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Smith Flow Control Ltd Pig Launcher Interlock System Case Example

Write date: 16th June 1999 Print date: 01 September 1999 Page 1 of 5

Loading & Unloading of Pig Launchers & Receivers. Safe Operating Practice: The Case for Key Interlock Systems
As a general principle it may be said that operations which are safe when performed correctly can have catastrophic consequences when performed incorrectly. The oil and gas and chemical processing industries generally have a very disciplined approach to design and operating practice governed largely by well recognized international standards and enforced by certification authorities. While good practice begins with good design - both are inevitably hostage to the human factor. An abundance of statistics and case examples exist to confirm this and readers of this paper will have knowledge of both high profile and other less publicised incidents where the human factor contributed to or directly caused accidents.

WHAT ARE KEY INTERLOCKS?


Many routine procedures are potentially dangerous if executed incorrectly or in unsafe conditions and the scope for injury and/or damage is significantly increased when high temperature, high pressure or toxic / flammable product is present. Key interlock systems are dual keyed mechanical locking devices which operate on a 'key transfer' principle to control the sequence in which process equipment may be operated. They are gaining increasing recognition as an effective safety tool and are recommended in a number of internationally recognized standards for specific process applications including: ! ! ! ! ! ! API RP 14E - Design & Installation of Offshore Production Platform Piping Systems (Para. 5.8.b(2) Relief Device Piping. API RP 520 - Pressure Relieving Systems for Refinery Services (Part II: Section 4 - Isolation Valve Requirements). NFPA 12 - National Fire Protection Association (USA) - Carbon Dioxide Extinguishing Systems - 1993 Edition. BS 5306 - British Standard - Part 4 1986 - Specification for Carbon Dioxide Systems. BS 8010 - Code of Practice for Pipelines (Part 2 1992 - Sect. 2.8). BS 8010 - Code of Practice for Pipelines (Part 3 1993 - Sect. 6.6).

Smith Flow Control Ltd 6, Waterside Business Park, Eastways Industrial Estate Witham, Essex, UK. CM8 3YQ Tel: +44 (0)1376 517901 Fax: +44 (0)1376 518720 E-mail: sales@smithflowcontrol.com www.smithflowcontrol.com

Smith Flow Control Ltd Pig Launcher Interlock System Case Example

Write date: 16th June 1999 Print date: 01 September 1999 Page 2 of 5

1996 No. 825 - (UK) The Pipelines Safety Regulations (Section 6 - Para. 37 of Guidance on Regulations - published by UK Health & Safety Executive).

Typically they are applied to valves, closures, switches or any form of equipment which is operated by human intervention. The 'open or 'closed' status of an interlocked valve, or the 'on or 'off' status of an interlocked switch can only be changed by inserting a unique coded key; inserting the key unlocks the operating mechanism (e.g. handwheel or push-button) thereby enabling operation of the valve or switch etc. Operating the unlocked equipment immediately traps the initial (ie. inserted) key; when the operation is complete, a secondary (previously trapped) key may be released thereby locking the equipment in the new position. This secondary key will be coded in common with the next lock (item of equipment) in the sequence. By this simple coded key transfer principle a mechanical logic' system is created which denies scope for operator error. Mechanical key interlock systems are ideally suited for integration with Permit-to-Work (PtW) procedures; indeed, the Cullen Report on the Public Inquiry into the Piper Alpha Disaster (1990) strongly recommends the use of locking systems integrated with PtW procedures, especially where routine procedures cannot be accomplished in the time-scale of a single shift. In addition to the standards referred to earlier, the Technical Guidance Notes supporting the new UK Pipeline Regulations (1996) Act also recommend interlocks as a suitable safety system in the operation of Pig Traps.

CASE EXAMPLE INTERLOCKING OF PIG TRAPS: SAFE LOADING/UNLOADING.


It might reasonably be said that the singular greatest hazard associated with the operation of pig traps is the exceptional event of opening the closure, whereas launching and receiving procedures in themselves are quite straightforward and relatively safe. DNV TN B 302 Technical Notes for Fixed Offshore Installations describes PIG TRAPS as 'primary grades sources of hazard'. The following is a case example of an interlocked gas launcher using a simple 'linear key logic' where there are no deviations from the prescribed procedure. The vessel valves are all manually operated and the example given shows venting to atmosphere and the assumption in this case is that there is no sour gas (H2S) or other hazardous by-products present in the process. The case example given is subdivided into a three stage procedure.

