LOADING DOCK MANAGEMENT

PROBLEM DESCRIPTION AND SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

A petroleum company needed to automate their MTBE Railcar Loading Facility. The key was centered around building an interface between RealFlex and the existing Smith Accuload Computers. Essential tasks such as custody transfer, flow calculations, pump control, valve control, safety interlocks and security had to be automated to save time.

REALFLEX SOLUTION:

The MTBE Loading Terminal, on a daily basis, will receive product into a storage tank and then pump it to the loading rack where RealFlex both monitors and controls multiple transactions in progress. Once a railcar has been properly connected to its local station, the loading procedure is as simple as entering the identification number located on the side of the car into accuload. RealFlex will automatically retrieve the car identification and download a preset volume limit predefined for that particular car. The operator’s only task at this point is to press the “start” button. Once the volume of product has been loaded, RealFlex is used to retrieve, format and print a Bill of Lading for the transaction at each terminal.

This procedure sounds very simple but is, in fact, a highly automated interchange of information between the host and field computers. The Accuload Interface into RealFlex has been defined to allow the field computer to indicate to the host system what type of information may be of interest at any given time. The host system is intelligent enough to restrict its polling to that group of information so as not to over-burden the end device with unnecessary communications and minimize the amount of communications traffic when the system is busy. This translates into a clean and efficient system which will update an operator monitoring the transactions as fast as the end units can provide new information.

RESULTS:

Maximizing the use of man hours is steadily becoming a bigger concern for most companies. With RealFlex centralizing the loading dock information, an operator can easily monitor the progress of each loading transaction simultaneously as well as the status of the rest of the terminal. This can save time in detecting problems which may hamper the efficiency of a loading terminal.

REALFLEX SYSTEMS SOFTWARE:

RealFlex, Control Sequence Language

DATABASE SIZE:

Unknown

PC HARDWARE:

Various computers

I/O HARDWARE:

22 Smith Accuload Computers, Daniel 2500 Series Flow Computers, Allen-Bradley PLC’s,Modicon ModBus data multiplexer.

 

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