Industrial Network Solutions for Safer and More Efficient Chemical Plants and Refineries

Industrial Network Solutions for Safer and More Efficient Chemical Plants and Refineries
Industrial Network Solutions for Safer and More Efficient Chemical Plants and Refineries

This post was most recently updated on May 3rd, 2023

Chemical plants and refineries are essential in the global economy, providing raw materials and energy for various industries. However, these facilities are high-risk environments because of their hazardous chemicals and potentially dangerous operations. As a result, efficiency and safety are of the utmost importance. Fortunately, technological advancements have brought a new solution to these challenges: industrial network solutions. We’ll explore how these strategies can enhance chemical plants’ and refineries’ safety and efficiency.

Enhancing Safety With Industrial Network Solutions 

Safety is paramount in chemical plants and refineries, where accidents can have disastrous consequences. Industrial network solutions provide real-time monitoring and control of critical systems, such as chemical storage and processing, allowing operators to identify and respond to potential hazards before they escalate.

For example, an LTE modem can monitor tank levels and pressure in real time, helping operators detect abnormalities quickly and prevent spills or explosions. Similarly, a WiFi antenna can track personnel and equipment with Real-Time Location Systems, ensuring everyone is accounted for in an emergency.

Besides real-time monitoring, industrial network strategies can provide remote access to critical systems, allowing operators to monitor and control operations safely. This is useful in hazardous environments, where exposure to toxic chemicals or high temperatures can be a significant risk factor. By providing remote access, industrial network solutions can reduce the need for personnel to be physically present in dangerous areas, minimizing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Improving Efficiency With Industrial Network Solutions

Besides enhancing safety, industrial network solutions can also improve efficiency in chemical plants and refineries. By providing real-time data on critical systems, operators can identify inefficiencies and optimize processes to reduce waste and increase productivity.

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For example, industrial network strategies can enable the use of sensors that measure the flow rates of liquids and gases in pipelines, providing real time data that can optimize the process. Operators can make adjustments to ensure consistent and efficient production by identifying areas of high or low flow rates. Similarly, vibration sensors can help operators monitor the condition of rotating machinery, such as pumps and compressors. By analyzing vibration data, operators can detect signs of wear and tear and schedule maintenance before a part breaks or fails.

Industrial network strategies can also provide predictive maintenance capabilities, helping operators identify potential issues before they become critical. By monitoring equipment health in real time, operators can schedule maintenance and repairs before a breakdown occurs, reducing downtime and increasing reliability.

Implementing Industrial Network Solutions

While industrial network solutions offer many benefits, implementing them can be challenging. Working with experienced providers with the expertise to design, install, and maintain these systems is essential. Keltour Controls offers a wide range of Control Panels designed for your control needs.

When implementing industrial network strategies, it is crucial to consider scalability, reliability, and security factors. For instance, using distributed control systems can improve the scalability of industrial networks by decentralizing control and enabling distributed decision-making. DCS systems can also provide increased reliability through redundant hardware and software, ensuring critical systems remain operational despite failure. 

In addition, industrial network solutions must be designed with security in mind, as these facilities are often targets for cyber attacks. Robust protective measures, such as encryption and access controls, must be implemented to protect critical systems from unauthorized access.

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Industrial network solutions help reduce risks and improve chemical plant and refinery operations. But with so many technological options available, deciding what your operation needs can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to do some research and enlist the help of an experienced team who can advise you on the best network strategy. So use industry best practices to protect everyone involved in hazardous operations.

Michelle Gram Smith
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