Unlock Your Heat Exchanger Potential using Health Monitoring Solutions

Heat Exchangers are an integral part of the oil and gas industry, and have a significant impact on the overall efficiency, and performance. Identifying scenarios or factors affecting heat exchanger operations have been pivotal to the overall profitability of the plant.

Production and maintenance personnel often have to deal with operational hiccups caused due to Fouling, Leakage, and Air-Pocket Formations. Fouling is perhaps one of the most common issues, that has a direct impact on plant profitability, and is one of the costliest problems facing the refining and chemical industries today.

Fouling occurs when solids, such as sand, algae, dirt or scale are deposited on conducting surfaces, thereby inhibiting the exchanger’s ability to transfer heat from one medium to another. In severe cases, fouling can be very costly, particularly when deposits cause blockage of internal tubes. In such cases, operators may be forced to take the unit out of service to be disassembled and cleaned.

To ensure that exchangers stay within their designed operating range, with regard to flow rate and velocity, it is critical to regularly check pressure and temperature, and keep up with routine maintenance. However, with a continuously running plant, it is simply not feasible to perform routine maintenance unless one has an indicator of the heat exchanger’s run-length.

Production losses due to upsets or failure because of fouling or corrosion are huge, and this becomes a major pain-area for operators. It also becomes critical to determine the probability of recurrence, as this might also impact future production.

Operators can now monitor & track assets remotely to gain insights into machine health and utilisation, which helps in unlocking the true potential of plant assets. Ingenero’s Health Monitoring Solution for exchangers (HMS-X), part of the company’s Intelligent Software Solutions for Process Decision Excellence (I-SSPDE) technology, can be implemented as a standalone solution and includes the latest ML/AI analytical techniques for enhancing exchanger operations. Operations teams can monitor and track exchanger health in real time and detect exchanger health/performance degradation such as fouling. HMS-X solution capabilities provide insights and intelligence for operators to take decisive action to arrest further deterioration and extend exchanger run-lengths.

The solution defines threshold limits for an exchanger representing its end of run limit and provides notifications accordingly on time remaining, thereby improving scheduling, maintenance and operations.

These solutions help manufacturing units operate more efficiently, maximise capacity and production rates, lower maintenance and operating cost, reduce plant downtimes, improve safety and sustainability metrics and increase overall ROI (i.e. Return On Investment), and can be applied at a single unit or across multiple plants and provide an overview of equipment health.

Ingenero’s HMS-X provides augmented intelligence to safely and consistently operate exchangers at maximum capacity, and make continuous improvements. HMS-X monitors the process, gleaning value and sustaining performance by continuously identifying deviations early, understanding issues accurately and devising applicable solutions to these issues.

Case Study Example:

For a petrochemical major in the United States, heat exchanger fouling in the quench circuit resulted in losses in production. After implementing HMS-X, the operations team was able to identify early fouling and were able to plan timely and make decisive actions to prevent irreversible capacity and production losses.

Benefits to users:

  • Precise understanding of health and fouling condition
  • Insights on parameters affecting exchanger performance
  • Real-time comparison of current performance vs. what is practically achievable
  • Interactive dashboards providing an understanding and comparison to historical performance
  • Prediction of cleaning cycle timing, enabling better planning and scheduling
  • KPIs on equipment health with comparison to historical benchmarks
  • Comparison with previous runs gauges performance
  • Prescriptive AI recommendations provide augmented intelligence
  • Cleaning effectiveness is monitored
  • Accurate alert on deviations to anticipate and identify problems earlier

Operations teams can take a proactive technical approach and anticipate the problem before it reaches critical levels and find timely solutions for corrections. HMS-X models a wide spectrum of exchanger applications with performance monitoring based on a 20+ year database of heat exchanger degradation data patterns. Some of these exchanger applications include:

  • Reboiler fouling
  • Cold box hydrate formation and excursion identification
  • Transfer line exchangers run-length prediction
  • Exchanger tube leak identification

Overview/Highlights of HMS-X

  • User Level Interface (Section 1): The interface is developed to serve simultaneous users. Any registered user can log into the portal and access the Soft Sensor modules.
  • 360 Degree Analytics (Section 2): A complete evaluation of any degraded system can be seen in multiple views: HOME, DASHBOARD, RUN HISTORY, USER PORTAL
  • Response Window (Section 5): The response window displays the progression status of the Soft Sensor run. Any discrepancy in user provided information or run time error is highlighted through an error message in the response window.

Snapshot of HMS-X

Ingenero strives to be the world’s leading process analytics and technical consulting company. Ingenero delivers engineering expertise and digital transformation solutions that enable increased production, sustainability, efficiency, safety and reliability. Ingenero makes its oil and gas, refining, mid-stream gas processing, petrochemical and specialty chemical industries clients safer, more effective, and sustainable through its engineering and technology services and solutions.

For more information, visit their website.