How to digitize your Tank Terminal Automation Management

Tank terminal automation management is a complex business. Between renting tanks to different customers, storing and handling bulk fluids across a variety of locations, tracking regulatory requirements, and more, it can be difficult to oversee the entire operation. And all of that doesn’t even cover ensuring that your team is compensated correctly for every aspect of your work, whether it’s heating, blending, loading and unloading, or anything else.

Thankfully, the tank terminal automation solution allows you to fully digitalize your entire tank management system. This kind of tank terminal automation system architecture is a win for everyone – you receive enhanced efficiency, improved safety, and increased profits. At the same time, your customers will reap the benefits of a tank inventory management system that allows you to give them quicker responses and a higher level of service.

Ever wondered how to take your tank terminal automation management system from good to great?

The answer is simple – digitalization.

Our free webinar on our tank terminal automation solution will show you just how digitalization can take your existing tank management system to the next level. You’ll learn how our digital solution optimizes your existing processes to handle a variety of complex products across multiple sites, manage regulatory requirements, and – best of all – increase your productivity while decreasing your expenses.

Applying Density Meters in Liquid Hydrocarbon Measurement

Measuring the density and specific gravity at a given temperature, density meters are especially useful when working with viscous liquids or difficult gases.

Portable or benchtop densitometers have high storage potentials for easy comparisons of collected data. Used in various research or product-developing industries to check batch consistencies, the digital devices guarantee quality control.

The flexible density meters will accommodate common cuvette and tube sizes for highly accurate readings.

Superior Magnetic Level Gauge

The process level gauge technology is a proven method to measure liquid levels. The level gauge is one of the safest and most economical ways to measure and control your level gauge requirements.

It can be installed on almost any shape, size or type of vessel in the industry. In applications of extreme pressure, temperature, vibration and highly corrosive or hazardous material the level gauge will perform where others fail.

Risk Reduction of Automatic Tank Gauge

While using an automatic tank gauge can help reduce environmental risk, it can also provide valuable insight into fuel tank inventories, allowing for better management of fuel delivery. But in order for an automatic tank gauge to provide trouble-free operation, it must be installed correctly.

As installers of automatic tank gauge, we have the skill and expertise to install tank gauges at one site or a thousand. Our highly skilled installation crews are manufacturer-certified on a variety of gauging equipment to ensure correct installation the first time.

Magnetic Level Gauge Technology

The foundation of any level measuring system rests upon the level gauge itself, and for many fluidprocessing industries the new platform of choice is the magnetic level gauge. Almost half of all magnetic level gauges sold to engineers today are used to replace older sight glass units.

In the past, a sight glass was felt to be simpler because it does not have a float. Yet, close scrutiny reveals that a slight glass can possess as many as 50 separate parts. Additionally, the continuous maintenance required to remove and clean the glass is quickly forcing them out of favor. Some users have indicated a six to twelve month payback in maintenance savings alone by replacing their sight glasses with magnetic gauges. The fact that the cushions and gaskets used to seal the glass can be permanently deformed by compression —resulting in possible leaks, stress points, and even potential breakage—is likely the ultimate reason for the demise of sight glasses. This older technology clearly represents a substantial risk for environmental and personnel safety.

A quick review of how magnetic level gauges operate helps to further point out the reason for their increasing acceptance. Whereas a sight glass indicates level by visually displaying fluid level through direct contact against a measuring grid, magnetic level gauges display level through a separate tube that does not contain the process fluid, hence they are sometimes referred to as bypass level indicators. An magnetic level gauge is still a visual indicator of liquid level, but it utilizes magnetic transmission to couple the position of a float (housed within an external “float” chamber alongside the process fluid vessel) to a moving shuttle (indicator) housed in a closely approximated separate tube that is totally isolated from the fluid. As the fluid level is repeated in the float chamber, so is it represented in the indicator tube.

Since the visible shuttle/indicator avoids direct contact with process liquids, problems with coating, plating, fouling, fugitive emissions and hazardous material leaks are completely eliminated. This ensures safe leveling of liquids that are toxic, corrosive, or flammable. Magnetic coupling also makes it easier to determine the level of colorless fluids.

Accurate inventory management of tank gauge for LPG

The PLS-5BX with special kit tank gauge for LPG to accurately measure inventory levels using an automatic tank gauge.

The adapter kit includes stainless-steel jacket tube for probe shaft and float kits suitable for pressure of tank gauge for LPG.

