PROFIBUS: Just the Ticket for Locomotive Refueling Station

An international iron ore producer was recently looking to replace the aging positive Boxcarsdisplacement meters in a refueling station in its rail yard. The company relies on more than 20 locomotives and close to 1000 cars to transport nearly 75,000 tonnes of iron ore concentrate along its 420 km private railway every day. An additional 300-plus utility cars are also scheduled on the rail line to transport commodities and timber back and forth from the interior mining area to a port complex.

Turnkey Solution
On average, five full trains (with two locomotives per train) return from the mining site to the port every day. Accurate and efficient refueling of those trains is critical to continuous processing and fulfillment of orders.

Bucket-wheel excavatorEndress+Hauser was contracted to provide a turnkey solution for diesel mass flow measurement and data transmission through a Profibus network. The contract involved provision and installation of two Coriolis flowmeters, a Profibus network, electrical panel and wiring for the new fueling system, starting the system up and complete commissioning.

The project provided a number of challenges for the Endress+Hauser team.

  • The new system had to be installed and functional within 10 weeks.
  • There could be no prolonged interruption of the logistics and production schedule in the company’s industrial complex.
  • The team had to manage employees from mechanical and electrical contractors, supplier shipping and Endress+Hauser specialists, as well as provide IT support related to the installation and operation of a new Profibus network.

Proline Promass 80E Coriolis flowmeter
After initial consultation, it was determined that the new metering system should be built with Endress+Hauser’s Proline Promass 80E Coriolis flowmeter. The 80E provides the accuracy demanded by the refueling environment with exacting accuracy at a reasonable Promass_80E_Front_Vert_Displ_Komp_PG___PP_01cost. Coriolis measurement technology works independent of physical fluid properties, such as viscosity and density, meaning there is no need for temperature or pressure compensation.

The Proline Promass 80E offers the versatility required to operate the system with one device rather than requiring multiple devices and a calculation at the end of refueling. The 80E provides greater accuracy of the quantity of fuel dispensed (±0.20%), offers more diagnostic information than had been previously experienced, and does so with little to-no maintenance. By installing the Coriolis flowmeter in a Profibus network, the device will work with any Profibus certified components within the network in the future, regardless of manufacturer.

The project team prepared the new system to the job specifications on budget, meeting the “no-down-time” demands of the company. After commissioning, the company reviewed the performance and execution of the new system and indicated they are satisfied with the instrumentation and the commissioning process. They now have a reliable state-of-the-art metering system in their refueling station, providing an accurate understanding of its diesel fuel inventory as they keep their locomotive stock rolling.