Distillation, Filtration, Vacuum

Dividing Wall Column Technology Advances

by Zarco Olujic, AMACS-Montz

Although dividing wall column (DWC) is a proven technology and fairly well established in practice, and highly appealing regarding energy and capital saving potential, the number of industrial applications is still limited. As elaborated in greater details elsewhere, e.g. Jansen et al., Chemical Engineering, August 2014, 40-48, a DWC is an atypical distillation column and there are certain process and mechanical design and operation-related concerns and potential constraints that may discourage inexperienced practitioners and make them reluctant to consider design and implementation of a DWC in prospective applications.

Indeed, a reliable hydraulic design method is needed to translate performance simulation results into diameter(s) and height of the shell of a new DWC, or to examine appropriateness of an existing column shell in a retrofit case. Internal layout and dimensions of normal and partitioned sections depend on chosen type and size of structured packing and auxiliary equipment. Related calculations must be done with certain rigor if one wishes to arrive at a reliable basis for evaluation of cost-effectiveness of both new DWC designs and retrofits. The present paper aims at filling the existing know-how gap, and addresses all relevant aspects of packed DWC design using engineering tools available in public domain. In cases where screening experiments have to be made, mini-plant and pilot scale equipment solutions are available.

Distillation – an old dog can learn new tricks!

by Neil Sandford, Koch-Glitsch

Distillation has come a long way since the ancient Egyptian and Greek alchemists, and new advances are still being made. This presentation will focus on recent improvements to the distillation process including divided wall column (DWC) configurations and new higher efficiency distillation tray devices that will help to minimize energy consumption and capital investment in future refineries and chemical plants. Industrial examples will be shown from the refining and petrochemical industries.

FRI test results and industrial applications for new high capacity Raschig Mini Fixed Valve

by Andreas Danninger, Raschig

For mass transfer trays standard sized round and rectangular valves have proven their industrial advantages many times. Also large sized valves have been designed for fouling services. Over the past years a new trend is pushing into the market: mini movable or fixed valves. They are getting more and more popular especially for mass transfer columns were operators are looking for high capacities.

Raschig has recently tested its Mini Fixed Valve in the Fractionation Research Inc. (FRI) test column to provide more information about capacity, pressure drop and efficiency to the industry. The seminar discusses results and shows typical applications were high capacity mini fixed valve trays were successfully applied. An industrial example for a grass root design and a revamp case will be presented.

Using Spectroscopy to “Shed Some Light” on Manufacturing Processes with Reveal

Alex Makowski, Prozess Technologie

Prozess Technologie will present their new platform, Reveal, for in-line process measurements. The Reveal platform gives a customized solution along with flexibility on how to operate and integrate it. The Reveal gives its users the option to have built-in application modeling or the opportunity to build their own with low maintenance and reduced costs.

Prozess brings real-time process measurement applications into the manufacturing line and out of the lab with a device the size of a shoebox. The Reveal analyzer is fast and accurate with measurements in milliseconds at the molecular level. It’s non-destructive, meaning measurements do not change or destroy samples. Further, the Reveal saves money in materials, work hours, waste disposal and production cycles. And, it ensures adherence to regulatory and quality guidelines. Prozess also specializes in process measurement for hazardous environments.

Filtration Testing for Reliable Process Performance

by Rick Gill, DrM

Whether new or used filtration equipment is considered for process expansion or R&D scale up, there are numerous considerations that should be investigated to ensure that pilot plant or commercial plant scale up is successful. In order to make these expansions reliable, consider testing the suspension(s) as a part of a systematic approach to determine the filtration process window.

Variations in solids concentrations can be the most underrated variation in determining what technologies can be best utilized. Part of the utilization determination should also take into account both capital and operating cost as well as various “environmental” issues such as personal protection

BHS Continuous Pressure & Vacuum Filtration Technologies

by Barry A. Perlmutter, BHS

This presentation will discuss lab testing, pilot testing and scale-up for converting chemical processes to continuous filtration technologies from batch filtration operations. The overall scheme can be used by process engineers to develop optimum continuous pressure or vacuum filtration solutions for high-solids slurry applications.

In this first process a liquifed gas slurry is used to produce a specialty chemical. A liquefied gas is a clean, colorless gas that is easy to liquefy and transport. It is gaseous at normal temperature and pressure, but changes to a liquid when subjected to modest pressure or cooling. The most important point is to keep these gases, under pressure, so they behave as a liquid during filtration, cake washing and drying. The presentation discusses the process testing in the laboratory and in the field to evaluate continuous pressure filtration as an alternative to batch pressure filtration.

