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Liquid Process Systems, Inc.
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We all do it – waiting until something is broken to fix it. The same holds true with preventive maintenance (PM) at industrial facilities. Maintenance personnel often express frustration about spending another weekend at the facility fixing their hot oil pumps or cleaning out the coked up process lines or expansion tanks because build-ups of carbon solids have affected heat transfer efficiency and the operators cannot maintain temperatures required for their manufacturing processes.
Liquid Process Systems has been promoting PM and supplying our side stream thermal fluid filtration systems for over 26 years now and I estimate that about 50% of the calls we receive are for filtration systems to complement new process heating equipment. That means the other 50% of our inquiries come when there are problems at the plant, it is shut down or in urgent need of a filtration system. The current percentage is an improvement because when we started making our equipment, all of it went to problem applications.
Hot oil heaters are usually supplied with large perforated mesh in line (full flow) strainers that might capture particles in the 200 mesh (74 micron) size range. Thermal fluid analysis testing has shown us that coking and sludge particles are much less than 50 micron in size. Perforated basket strainers will not catch those very fine particles so the solids continue to multiply, collect and affect process heat transfer efficiency and velocity of fluid flow. It still comes as pleasant surprise to a number of maintenance personnel that we provide side stream hot oil filtration systems designed to operate continually, while their process is running, working to capture the very fine solids down to 10 and 5 micron and remove them from the fluid permanently. Filtration extends the useful life of the thermal fluid, prevents carbon solids from building up in low points and reduces wear on moving parts.
Here is a photo of Liquid Process Systems thermal fluid filtration skid package that will become part of a new hot oil heating process loop. This company chose the preventative maintenance option.
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The attached photo illustrates another example of how we customize to meet each end-user’s specifications. This client specified a high quality and popular name brand hot oil pump and we complied with their requirements. As shown on the attached photo of the stand-alone thermal fluid filtration system, the Dean pump required piping changes that modified our standard skid package. This client also needed a separate Nema 4X NFD dedicated to the pump motor and mounted separately from the main thermal fluid filtration control panel box. It is one more example of how our skid mounted heat transfer fluid filtration systems are modified to be suitable for service in many process heating industries including manufactured wood, asphalt and aggregates, pharmaceutical, oil, gas and petrochemical, food processing, plastics and die casting. Our welders, fabricators and CAD operators welcome these unique equipment customizing challenges because it gives them opportunities to hone problem solving skills and always learn something new.
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The “custom” thermal fluid filtration equipment trend continues into 2018. Just a few weeks ago, we shipped two 5-gpm filtration systems with 2” bypass piping to a chemical manufacturer. Users of hot oil systems require filter vessel design in accordance with ASME Section VIII, Division 1 for highest quality welds and specific materials of construction. The bypass line is needed when side stream filtration is installed in “series” on the same pressure line.

With this piping configuration, the bypass line can accommodate the full flow of the main line when the filter element is clogged so that the hot oil heater does not need to be shut down. A small percentage of the flow from the main will be continually filtered by throttling back on the bypass valve and forcing some of the flow from the main line across the filter housing. When the filter element is clogged, the filter housing can be isolated from the process while the main flow continues through the bypass line where full flow can be manually controlled with the throttle valve that is a permanent part of the bypass line. The hot oil heating system can operate continually whether the filter element is clean or clogged or being changed.

