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January 11, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. – Koch-Glitsch and INVISTA Performance Technology (IPT), affiliates of Koch Industries, announced today a new partnership to offer innovative DTL™ process technology, allowing refineries to capture the value spread between replacement fuel costs and high-octane gasoline blend stock.

DTL process technology converts light olefins, present in fluidized-bed catalytic cracking (FCC) off-gas, coker off-gas and other refinery streams, into high-octane gasoline blend stock, significantly increasing their value.

“Today’s market is looking for higher octane fuels, and this process allows refiners to deliver more of the high-value, high-octane fuels consumers seek,” said Christoph Ender, Koch-Glitsch vice-president of sales and marketing. “Through this partnership, we can provide our customers full-service project execution along with advanced technologies.”

Commercially demonstrated in 12 refineries with another unit under construction, DTL technology uses proprietary catalysts that oligomerize and aromatize off-gas olefins, converting difficult to recover components such as ethylene, propylene and butylene into high-octane gasoline blend stock.

The technology delivers approximately 75 wt% C5+ liquid yields and 10 wt% LPG, which can be blended to the gasoline pool for increased gasoline production. This low CAPEX process has a small footprint and is integrated into the refinery downstream of the FCC gas plant using standard refinery equipment, such as fixed-bed reactors, absorption and separation columns and heterogenous catalysts. The unsaturated fuel gas leaving the FCC gas plant and other unsaturated gases blended as feed are diverted to the DTL process where it converts the stream into high-octane gasoline blend stock.

Additionally, DTL complements propylene producing FCC units — revamped or new — as it converts excess ethylene, butylene and any unrecovered propylene present in the fuel gas back to high-octane gasoline blend stock. This provides flexibility to refiners to take advantage of high propylene prices without worrying about excess fuel gas production.

“This partnership couples IPT’s licensing and technology transfer capabilities with Koch-Glitsch’s market knowledge and refinery technology expertise,” said Mike Massa, INVISTA Performance Technology commercial licensing director. “The extensive capabilities of the broader Koch Chemical Technology Group allow us to offer project execution strategies — including EP, EPCM, EPC, etc.— that meet the needs of individual refiners. This is a winning combination for our existing and future clients.”

To implement the DTL technology in your facilities, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact a local Koch-Glitsch representative. For more information visit, www.koch-glitsch.com/DTL.  

 
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(HOLLAND, MICH.) – BUILT Systems and Volta Power Systems today announced the launch of flexible manufacturing workstations designed to innovate the advanced manufacturing industry through distributive energy.  BUILT Systems’ versatile industrial work tables for manufacturing assembly lines, paired with the latest in advanced lithium ion storage technology from Volta Power Systems, represent the future of manufacturing.

Volta Power Systems’ automotive-grade advanced energy systems provide the power for BUILT’s mobile workstations. Without the traditional restrictions and costs of hard-wired power, BUILT’s new systems reduce the cost of infrastructure changes and create new manufacturing efficiencies.   

“The mobile workstations defy the rules of traditional fixed infrastructure manufacturing,” Jack Johnson, co-founder of Volta said. “The systems could save companies tens of thousands in initial investment in facility power and pneumatic distribution or allow companies to utilize spaces lacking traditional infrastructure for a lower cost.”

The new workstations are part of BUILT’s ATE line. The line includes a variety of sizes and features that are customizable for all manufacturers.  Features like adjustable height, fans, programmable switches, monitor mounts, anti-vibration leveling mounts or casters and up to 30 amps of 120 VAC power that can power any traditional hand assembly tool. The new systems are fully networked and provide data for IOT. The systems supply enough energy to operate up to six fully loaded workstations in an assembly line for over 16 hours of production and can recharge in about an hour. 

“Our systems enable a high degree of equipment and assembly flexibility by enabling manufacturers to move, rearrange or change out entire work stations at any time,” said Brad Schaefer, Engineer BUILT systems.

The ATE systems includes a 6.7 kWh Volta power system based on automotive-grade lithium ion technology. Volta’s solutions provide the highest energy density lithium ion on the market today, technology that was previously available only to automotive manufacturers. Volta’s products provide more energy with less noise, space, weight, and charging time than traditional alternatives.

They also are designed to provide a minimum of 10 years of service, with 80% of original capacity remaining after that period.

The workstations include fully automated control and monitoring solutions that enable users to monitor energy supply and status through CAN communication protocols. CAN communication allows companies to see power consumption per line, pack performance and an entirely new level of IOT opportunities.

“We’re proud and excited to partner with BUILT Systems and see how the concept of distributed energy storage across the manufacturing environments will change our world,” Jack Johnson, co-founder of Volta said.