In this second process, the objective is to replace the current batch centrifuge with a technology that would be suitable for conversion to a continuous process. The initial lab tests suggested a vacuum belt filter would achieve cake quality equal to or better than the current centrifuge with a major reduction in processing time. The decision, after the lab testing, was to select a vacuum belt filter for pilot testing.

The presentation includes technology descriptions, discussion of specifications and general guidelines for performance guarantees. 

SIHIboost -Efficiency gains with a new type vacuum booster pump

by Andreas Kobus, SHIH

Increasing pump capacity with a need for better vacuum levels has, historically, required rotary lobe blowers ahead of a conventional backing pump. The combination, although effective, is encumbered by restrictions to compression ratio and is, therefore, oHen used in a multiIstage, “stacked” arrangement; ahead of conventional oil sealed or liquid ring backing pumps. The inherent inefficiencies of the rotary lobe blower lends to high energy use with a heavy footprint within the production environment. SIHIboost vastly improve efficiencies with minimal footprint. The new design boasts high speed spindles to achieve deep vacuum and eliminates the need for a “stacked” blower configuration. A high compression ratio capability reduces the backing pump requirement to 1/10th that of a pump used within a rotary lobe blower system. Significant energy savings, reduced maintenance and lower “up front’ investment make SIHIboost a sound decision for optimized return on investment.

Computer Modeling of Large and Distributed Vacuum Systems

by Jeffrey Luby, Edwards Vacuum

As the size and complexity of vacuum systems increases the financial and technical challenges of them do so also. Accurate modeling allows system optimization in advance of engineering efforts and potentially negates the need for inefficient and costly empirical iterations. This paper describes a unique computational modeling technique for vacuum systems which incorporate any number of primary and secondary pumps and other pertinent elements. Examples are shown to illustrate the accuracy and efficacy of the technique.


Gardner Denver Nash

Mobility & Safety

How Enhanced Reality technology reduces operational risk and errors

Christian McDermott, Voovio

The purpose of ER is to simulate, with extreme accuracy, industrial facilities and equipment that workers operate, and to overlay all the relevant information that they need to understand, practice and execute processes flawlessly. Examples of working projects will be demoed live to show how Voovio:

  • ensures all SOPs are executed without errors
  • maximizes productivity in operations and maintenance tasks
  • reduces operations, maintenance and training costs

Intrinsically Safe Solutions for HazLoc in Chemical Manufacturing

Scott West, Aegex

Chemical manufacturing facilities require real-time data and communications to accelerate productivity, boost efficiency and improve safety, but not all mobile devices can enter hazardous locations (UL C1D1). This seminar will address the gains in safety and productivity from employing intrinsically safe mobile hardware and software solutions in hazardous locations.

Replacing clipboards with intrinsically safe Windows tablets allows personnel in all hazardous locations to utilize real-time data. IS devices provide real-time collaboration and predictive analytics to decrease accidents, improve maintenance and avoid production downtime. Reducing production downtime by one hour per year can increase earnings by more than $100,000 per year

Safety Instrumented System Design: Key Decisions to Avoid Regret Costs

Jim Garrison, aeSolutions

This presentation discusses critical decisions and activities that take place during the Front-end Loading phase of Safety Instrumented System (SIS) design in accordance with ISA84/IEC61511. These decisions, when made correctly, present an opportunity to improve the longer-term viability of achieving the intended risk reduction, reduce the costs of late-stage design changes, construction, and SIF maintenance. We will discuss the importance of these critical items, their impact on system design, engineering, construction, and maintenance costs, as well as strategies for addressing these items when limited information is available. Examples of critical decisions will be discussed, that span from the processing of the Risk Assessment output to testing philosophies.

Reducing Human Error from Your Safety Instrumented System (SIS) to Achieve ISA 84 Compliance

Charles Fialkowski, Siemens

A Safety Instrumented System (SIS) is designed to reduce the likelihood of hazardous risk by decreasing the frequency of unwanted accidents. The amount of risk reduction that an SIS can provide is represented by its safety integrity level (SIL). The SIS is designed to detect when the process reaches a hazardous condition and respond accordingly to move the process to a safe, thus preventing the unwanted accident from occurring. Studies indicate however, that over 50% of all SIS failures are related to human error. While many SIS systems boast having SIL 3 certification, it’s often the human interactions that render many of these well intended systems to be essentially non-existent. A safety interlock matrix is a proven tool that will help reduce the human errors throughout the entire safety lifecycle of the SIS.

