Provide on-site process engineering services in support of capital projects at a U.S. catalytic component manufacturing facility.
CATALYST PRODUCTION FACILITY ON-SITE PROCESS ENGINEERING ASSISTANCE
The client owns and operates a facility in the U.S. that manufactures catalytic inserts for automotive and industrial emission control applications. The catalyst-containing slurries (washcoat) are batched at the facility. The slurries are transferred to catalyst substrate coating production line. The production lines include a final drying and calcining step in which a slurry washcoat, containing aluminum oxide, rare earth oxides, and precious metals, is fixed to a substrate and passed through a dryer and a high temperature (calcining) oven. The production lines are equipped with pollution control systems for abatement of the NOx.
Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted to provide on-site technical support to assist their Project Engineering group with the execution of capital projects.
Specific project descriptions for which assistance was provided include the following:
- Upgrade the concentrated nitric acid supply system to the batching tanks including a carboy filling station to safely fill portable containers for batch pH adjustments.
- Upgrade the glacial acetic acid supply system to the batching tanks.
- Upgrade the ammonium hydroxide supply system to the batching tanks.
- Upgrade the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for the batching systems for two facilities.
- Installation of high shear mixers on batching tanks.
- Upgrade of the line pigging system for transfer of batches to/from batch tanks to the production equipment (catalyst coating). The pipe pig system increases the efficiency of transfers by purging the lines of material which also prevents cross-contamination between batches.
Specific project tasks included:
- Worked with Facility Production Management to define the scope of work for capital projects.
- Generate Bid Specifications for mechanical/electrical contractors to solicit for project estimates.
- Generate specifications for project-related equipment including:
- Materials of construction for process piping for various corrosive chemicals
- Automated valves
- Flow meters
- Pressure transmitters
- High shear tank mixers.
- Generate cost estimates for capital projects.
- Work with facility Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department to complete Risk Assessments of the specific project tasks.
- Generate Work Instructions for new processes.
- Review and revise Control Functional Descriptions for PLC Upgrades.
- Assist EHS with submittals to the state department of environmental protection for Request for Determinations (RFD) regarding proposed changes to the facility pollution control devices (e.g. dust collectors).
- Perform Pre-Start Up Safety Reviews (PSSRs) with production personnel including training on new equipment before the turnover of new systems.
- Generate recommended spare part lists and recommended preventive maintenance frequency to facility Maintenance Department after installation of new system/equipment.
- Catalytic Device Manufacturing
- On-site process engineering support
- Process engineering staff augmentation
- Capital projects engineering support