North Rhine Westphalia’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Garrelt Duin (SPD), was greeted by REMBE®’s managing director Stefan Penno on site in Brilon on 27/08/2013. The Minister who has been in office since 2012, visited REMBE® headquarters together with Brilon’s mayor Franz Schrewe (SPD) and other SPD delegates. During discussions with Stefan Penno and the REMBE® workforce the Minister was not only shown through the shop floor but also wanted to learn about the details of bursting disc manufacturing. He showed great interest and appeared enthused by his visit to the company site and REMBE®’s innovative potential. REMBE® is investing in total around 2 million Euros in new production processes and warehouse systems as well as software at its Brilon headquarters. Structural expansion to accommodate the growth of the company is also planned.
Plenty of reasons for REMBE® to celebrate
More than ever has REMBE® the reason to celebrate. This year the annual REX convention again as with every year culminated with celebrations and this year it was to celebrate the company’s 40th birthday at the same time. From the 4th to the 6th of September 2013 REMBE® greeted 70 international participants from Europe, USA, Asia and South America at the REX convention, a most important meeting for all REMBE® safety experts who represent REMBE® and their bursting discs and explosion protection safety systems all over the world. There were presentations of the latest technical developments and customised global business strategies combined with hands-on sesssions. Of course with REMBE® things don’t end there. “REMBE®’s success story is very impressive” complimented Minister Duin during his visit. A success story that is certain to continue in the future.
This is guaranteed by a patent-pending, friction-free measurement of the centripetal force. The C-LEVER direct gravimetrically measures the product stream at the sensor without any mechanical components such as rotary belts, bearing or other moving parts. This offers a step-change in measuring accuracy of ± 0.2 % and a turn-down ratio of 20: Product characteristic changes have negligible adverse on the repeatable accuracy.
The steeply mounted gravimetric slide sensors prevent the product’s adhesion, which eliminates the zeropoint shift as a source of error. Costly pneumatic cleaning becomes history. The compact size means it is easier to install. Lower costs, fewer spares, less downtime.
Due to the seemingly endless sources for potential ignitions it is not hard to imagine the difficulty in eliminating them all. Removal of the fuel is impossible as this is what is being produced by the process in the plant that we are considering protecting. Removal of Oxygen is feasible but can only be achieved through vary expensive processing. The security limits here are also rapidly reached and the risk of a dust explosion cannot be excluded. Therefore a constructive and efficient explosion protection regime is required and essential.
NOTE* Contact KERSTING GMBH SAMPLING + GROUNDING, a REMBE® ALLIANCE company and refer to 'Grounding Systems
Protection is crucial.
Safety valves protect the refinery processes against hazardous overpressures. These measures are crucial as high temperature differences could result in major pressure fluctuations taking place in the plants.
Safety valves: Pros and cons.
Safety valves provide numerous advantages, opening when pressure becomes too high and automatically closing after venting. However, an immense drawback is that safety valves are very maintenance-intensive and present the disadvantage of not providing liquid tightness. In turn, this results in huge material wastage and rising emission rates.
“It’s the volume that counts.”
“When operating several large plants worldwide, it’s the volume that counts”, says Stefan Penno, Managing Director of REMBE® GMBH SAFETY+CONTROL: “Incessant material wastage weakens the value-added chain, pollutes the environment and demands increased maintenance. Now that’s costly.”
Economic damage and environmental contamination.
A study conducted by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) substantiates this conclusion: 22-27% of all leakages, defects in liquid tightness result from flange connections. Just in the Netherlands this results in an annual raw material loss of approximately 106,000 tons of gases and liquids. With a calculated average price of 700 EUR/ton, this results in a loss of 75.000,00 EUR/year. When adding the leakage losses resulting from shaft sealing, this makes an additional 383.000 tons/year resulting in an amazing total of 268.000.000.00 EUR for the Netherlands alone. The American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has discovered that 40.000 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) alone were annually emitted in the USA. Besides the economic damage, the environmental contamination issue should not be ignored.
Robust bursting disc for sensitive process areas: KUB®
REMBE®, the specialists in process safety and explosion protection for nearly forty years, recommend all refinery operators to revise their opinions. “The sole implementation of safety valves doesn’t make sense in every case. There are certain sensitive process areas, where you are truly better advised to implement robust bursting discs”, states Penno further. REMBE® has specialised in laser technology, and developed a unique two-layered REMBE® Reverse acting buckling-pin bursting disc (KUB®). Its utilisation in those types of demanding processes has successfully proven itself for years.
The BT-KUB® mechanism is based on the buckling-pin principle by Leonard Euler. As opposed to other bursting disc manufacturers, REMBE® waives any mechanical scoring. This is due to the fact that response pressures are accurately defined by Euler’s buckling-pins, which are positioned by state-of-the-art laser technology. "Once our bursting disc is installed, it needs no further maintenance and reliably safeguards the process/plant. Only in the event that the disc has responded, must it be replaced; the timeframe can vary, after a year, a decade or never”, Penno explains. “In light of recent events, it would be wise to inspect the process safety and efficiency of existing as well as newly constructed refinery plants. By installing supplementary bursting discs, money can be saved long-term and thus, counteracts bankruptcy; at least in regard to operating and maintenance costs.”
“Sauerland secures Nutella production”
One example of this came from Andreas Hansen and Dr. Francesco Petruzzelli, employees at REMBE®’s Italian subsidary, who described competently and with Italian spirit how they managed to win an important contract with the multinational company Ferrero: “Mamma mia,” both exclaimed, “the Sauerland has secured Nutella production!” Outside, REMBE® engineer Roland Bunse demonstrated high explosives to an amazed audience of visitors. After the exciting explosions he remarked impassively: “Well that certainly wouldn’t have happened with a REMBE® bursting disc.”
Safety guaranteed by tradition.
Managing Director Stefan Penno emphasises how important the location of Brilon is for the company’s international success: “Our Sauerland roots represent the security that we guarantee our customers.” The fact that production takes place exclusively at the German plant in Brilon sets this traditional company apart from its competitors. REMBE® China manager Ben Liang is convinced: “The ‘Made in Germany’ stamp of quality is a door-opener, especially in Asia.”
Yet this sense of tradition is only one side to REMBE®’s success. Because we in the Sauerland don’t just know where we come from, we know where we’re going too. It is here that our REMBE® engineers are working diligently on new innovations. It comes as no surprise, then, that there have been attempts to copy patented REMBE® inventions abroad, to no avail of course. Friedhelm Kesting has been the plant manager and REMBE® employee for more than 35 years. He perhaps best represents the combination of groundedness and international vision typical of REMBE®. He confidently leads the international REX delegation through the factory building in Brilon, proudly showing the brand new laser equipment, custom-built for REMBE®’s specific needs, introducing workers to the guests, and answering questions. Friedhelm does all of this with typical Sauerland aplomb, and all in English. To sum up the REX convention: everyone got along wonderfully. And it wasn’t just the Chinese visitors who continually praised the climate: “The fresh air here is simply marvellous!”