Systems automation specialist Resonant Automation reports it has undertaken a number of automation projects in the gas cleaning industry in Russia during the past year.
Resonant director Matthew Cramb says the company has completed four significant gas cleaning automation projects at operations east of Moscow.
The company uses its offices in Centurion as the design house for the electrical and instrumentation work for these projects, done to Russian quality standards, known as Gost standards.
Cramb explains that Russia presents unique challenges, the most significant being temperature variations of between –45 ºC and 40 ºC.
“We had to design the control and monitoring systems to withstand low-temperature embrittlement, which can result in fractured steel and other metals. Further, the ground constantly freezes and thaws, which means the ground swells and shrinks, needing special care when installing wiring underground,” he says.
In such cold conditions, it is imperative that temperature controls function without fail along the entire gas cleaning system. Different sets of plant operating conditions for winter and summer are needed to ensure water does not condense out of the gases in the gas cleaning plant of a furnace.
More importantly, if the emissions from a coal-fired furnace cool down too quickly inside the ducting, sulphuric acid may condense from the emissions, resulting in the rapid deterioration of the plant.
Cramb notes that all the elements in air cleaning systems used to improve the emissions quality of industrial applications and furnaces can be automated. This enables various elements to be monitored, including filter cleaning cycles, fan speeds and current emissions quality.
“Automating air cleaning equipment can result in the increased availability of the equipment, while reducing failures,” he says.
Performance reports can be accessed directly from top management, eliminating opportunities for data to be manipulated by operators or process managers.
Resonant director Olof Vorster reports that the company is keen to take advantage of emerging opportunities in Africa, and is also quoting for projects in Canada, India and in Scandinavia.
Meanwhile, Resonant is developing a software suite for remote equipment moni- toring, which will enhance the service it provides to customers.
Cramb says the company uses the soft- ware to monitor the equipment it is responsible for to ensure reliability and increased availability.
Apart from its involvement in the refractory industry, Resonant also under- takes the automation of air cleaning systems.
“With our experience in dealing with the challenges in Russia and South Africa, Resonant is confident it can [deal with] any challenging project,” he concludes.