The protective tube design makes maintenance easily, Just pull out the probe and keep the protective tube.

Function of tank gauge for LPG:

1. Measure tank gauge for LPG level, temperature and ullage; all data can be stored according to need
2. Up to 16 tanks
3. Monitor delivery and generate report
4. Sound-light alarm: high/low level alarm(Overfilling/run-out)
5. Inventory data and alarm can be uploaded

Environmental Level Tank Gauging Systems and Applications

For reasons of accuracy, dependability and competitive pricing, tank gauging system uses LevelCom tank level indicators in its ballast tank gauging systems as well as supplying the equipment as stand alone monitors.

Featuring ‘Smart Bubbler Technology’, the tank gauging system combines microprocessor technology with the proven accuracy of a bubbler for sensing fluid depth. Whilst most competitors products can supply an analog signal for measurement, this is one of the only level sensing systems that communicates system status, provides control relays for other equipment, has alarm functions, analogue outputs, and Modbus or Profibus communication.

The Tank Level Indicators have a wide range of applications and better versatility than most other tank level gauging sensors. It is also accurate and reliable with problematic, corrosive, acid or foaming fluids, low viscosity fluids, suspended solids, variable specific gravity and temperature variations, as it is with standard liquids.

Established level gauge-sensing technologies

Throughout this article we assume the density of the vapor in the headspace (typically air) to be negligible compared with that of the process fluid. We will assume also that there is only one, uniform, process fluid in the tank. Some of these technologies can be used for multilevel applications where two or more immiscible fluids share a vessel.

1. Glass Level Gauge. Available in a variety of designs, both armored and unprotected, glass gauges have been used for over 200 years as a simple method to measure liquid level gauge. The benefit of this design is the ability to the see the true level gauge through the clear glass. The down side is the possibility of glass breakage resulting in spills or safety to personnel.

2. Floats. Floats work on simple principle of placing a buoyant object with a specific gravity intermediate between those of the process fluid and the headspace vapor into the tank, then attaching a mechanical device to read out its position. The float sinks to the bottom of the headspace vapor and floats on top of the process fluid. While the float itself is a basic solution to the problem of locating a liquid’s surface, reading a floats position (i.e., making an actual level measurement) is still problematic. Early float systems used mechanical components such as cables, tapes, pulleys and gears to communicate level. Magnet-equipped floats are popular today.

Early float level gauge transmitters provided a simulated analog or discrete level gauge measurement using a network of resistors and multiple reed switches, meaning that the transmitter’s output changes in discrete steps. Unlike continuous level gauge-measuring devices, they cannot discriminate level values between steps.

Servo Tank Gauge with Water and Profiling option and inputs

For use in the oil and gas industry, the servo-activated model servo tank gauge is a level transmitter that measures tank-based product.

Available as a level-only existing tank farm and as a multivariable instrument, the device has data-handling capabilities that allow measurement and transmission of data types from a gauge transmitter and external sensors.

Data types include continuous level, spot or average temperature, pressure, interface level, density, and alarms.

Features include:

  • Field configuration without opening the enclosure.
  • Electronics isolated from the tank atmosphere.
  • Field communications options.

Product & Process Conditions of Tank Gauging System

As well as vapor, product and process conditions such as foaming, boiling and crystallizing can also influence the performance of the ATG. In some cases, extreme foaming conditions might even mean that neither radar nor servo gauges are practical solutions. In such cases, a tank gauging system solution with pressure transmitters can be an option. However, tank gauging system also has range limitations.

Some functions are supported as standard by servo, such as interface and water bottom measurement. In some cases, such as where density profile is required, servo is also the only option.

The latter is important when it comes to density stratification, which can occur when a different product batch is loaded on top of another into one tank. If the batch has a different temperature or even different composition than the rest of the tank gauging system content, it may sit on top as a layer. And it’s not always the case that the lighter product rests on the heavier product or that they mix over time. How well the layers mix or extent they remain separate depends on how the tank gauging system is operated.

Layering can occur with heavy products, but also with refined products and very light products such as LPG and chemical gases. Batches may have different product compositions as a result of the production process, but also depending on whether they arrive from marine barges or pipelines. Operators should know whether density stratification is present in the tank gauging system so they can make sure samples used for quality purposes are representative of the entire contents. Mixing can be considered, provided the tank gauging system is equipped and sufficient time is available.