Revolutionizing Access & Improving Safety in Maintenance & Reliability

Aetos Group

Future Technologies for Plant Inspections

Aetos Group

Plant Reliability, Energy Efficiency & Human Factors

Enabling Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) through Intelligent Asset Strategies

Larry Covino, GE Oil & Gas

Are you effectively capturing and utilizing all of the data available in the age of the ‘industrial internet’, or drowning in it? In order to achieve optimal efficiencies across operations, enterprise-wide visibility has become essential. An enabled Condition Based Maintenance strategy connects the massive data from machines to workflow processes and analytics, allowing experts to collaborate and make smarter decisions. By developing Intelligent Asset Strategies and using those strategies to proactively Operate and Maintain our Product Assets, we can leverage the technology advancements available to Industrial businesses today. This requires bridging the gap between Informational Technology and Operational Technology (IT and OT) and connecting them to dynamic intelligent asset strategies.

Holistic views connect IT and OT by aggregating and learning from data and then enabling on condition maintenance. Problems are identified, evaluated and integrated early in their development and into workflow systems to facilitate efficient maintenance and operational excellence. The results are smarter, more insightful decisions that move decisions from being reactive to proactive, culminating in significant financial benefits.

Seminar Objectives:

Session 1: Assessing the Potential Value & Linking Strategy to Performance
Understand the potential value of Enabling Condition Based Maintenance
Understand where Asset Strategy is crucial to Asset Performance

Session 2: Understanding the Role of Data & Systems Integration
Understand how data integration plays a key role O&M effectiveness
Understand how systems integration allows for effective work management


Teikoku USA

Metasys Enterprise Optimization (MEO)

Johnson Controls


Johnson Controls

Improved Reliability Using Wear-Resistant Ceramic Coatings

J. Adam Lyman, Henkel Corporation

Pivotal to the success of reliability and predictability in industrial equipment, ceramic based polymer composites can be used to increase efficiency and reduce down-time in aggressive industrial applications. Preventive and scheduled maintenance maximize the life and structural integrity of large and small metal components such as mixing vessels, pumps, hoppers, housings, tanks, chutes, pipes, and centrifuges where these heavy-duty parts are often exposed to aggressive slurries, sand aggregates, particulates, and large stones that can cause damage and abrade even the hardest reinforced steel substrates.

Ceramic based polymer composites help to protect industrial equipment in aggressive environments from mechanical and chemical attack, helping to maintain efficiency and reduce unexpected failures. Technologies in the ceramic based polymer composite products have consistencies ranging from ultra-smooth and high gloss to large beaded compounds. The coatings can be applied to a wide variety of geometries by troweling, pouring, brushing, or spraying.

Control Room Innovations & Design

Gary Suchy, Jr., Bilfinger Mauell Corp

Control room design is about understanding how components within a room (video walls, consoles, lighting, etc.) affect each other and the staff that occupy the space. Beyond the scope of architecture firms, proper control room design is done by analyzing and observing how information moves within a control room. At Bilfinger Mauell Corporation, control room design goes way beyond the spatial arrangement of components in a room.

The Design program is Bilfinger Mauell Corporation’s complete control room design service. Our designs are based upon proven data and methods that we’ve developed and implemented over the last forty years. Beginning with a detailed discovery phase, our staff works closely with personnel inside the control center to understand how your staff interacts with information and communicates. Our design group members are ergonomic and spatial planning experts. Each member brings a unique array of skills and professional experience that is unmatched in the industry.

Modeling, Simulation & Information Lifecycle Management

Improving Speed to Market with Flowsheet Simulation and Modeling Tools

Larry Balcom, Schneider Electric

Flowsheet simulation is a key technical tool for modeling industrial processes and improving speed to market. Understanding the key process variables and interactions of an industrial process allow proper equipment design and integration with existing facilities. Correlations and base models developed during the R&D phase can be easily integrated into the flowsheet model which improves technology transfer and maximizes the value of your intellectual property.

Many different process configurations can be easily tested to match the new process to existing facilities. Overall investment can be estimated by identifying additional equipment needed, or expanded capabilities of existing equipment and services. Energy minimization, and heat integration are modeled in the simulation to maximize the efficiency of the process.

Project timelines are streamlined by utilizing dynamic flowsheet simulation to validate detailed designs, test process control logic, and operator interfaces during the project construction phases. Operator training simulation (OTS) can be coupled with the dynamic model to pre-train operators of the new process. OTS pre-training will reduce necessary technical support during process startup, minimize operational errors, and reduce the startup timeline. Flowsheet simulation is often provided to the process operating personnel though simplified input interfaces, frequently built in Excel, to enhance their understanding of the process. Automated simulation models can also be tied directly to the process controls, and provide operators with process alerts, automated diagnose, and improved process performance.

