusual properties, does not make the task any easier, either. Challenging product Let’s first look at the product: LNG has a low density and an extremely low dielectric constant. These physical properties also change quite often depending on the composition of the product or the supplier or the place of origin of the LNG/LPG. As a result, many measuring principles cannot ensure reliable, precise measurement. Then there are also the very low temperatures, which make the selection of workable measuring principles even smaller. For example, mechanical measuring techniques often malfunction and are maintenance intensive. That’s why sensors based on radar technology are the most preferred measuring device. And this is true not only for LNG/LPG applications: in other industrial areas as well, radar level transmitters have largely replaced previous measuring principles, such as electromechanical sounding, differential pressure and ultrasonics. For example, VEGA has already installed more than 500,000 radar sensors worldwide, many of them in LNG/LPG applications. Tricky internal fixtures Since last year, the new VEGAPULS 64 offers a radar level measurement solution that works even better, particularly in difficult installation situations. The crucial difference from previous radar level instruments is its frequency: 80 GHz instead of the usual 26 GHz. This allows a focusing of the radar beam that is more than three times better, which in turn has a whole series of positive effects on the measurement. The most obvious advantage: the narrow measuring beam simply flies past internal tank components. Until now, standpipes were often installed in storage tanks/spherical tanks to facilitate measurement with radar. Yet they have several disadvantages – on the one hand, they reduce measurement accuracy, and on the other, they are extremely laborious and expensive to install. However, they were needed to guide the radar energy and help avoid disturbing reflections from the tank internals. Thanks to its very good focusing/signal bundling, the new 80-GHz radar sensor VEGAPULS 64 can be mounted directly on a tank without a standpipe. This makes measurement more reliable and accurate, and the measuring point less expensive to plan and set up. In addition, VEGAPULS 64 is very suitable for poorly reflective media, i.e. liquids with low dielectric values, which are common in this industry. VEGAPULS 64 has an exceptionally large dynamic range. The dynamic range of a radar sensor, i.e. the difference between the largest and the smallest signal, determines which applications the sensor can be used in. The greater the dynamics, the wider the application range of the sensors and the higher the measurement certainty. Larger signals automatically lead to better measurement. This means that media with poor reflective properties can now be measured much better than before. Why this measuring instrument, although only a short time on the market, has already proven its prowess in the industry becomes clear when we take a closer look at the individual stations in a typical LNG/LPG process chain. Problem: ball valve Typical for industry is the strict requirement that every sensor must be separable from the process by means of a fitting, without interrupting the process, i.e. without shutting down the production equipment, or part of it. This requirement is absolutely mandatory for liquid gas tanks on land. For a radar sensor, this means that it must be mounted on a ball valve. The purpose of this is to guarantee that the radar sensor can also be separated from the process during operation. The intention was to increase availability this way, but it often had the opposite effect. Production systems did indeed become more maintenance friendly, but also more maintenance intensive. Installation on a ball valve was never recommended for radar sensors, because the ball valve itself causes large interfering reflections in the close range. Due to reflection at sealing points and connection points in the ball valve and their multiplication within the throat of the ball valve, interfering signals found their way directly into the measuring path of the sensor. Reliable measurement was impossible, especially in liquids with low dielectric values. Particularly in the upper area of the tank, where the sensor was used to detect overfilling, the relatively small signals of the medium could not be optimally detected due to the strong noise in the close range. With VEGAPULS 64, the influence of the ball valve is much smaller because of the considerably better signal focusing and, as a result, the ball valve generates almost no disturbing signals. Interfering signals in the close range are thus avoided and reliable measurement is ensured. Another advantage for the user: the new sensor can be installed on existing shut-off devices – this keeps rebuilding and retrofitting costs to a minimum. Critical applications, where the previous technology was problematic, can be easily upgraded to the new 80- GHz technology to increase measurement reliability, thereby increasing plant availability and reducing maintenance requirements. Continues on page 6 The guided wave radar sensor VEGAFLEX 86 has proven success in many complex process units and during liquefaction in various applications. 5


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