Intelligent signalling (TiA)

Over the past few years significant advances have been made in the performance and capability of pressure relief technology – essential safety components found within chemical processing plants.

Sandra Drawe

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Article Summary

While products such as rupture discs are mandatory by law, they are product solutions which may not be reviewed very frequently once installed, meaning plants are not gaining the operational benefits associated with newer designs.

Furthermore, products such as rupture disc burst signalling solutions, which can significantly change the way a plant operates, are not always used nor is it recognised that there are now reliable signalling solutions that are fully compatible with the harsh operating conditions known in the chemical processing sector.

Throughout the chemical sector, processes operating at high temperatures and with highly corrosive process media are common. Traditional signalling devices were not always compatible with such conditions and therefore are often over-looked as an additional accessory to monitor the status of the rupture disc.

Developments in technology mean even companies in this sector can now use rupture disc signalling systems, helping not only improve productivity and safety but also supporting with environmental concerns. We will discuss how intelligent signalling solutions can keep operators informed about the status of their entire plant while not being affected by the harsh operating conditions.

For processes operating with potentially harmful media the ability to shut down the process quickly and safely means the risk of leakage is eradicated. Complying with explosive atmospheres and intrinsic safety industry standards, the signalling devices are designed to provide rapid notification of rupture disc activation, helping ensure safe management of the process while minimising downtime. REMBE’s signalling devices can easily be integrated with customers’ control systems to provide visual or acoustic notification of disc burst or to shut down the plant where required.

Stop unnecessary downtime
For companies for whom compatibility with harsh operating conditions is of paramount concern the NIMU (non-invasive monitoring unit) is a reusable rupture disc signalling system designed for rapid notification of rupture disc activation even in the harshest chemical environments. The REMBE NIMU sensor is not in contact with the process, meaning it is not affected by challenging process conditions or corrosive media.

The intrinsically safe NIMU is installed into a tapping within the outlet of the rupture disc holder, completely isolated from the process so it does not create any leak paths and is not damaged following disc activation - critical for chemical customers where leak paths cannot be tolerated.

With the traditional membrane type signalling devices, false alarms were unfortunately common place, as the harsh operating conditions could cause the device to activate even if the disc itself had not opened. This false signalling would cause unnecessary and costly process downtime. Unlike these devices, the NIMU is not negatively affected by the process.  

Additionally, membrane detection systems are single use, meaning additional replacement costs. With the NIMU this additional cost is eradicated – the NIMU enhances overall dependability of rupture disc installations while reducing long-term expenditure. Not only is the signalling device fully reusable following disc functioning it is also reusable after routine maintenance checks. Easy to inspect during such maintenance routines, its closed circuit design allows it to be refitted into the holder by the same operator inspecting the disc, simplifying and quickening the maintenance process, a must to meet the demanding productivity requirements within the chemical processing sector.

This short case study originally appeared in PTQ's Technology In Action Feature - Q4 2021 Issue.

For more information: hello@rembe.de

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