High temperatures, molten metals and heavy loads are some of the challenges faced during steel production, says industrial instrumentation and automation multinational Endress+Hauser.
These extreme conditions place much stress on both man and machines, making safety and availability the top priorities for steel plant managers. Over the years, the importance of safety has grown substantially, whereby laws and regulations governing the smelter and metals sector have become stricter.
Now, the questions arise: “Are all aspects of safety being looked at? What about critical cooling water circuits?”
The impact of small leaks or expanding cracks in cooling systems is a definite safety hazard and, depending on the application, may result in production downtime, damage to the plant, or even loss of life. The detection of leaks in cooling systems is not only an essential part of a safety system, but an integral part of a safety policy.
Endress+Hauser’s highly accurate leakage detection solution is designed to IEC61511 and EN-ISO13849-1 standards. It is a ready-to-use and verified solution package that detects the smallest signs of a leak, allowing for action to be taken before the situation becomes critical or a catastrophe occurs.
Further, the system offers process experts who provide guidance in selecting the best-fit, industry-optimised instrumentation, service and solution package from the complete portfolio; safe monitoring of critical cooling water circuits; wireless solutions providing more information about the process; as well as comprehensive tools and solutions for plant asset management.
Leakage Detection Solution
With malfunctions in water circuits being dangerous to both equipment and personnel, regardless of the cooling circuit type, principles for leakage detection apply, including the inlet and outlet flow rates of a cooling circuit measured by means of suitable meters (electromagnetic or ultrasonic flowmeters).
Additionally, the inlet and outlet temperatures are also acquired from sensors mounted in close proximity to the flowmeters as the system uses separate temperature sensors to achieve maximum accuracy.
For instance, in a furnace leakage detection application, there is added value in using the temperature measurements to support the control velocity and compensate density changes. This can serve as an additional temperature in the line to confirm if the independent temperatures are correct because temperature is such a critical measurement in this application.
Meanwhile, hardness and silica are water quality measurements that can be related to concentration and possible scaling in the line. If lines become restricted because of blockage or calcification, the cooling system will not work optimally and can cause serious plant shutdowns and production loss.
Moreover, should there be any incidents in line, Heartbeat Technology helps with verification. This technology is designed to help increase plant availability and reduce costs. Heartbeat Technology guarantees permanent diagnostics and verification without process interruptions.
It ensures a cost-efficient and safe plant operation during the entire lifecycle. The company offers a range of Endress+Hauser devices with Heartbeat Technology, which combine diagnostic, verification and monitoring functions for process optimisation.
All instruments and solutions are designed to meet industry-specific requirements, and relied upon all over the world to ensure safety and plant availability.