New innovative process engineering software tools from ProSim

Benjamin Wincure, ProSim

ProSimPlus is ProSim’s robust and easy-to-use process simulator, which is a flexible process engineering software that performs rigorous mass and energy balances for a wide range of industrial plants, including commodity chemicals, specialty and fine chemicals, bioprocesses, etc. Recently, two new innovative simulation tools for an industrially relevant pinch analysis and the exergy analysis have been added to ProSimPlus, to allow both senior and junior engineers to improve the energy efficiency of their industrial plants. This seminar focuses on the use of process simulation to reduce the process energy consumption using these two complementary methods.

Innovation in Fluid Flow Simulation and Its Impact on Safety and Reliability

Todd J. Willman, Epcon Software

Fluid Flow Simulation has gained prominence over the past decade and has been proven to identify root cause problems in plant wide utility systems. Once the root causes of low flow and pressure are identified, then the fluid flow simulation model provides the means to evaluate options to resolve these root cause problems and identify the optimal solution. Examples of how root causes, such as solids’ build-ups, in piping and piping leaks have been identified will be provided.

Simplifying Access to information to Support Efficiencies in Operations

Chuck Gill, Intergraph

Many organizations face the challenge of having information pertaining to their facility being scattered across multiple storage locations. This leads to vast amounts of time looking for and validating information that is needed. Ensuring simple information access throughout the project and plant lifecycle is one of the keys to maintaining operational efficiencies.


Bentley Systems

Environment & Safety

Improving Fall Protection Safety

Marty Sharp, UltraSafe

* Proper sizing and Fit of Safety Harnesses
* Use of New Retractables, Lanyards for improved tie off of options
* Procedures used for avoiding lower level contact in foot level drops
* Safe rescue procedures for over the edge falls
* Brief review of some New Ultra-Safe Products
– Electrical Workers – ARC Rated Harnesses and Lanyards (meets ASTM F887 Specs)
– Welders and Hot Work – Kevlar F.B.H. Harnesses and Lanyards
– Painters Harnesses and Lanyards – clean off with soap and water
– Alumi – Safe Harnesses
– First Anchor up Tie Off System

Understanding the Nature of Odor for a More Effective Response

Raymond Porter, Odotech

Odor is a sensory response to a compound or mixture of compounds. Although some classes of compounds are more odorous than others, the impact of odor on an individual or community can not be predicted on the basis of chemistry alone. To address issues related to adverse odor impacts leading to community complaints, one needs to understand the odor science and the methodologies for sampling, measuring, monitoring, and modeling of odor on the basis of sensory perception. This presentation will review the methodologies for characterizing odors to better define its impacts on the environment and optimize the capital investment required to mitigate its adverse effects.

Odor Control Using Unique Thermal Oxidizer

Gene Irrgang, Linde

There are many options for reducing odors of which thermal oxidation is one. There are many thermal oxidizer designs used in industry, one of those is Flameless Thermal Oxidation (FTO). The major design characteristics for each type of Thermal Oxidizer are presented. The advantages of the FTO are explained. A selection chart to guide the engineer for all thermal oxidizers is presented.

Combustible Dust Protection in the Chemical Processing Industry

Jay Juvenal, CV Technologies

Combustible dust explosions are one of the most elusive and dangerous hazards at nearly all industrial facilities manufacturing or handling chemical products. There is no universal gas law for dust and as a result, every application is different and every material presents a different risk. The means of safeguarding against these hazards varies with each application and therefore each situation warrants its own risk analysis. In addition to the hazard themselves, the regulatory environment involving combustible dust is also complex and requires its own level of comprehension. The release of NFPA 652 in October of this year will undoubtedly change the landscape of how these hazards are dealt with.

Arc Flash Hazards and NFPA 70E

Kenneth (Ken) S. Jones, Project Integration

This presentation presents the hazards of Arc Flash and the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) Code 70E for the workplace. NFPA Code 70E provides inspection and testing procedures and practices for evaluating the safety of installed electrical systems in residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. It requires that employees be protected from electrical hazards such as arc flash. This presentation uses discussion and videos to show various aspects of what an arc flash is, how it can be started, what protection methods can be used, and how to potentially lower arc flash incident energies. It also outlines proper methods of compliance per guidance developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Operator Training

How to prepare operators for responding to emergencies

Lourdes Reyes, Schneider Electric

According to a recent ARC Advisory Group study, it was reported that operator error is the leading cause of significant plant incidents. In the process industries, these incidents account for the highest dollar loss per incident, resulting in 42% of unscheduled plant shutdowns.  The process industry now faces the enormous challenge of replacing an aging workforce with a computer-savvy, gaming generation over the next five years. 

