A Method for Improving Plant Availability with Respect to Utilities using Buffer Tanks

Anna Lindholm


Disturbance localization, Availability


Disturbances on utilities, such as steam and cooling water, often cause large revenue losses at industrial sites. These disturbances are often hard to handle, since they commonly are plant-wide disturbances that affect more than one production area at the site. Also, the production areas of the site are often dependent on other production areas because of the flow of product through the site, which makes the effect of disturbances on utilities hard to predict. In this paper, a simple method for decreasing the revenue loss due to disturbances on utilities is presented, where production areas are modeled as either operating at full speed or not operating (on/off), and buffer tanks between areas at the site are utilized. Both choice of levels in the buffer tank and control of the product flow at the site during a disturbance are discussed.

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