Granite Construction Co. Tank Level Automation System
thesisposted on 01.05.2019, 00:00 by Vinchinzo Hinojos-Castle, Jorden Schulte, Benjamin Schreckengost, Jackson Bower
Granite Construction proposed a project to improve the offloading system at their regional asphalt plants. The current system for asphalt oil offloading at most of the plants consists of manual operated inlet valves and rudimentary level indication for the storage tanks. There is a large amount of risk involved with filling a storage tank with hot oil via manual operation. Overfilling the tanks could result in expensive inventory loss, property damage, and operator injury. Granite Construction has requested our team to design and implement a system that automatically controls the flow and level of liquid asphalt within the storage vessels.The primary scope of this project consists of implementing horizontal tank level measurement devices and a valve actuator system to fit the needs of the project administrator. Radar level indication was selected to monitor asphalt cement volumes in each tank. The radar data will be continually relayed to the control room by integrating into the existing SCADA system. The system will determine the appropriate actions to take, and actuated valves will be operated automatically. The system will be designed to react accordingly to emergency situations, actuator failures, and operator overrides. Given a $100,000 budget per plant, the system considered in this report meets the MARR of 80% making it economically viable for implementation. This system has the capability to reduce Granite’s annual spills from 10 a year to zero, saving them $935,000 in lost product and clean up costs annually. Granite Construction plans to install the completed system in many of their current asphalt plants. An implementation rate of five systems per year is desired by the project administrator.