How an edible Oil Refinery implented IIoT to minimise steam transmission loss which accounted to INR 73,80,000 in 3 years.
Plant Name : Edible Oil Refinery
Process Name:
Steam Distribution Loss Optimization Using IF Edge Computing.
Operating Principle :

Steam generated from the Boiler enters refinery to run various processes such as Continuous Bleacher, Batch Bleacher, Fatty Heating Line, Deo Header, Bleacher Header, Wax Tray 1, Wax Tray 2, Wax Tray 7, Wax Tray 8 etc. These processes has a main steam line and a Bypass Valve to release pressure whenever there is a pressure surge in the main line. Now these lines are often left open for more time than required due to manual checks needed, often the bypass valves fault and steam gets leaked from there as well.

To solve this issue, we have installed an IF Edge computing device between the Bypass Valve and the drain as shown in the diagram. This device is directly connected to the internet and keeps sending realtime temperature data to the internet which in turn sends alerts to the Operator’s mobile app and the Plant Manager’s Webapp when a Bypass Line temperature reaches above 100°C, so that they can take necessary corrective actions immediately.

The Problem

We conducted a steam audit at their refinery and our findings revealed that 2 of their bypass lines namely Continuous Bleacher and Deo Header were open for the last 3 years due to its extreme positioning which couldn’t be human intervened and 2 bypass lines namely Bleacher Header and Fatty Heating line had leakage in the flow control valves which led to 50-60% steam loss through them for the last 3 years. The company suffered a combined loss of 4100 tonnes which accounted to a monetary loss of INR 73,80,000 (Cost of steam is Rs 1.80/kg)

Note: We have derived the losses from the below information :
Name Specification (Pipe Dia) Steam Loss (24 hrs open)
Continuous Bleacher 0.5 inch 720 kg
Batch Bleacher 0.5 inch 720 kg
Fatty Heating Line 0.5 inch 720 kg
Deo Header 1 inch 2640 kg
Bleacher Header 0.5 inch 720 kg
Wax Tray 1 0.5 inch 720 kg
Wax Tray 2 0.5 inch 720 kg
Wax Tray 7 0.5 inch 720 kg
Wax Tray 8 0.5 inch 720 kg
Solutions Provided :

Simple and accurate solution using IF Edge Computing

We have installed IF Edge Computing devices in every bypass line seperately which monitors realtime temperature data of all the flow lines and gives realtime temperature readings in the operators Mobile app as well as inside an interactive dashboard displaying all shopfloor KPIs. The system further sends push notifications to the operators’ Mobile app when an instance temperature goes above 100°C suggesting the bypass line is open. These alerts gets sent every 15 mins until the line is closed.

IF’s IoT Platform further provides them with analytical chart based reports on the go which helps the management to understand how many hours a particular line was open in the past and they can track the efficiency of the steam distribution system from the same.

Mr Atanu Samanta, Plant Operator :

"We were unaware of the steam losses we were having for so long due to odd positioning of the flow lines which restricted us from checking the vents time to time. Also it’s a laborious job to inspect all the bypass lines physically to find the operating status and thus the lines stay open frequently. In this context IF has done a great job by providing us with a mobile app which sends realtime alerts when a particular flowline goes on and we can take immediate corrective actions."

Conventional Vs IF Solution Methodology :
  Conventional IF Edge Computing
Frequency of Line Status inspection During audits Continuous Realtime Data
Delay in taking corrective measures 2-3 hours, sometimes days almost instantaneously
Losses due to unmonitored data 136 tonnes approx per month 60Kg (taking 10 min turn off time post getting alert)
Problem Resolution Didn’t get solved Got solved immediately after deployment

IF Edge Computing solutions has minimised steam related losses to almost zero eversince deployment. The operators can take necessary actions to prevent the prevailing steam-loss, and conduct appropriate valve-maintenance procedures.

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