It’s been shown that people learn best by doing, as opposed to lecture or demonstration.   The airline industry for years has recognized the need for simulator training so that pilots can experience hazardous situations and learn from their mistakes while in a safe, virtual environment.  Advances in computer speed as well as process simulation now allow rigorous, first-principal simulation models to be used for operator training. 

With an Operator Training Simulator (OTS), operators can practice starting-up the unit and responding to emergencies, during which their every move can be measured against a benchmark for scoring.   Instead of opening and closing real valves, their actions open and close virtual valves in the simulation model.

Outside operators can also be included via the use of a 3-D virtual reality environment, where they walk around in a true virtual world.  This virtual world is linked with the same rigorous dynamic model, allowing for board and outside operators to coordinate like they do in the plant.  Virtually all companies in the process industries are extremely lean, so options like training program development as well as cloud-based execution can be important to minimize the demands on management and IT as an OTS program is rolled out.

Enhance Training Using 3D Visualization

Bob Swanson, Siemens

Join this session to learn about how process industries have and will benefit from innovation in the utilization of real-time data access in collaborative 3D immersive environments. Discover how an immersive training simulator can enable customized, scenario-driven 3D workflow simulations for HSE training, emergency drills and SOP rehearsals. Join us to learn more about key knowledge retention, enhancing operational safety and efficiency with advanced, 3D virtual reality visualization software. 


Mynah Technologies

Project Planning and Capital Effectiveness

Improving Capital Effectiveness with Ecosys for Project Controls

Angie Molter, Intergraph

EcoSys EPC (Enterprise Planning & Controls) is fast becoming the global software standard for the project controls industry. A web-based platform, EPC provides the deepest capabilities to support the complete spectrum of solutions within the Project Controls discipline – from project portfolio management and capital program management, through budgeting, forecasting, and performance reporting. EcoSys EPC bridges the gap that has traditionally existed between planning and managing project execution.

Why 3D Laser Scanning Technology Will Lower Your Industrial Plant’s Cost on Brownfield
Capital Construction Costs

Day & Zimmerman

Day & Zimmermann provides laser scanning and 3D data capture technology solutions to create a digital facility integrated into the design phase of capital projects. This provides our customers with a solution that can be deployed at various stages in the lifecycle of the capital or maintenance planning process. Working within a digital facility, the assets can be virtually tagged and dynamically linked to databases to ensure safety, quality assurance/compliance,
maintenance records/planning, and construction planning/progress verification. This solution provides our customers with a tremendous return on their investment, including cost and schedule savings, and the ability to reuse the data to establish work processes on future projects. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced field work – increased dimensional accuracy.
  • Reduced turnaround time for scanning and data processing.
  • Improved quality of engineering deliverables/coordination.
  • Improved model reviews with project teams.
  • Shortened engineering and construction durations through streamlined work processes.
  • Improved constructibility through better visualization of project.

Day & Zimmermann has provided these solutions at industrial facilities around the United States. Join our presentation to learn why 3D technology can help industrial plant owners manage their business, save money, reduce risk, and increase capacity and efficiency.

Project Certainty: Reduce cost, complexity and accommodate late-stage project changes


Due to project excesses, billions of dollars are lost annually in oil and gas exploration and production, hydrocarbon and gas processing, chemical, pharmaceutical, and other process industries. According to industry data, over 65 percent of projects greater than $1 billion fail, with companies exceeding their budgets by more than 25 percent or missing schedules by more than 50 percent. Routinely, they also face operational problems continuing through the second year of operations. This consistently poor project performance can be a serious deterrent to process manufacturers considering new investments. Emerson’s Project Certainty begins with early engagement during engineering and design studies to define project goals and high impact strategies to meet those goals. Despite traditionally accounting for approximately 4 percent of a project investment, automation is revealing unique and repeatable ways to eliminate cost, reduce complexity and accommodate late-stage project changes, beyond the automation discipline.


Lauren E&C

How Integrating Civil and Architectural Design Functions Will Save Your Schedule

Christine Osborne, ErgonArmor

The silo-ing of engineering disciplines has the unintended consequence of preempting use of time-saving approaches to acid proofing concrete structures. Civil engineers design industrial concrete structures then pass the designs to the architectural finishes team to specify protective linings, foregoing the use of approaches that offer faster turnaround time. This presentation will highlight polymer concrete and anchored thermoplastic lining technologies with unique construction time saving advantages dependent upon integration of civil and architectural design packages.

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