Don’t take tank gauging for granted

By Amruta Kanagali

The process industries have been using tank gauging technologies for decades to determine liquid inventories. Whether those liquid inventories are feedstocks for production processes or intermediate or final products, it’s crucial to have accurate and repeatable tank gauging measurements to help ensure safe, efficient, and profitable operations.

In safety-critical tank gauging applications, sensors and transmitters with appropriate SIL certification also play an increasing role in ensuring the safety of the environment, people, and operations. Moreover, users are now paying more attention to accurate custody transfer to verify commercial transactions and minimize unnecessary product giveaway.

Many plant managers are keenly aware of the reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) achievable by reducing the array of wires and connectors used for the field devices. Wireless technology eliminates wiring and associated conduits, thus reducing installation and support costs to help maximize efficiency and profitability. Wireless applications often provide an efficient and convenient option for applications in which sensors are located in a remote or otherwise difficult-to-access location (such as the top of a large and/or remotely located liquid storage tank). Many suppliers are now offering wireless solutions that can enable users to add new devices without any interruption in the existing operations.

Emerging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled connectivity and analytics capabilities are beginning to make their way into various suppliers’ tank gauging solutions to help drive incremental business benefits. Field device suppliers are now teaming up with automation software application providers to offer predictive maintenance platforms that measure, monitor, and manage connected assets. This enables users to assess asset issues at both the system and sensor levels, and utilizes analytics to drive better outcomes. Additionally, with appropriate security mechanisms in place, users could leverage the benefits of the Cloud, since it provides a common, economical, globally accessible repository for plant data, equipment, and other asset information.

Bottom line is that if you are experiencing some challenges with the tank gauging technology you have installed, or simply are interested in learning about new developments in this area, ARC can help you better understand your choices. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, or simply visit our Inventory Tank Gauging devices webpage for more information.

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