Smith Flow Control Ltd 6, Waterside Business Park, Eastways Industrial Estate Witham, Essex, UK. CM8 3YQ Tel: +44 (0)1376 517901 Fax: +44 (0)1376 518720 E-mail: sales@smithflowcontrol.com www.smithflowcontrol.com

Smith Flow Control Ltd Pig Launcher Interlock System Case Example

Write date: 16th June 1999 Print date: 01 September 1999 Page 3 of 5

TASK 1: To Load the Pig - ref Fig 1. Vessel Status - Isolated and Depressurized: Production On Line. Permit Key A into PSV block valve to unlock and close - releasing key B'. Key 'B' into atmospheric vent valve to unlock and open - releasing key 'C'. Residuals now venting to atmosphere. Key 'C' into drain valve to unlock and open to clear any accumulated liquids. Close drain valve again releasing key 'C'. Vessel is now depressurized and venting. Key 'C' into closure lock to unlock and open - commence loading.

Fig. 1

TASK 2: To Re-pressurize and prepare for Launch - refer Fig 2. Vessel Status: isolated and Depressurized: Production On Line: Pig(s) Loaded. Shut closure and lock closed by removing key 'C'. Key 'C' into atmospheric vent to unlock and close - releasing key 'B'. Key 'B' into PSV block valve to unlock and open - releasing key 'A. PSV now on-line.

Smith Flow Control Ltd 6, Waterside Business Park, Eastways Industrial Estate Witham, Essex, UK. CM8 3YQ Tel: +44 (0)1376 517901 Fax: +44 (0)1376 518720 E-mail: sales@smithflowcontrol.com www.smithflowcontrol.com

Smith Flow Control Ltd Pig Launcher Interlock System Case Example

Write date: 16th June 1999 Print date: 01 September 1999 Page 4 of 5

Key 'A into mainline valve 'M1' to unlock and open - releasing key 'D. Key 'D' into kicker valve K1 to unlock and open - releasing key E. Key 'E' into kicker valve 'K2' to unlock and crack open slowly to pressurize. After substantial or complete pressurization, open fully releasing key 'F'. Key 'F' mainline valve M2 to unlock and open (key F remains trapped). Now loaded, pressurized and ready for launch.

Fig. 2

TASK 3: To Launch Pig and then Isolate and Depressurize - refer Fig 3. Vessel Status: Loaded, Pressurized and Ready for Launch. Restrict flow on line valve L1 (not interlocked) by inching closed. Back pressure through kicker line will effect pig launch. Fully re-open line valve 'L1'. Close mainline valve M2 and lock closed, releasing key F. Key 'F' into kicker valve 'K2' to unlock and close - releasing key 'E'.

Smith Flow Control Ltd 6, Waterside Business Park, Eastways Industrial Estate Witham, Essex, UK. CM8 3YQ Tel: +44 (0)1376 517901 Fax: +44 (0)1376 518720 E-mail: sales@smithflowcontrol.com www.smithflowcontrol.com

Smith Flow Control Ltd Pig Launcher Interlock System Case Example

Write date: 16th June 1999 Print date: 01 September 1999 Page 5 of 5

Key 'E' into kicker valve 'K1' to unlock and close - releasing key 'D'. Key 'D' into mainline valve 'M1' to unlock and close - releasing key 'A'. Vessel now isolated ready for depressurization. Key A into PSV block valve to unlock and close - releasing key 'B'. Key 'B' into atmospheric vent valve to unlock and open - releasing key 'C'. (If required, proceed to drain using key 'C'). After venting, close atmospheric vent valve releasing key 'B'. Key 'B' into PSV block valve to unlock and close - releasing key A. Vessel is now depressurized and isolated. Return Key 'A to Control. Task completed.

Fig. 3

SUMMARY
This linear logic procedure demonstrates how a key interlock system controls the operational procedures of a simple launcher arrangement by compelling the operator to abide by the prescribed sequences. Although simple and straightforward, the system described fulfils to the letter the requirements of BS 8010 Section 2.8: 1992 (2.8.3.10 Closures) and BS 8010: Part 3: 1993 (Section 6.6 Pig Traps and Closures) as well as ASME VIII - Division 1.

Smith Flow Control Ltd 6, Waterside Business Park, Eastways Industrial Estate Witham, Essex, UK. CM8 3YQ Tel: +44 (0)1376 517901 Fax: +44 (0)1376 518720 E-mail: sales@smithflowcontrol.com www.smithflowcontrol.com