Photo shows the low flow filter housing with higher flow bypass line. We call this our Vector with Bypass Series. It ships complete with isolation valves, throttle valve, drain and vent valves as well as pressure gauges to monitor differential pressure to indicate when filter element is clogged and needs to be replaced. Process connections are built to suit end user’s preference of either NPT, Socket Weld or Flanged.
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Welcoming this New Year comes with reflecting on the past year and we can say with certainty that 2017 was the year of custom equipment. Projects for filtering hot oil that came our way during last year were truly unique in both size and design challenges.
A previous blog featured a very large duplex thermal fluid filtration system with over-sized bypass line. That project was one to beat simply due to size of the manifolds with incredible amounts of pipe welding and overall footprint of the system. Then an order for another duplex system with more custom detail requirements came though. This unit is destined for rental service by a large fuel and lubricants supplier.
Next came a request to provide a small hot oil filtration system for an important research and development project for the petroleum industry. Here is a photo of the low flow filtration system rated for very high pressure and temperature with SRV, gauges and valves and not much room for more options.
The larger filtration systems all include davit assembly and hand wheel, however this past year included a custom request for adding a davit arm and hand wheel to a very small diameter filter housing. That unit proved so popular that we can continue to offer it as a viable option.
Designing and building these side stream heat transfer fluid systems is rewarding in and of itself. The best part about providing industrial equipment is the positive feedback from end users who report that the systems are performing fluid clean ups better than they expected and that the hot oil filtration systems are doing exactly what they are supposed to do: remove carbon solids and extend the useful life of the thermal fluids.
We continue to stock replacement filter elements and pump seal repair kits for the convenience of our clients and we always look forward to helping existing and new hot oil filtration users in 2018.
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1/16/18
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Another great example of our custom hot oil filtration equipment capabilities. A new client wanted a davit arm assembly on a small diameter thermal fluid filter vessel. It was a challenge that we had not encountered before. Frankly, there is not much room to spare on the top closure flange for the vent valve and the hand wheel. Rising to the challenge, our men worked with AutoCAD to design a very small davit arm complete with hand wheel that fits nicely within the available small space. Understandably, they are very proud of how well it turned out. I am delighted with their work on this project and looking forward to hearing from the client. The photos show how it ranks quite high in the “cute” category!
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8/11/17
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Necessity leads to a new invention to pressure test valves:
From time to time, we have had socket weld valves fail pressure tests after welding in place on our thermal fluid filtration equipment. There was not a good way to test these valves prior to welding in place and if they failed hydrostatic testing, we had to cut them off and replace with a new valve.
Our employees are very creative and enjoy solving problems that result in time and cost savings for our company. Kevin Jones thought of an idea for a tabletop mounted leak-testing device that would allow us to pressurize socket weld valves and test for leaks with soapy water solution before they are welded onto the filtration equipment.
Here is a photo of the unit that we will use to pre-test all valves before use. The pressure regulator allows air test ranges from 5 to 50 psi. Valve diameters can be up to 2 inch. Update: It works with flanged valves, too!

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 20, 2017: THIS DEVICE IS NOW "PATENT PENDING." Congratulations Kevin!
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Over the past 18 months, we have noticed a trend for requesting thermal fluid filtration systems with higher flow rates. This is a 200 gpm duplex filtration system with bypass line and filter monitor. It has the largest footprint of any system that we have built to date. Great work done by Blake Reeves and Kevin Jones. Designed, fabricated and built this custom side stream hot oil filtration system in house in approximately 6 weeks with quality in every weld and finishing detail. Thank you for continuing to make Liquid Process Systems company history!
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5/16/17
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Liquid Process Systems training video on how to change filter elements.
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It is rare to have thermal fluid filtration units on hand for more than a day or so prior to shipping to our customers. We quickly made good use of these two Vector series filtration systems, with and without bypass, to film a video on how to change filter elements in our hot oil filter housings. These side stream filtration systems were quite helpful to demonstrate proper and safe filter element change out procedures. The training video is coming soon to our website https://lps-filtration.com and You Tube.
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It is rare to have thermal fluid filtration units on hand for more than a day or so prior to shipping to our customers. We quickly made good use of these two Vector series filtration systems, with and without bypass, to film a video on how to change filter elements in our hot oil filter housings. These side stream filtration systems were quite helpful to demonstrate proper and safe filter element change out procedures. The training video is coming soon to our website https://lps-filtration.com and You Tube.
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