ABM was hired by a nut roasting facility in El Paso, TX to provide controls for plant-wide peanut oil filtration system. The company had already purchased the vessels and constructed a space for the equipment. Unfortunately, ABM discovered that the equipment purchase was incomplete and the space, in its current arrangement, was not adequate for the process. ABM proposed an overall coordinated approach to addressing the project issues. ABM provided Engineering and Design, CAD, Project Management, Construction Management, and Start Up Support Services to the project.
The facility needed a new centralized peanut oil filtration system that could retrieve, filter, and replenish oil at each nut roasting line. The new filtration system needed to be installed and tied into the existing pipe network with minimal downtime. The new system also needed to provide an aggressive ROI. In addition, the project was managed by corporate engineers, which revealed some opportunities for better alignment of plant operations and corporate goals. The final result also required additional assurances and significant levels of training.
Engineering and Design
- We designed the overall process flow for retrieving, filtering, and then replenishing the oil.
- Designed the layout of the filtration equipment in the centralized filtration room
Instrumentation and Controls
- Specified instruments for the filtration room controls and the controls at each individual line
- Designed a control system that utilizes a sequential approach to minimize the operational variability inherent in a system like this. Minimizing variability and controlling the process sequence allows for the training to be narrowly focused on the steps to complete a batch and eliminated the risk of an operational override.
- The PLC and HMI programs were designed to maintain a specific step by step approach through the process and signal the operator regarding deviations or non-conforming status.
- Subcontracted Architectural and HVAC design support for the filtration room
- Created the layout of the filtration room in 3D
- All piping design was done in 3D piping. Isometric drawings of the piping were produced for fabrication and installation
- Created P&IDs of the process piping and instrumentation inside the filtration room and at each production line
- Created schematics of the new control panels for fabrication and field installation
Acting as an owner’s rep, we created and managed a project schedule to ensure the design process hit critical milestones. We managed not only our own design team but also the Architectural and HVAC design contractors that were subcontracted for this job. Assisted in performing What-If analysis of design and construction options.
Acting as an owner’s rep we managed the construction schedule to hit critical milestones. We oversaw multiple contractors and ensured scope items were being completed in a timely manner. We assisted in solving scheduling conflicts as they arose.
Start Up Support and Training
We provided an engineer and programmer on-site during startup to ensure proper operation of the new system. Prior to start up we trained key personnel on how to properly run the system. We continued to support the start up and commissioning of the system by keeping resources on site throughout the process.
Upon completion of the project the owner was left with a new system that filtered oil in a centralized manner. This new system cut waste by 90%. The elimination of this waste coupled with the efficiency of a centralized system allows the owner to see a return on their investment in 3 years. The primary opportunity of this project was to create a solid working relationship between Corporate Engineering and the Plant. Project success was determined by the customer’s ability and willingness to operate the system to generate the projected savings. Coordination with the plant to stay on mission was instrumental in getting the process started on time to realize those savings.