BUILT Systems previewed the new workstation in 2017 at The Assembly Show. “We had over double our usual amount of leads with the new powered workstation,” Schaefer said. “The lithium ion powered ATE line will fill a gap for manufacturers across industries who are growing quickly and need to make on-demand adjustments to production layout.”

 
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Cutting tool and tooling system specialist Sandvik Coromant has extended the functionality of its InvoMilling™ software. The latest version of this user-friendly CAD/CAM solution for fast and simple NC programming offers even more possibilities when manufacturing gears on universal five-axis machining centers. As of late 2017, the software will also enable customers to produce straight bevel gears and herringbone gears.

InvoMilling™ exploits machine tool kinetics for the effective and flexible manufacturing of high-quality gears and splines in quality level 6 or better (according to DIN 3962). After entering the required gear data, the intuitive CAD/CAM software defines the optimum machining strategies and generates a CNC program that allows the production of different gear profiles using just a few standard precision tools. The software also offers excellent graphics as well as features to create and simulate milling paths.

As well as upcoming options for herringbone, double helical (with and without gap), and straight bevel gears (end of 2017), an additional new function available in the latest version of InvoMilling™ is flank correction. This applies to tip relief and crowning in both the flank and profile directions as well as helix and pressure angle corrections. Numerous improvements have also been made to the tools. For instance, adapted tools have been introduced to the tool library.

"With the new software functionalities and tool optimizations, we are offering our customers additional options for gear cutting in small and medium batch sizes—making the process even more flexible, fast, and efficient," says Jochen Sapparth, Product Manager InvoMilling™ CAD/CAM at Sandvik Coromant. "At the same time, we are expanding the range of applications that can be performed using five-axis machining centers."

Sandvik Coromant's latest InvoMilling™ CAD/CAM software offers even more possibilities to manufacture gears on universal five-axis machining centers.

InvoMilling™ from Sandvik Coromant allows the production of different gear profiles using just a few standard precision tools.

In addition to the latest extension of the InvoMilling™ software, Sandvik Coromant has also made numerous tool improvements.

 
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January 4, 2018

Cutting tool and tooling systems provider Sandvik Coromant has announced continued support of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Innovative Manufacturing program at the Regina Campus.

The Innovative Manufacturing program, which opened in September, is a two-year diploma program available at the Regina campus. This program was designed to provide students with a wide range of manufacturing knowledge that ranges from mechanical and CAD/CAM engineering technologies, welding and machining disciplines to project management, industrial design and quality control/quality assurance strategies. During the two-year program, students will practice skills and complete projects using industry-standard tools and equipment.

Education and training is imperative for increased competency in modern manufacturing.  Sandvik Coromant is proud to help schools like Sask Polytech actively work towards closing the skills gap in Canada,” says Randy Bossie, Sandvik Coromant Canada General Manager,“The donation from Sandvik Coromant directly helps students by ensuring that the program has the necessary resources to optimally run the labs and the program. We also provide advanced training and support for faculty and alumni.”

For more information about Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Innovative Manufacturing program, visit http://saskpolytech.ca/.

 
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What do beer, bitumen and greenhouse gas emissions have in common?

That would be Neil Camarta, founder of Field Upgrading.

Camarta spent most of his engineering career building conventional upgraders, which emit sulphur dioxide and other noxious GHG pollutants into the atmosphere.

Now he's teamed up with the Coors Brewing family and Alberta Innovates to commercialize a simple and clean upgrading technology for heavy oil. And he's even found a novel market for his product that will make a significant contribution toward reducing pollution from ships.

That's not bad for a landlocked prairie company.

Camarta, a chemical engineer, has helped build heavy oil upgraders for Shell and Petro-Canada.

In recent years, his mantra is cleaner and cheaper. That's what drives him and business partner Guy Turcotte to be innovators.

"We talk to a lot of inventors. If we like their idea, then we work with them to commercialize the technology. In this case, the inventors are the Coors family, who make beer in Colorado, of all things."

Sodium connects beer to bitumen. "It's as if it was programmed to remove all the 'dirty' from dirty oil," says Camarta.

Field Upgrading's novel process begins with elemental sodium, a metal that melts at the relatively low temperature of 100C. "It mixes really well with oil. It takes out all the sulphur. It takes out all the metals. It takes out all the acid. So it cleans up the oil and it doesn't leave piles of coke or asphaltenes behind."

The kicker is recovering the sodium because of its high value.

That's where Coors comes in. Besides making beer, they're also the world's largest manufacturer of high-tech ceramics.

"One of their specialty ceramics allows us to recycle sodium using electrolysis in a battery-like setup," Camarta explains. "When you use sulphur from the oil using sodium, you make sodium sulphide. You put the sodium sulphide in the battery, turn on the power and it separates the sodium from the sulphur. So you're able to recycle the sodium."

Conventional upgrading of heavy oil requires the use of high pressure, high temperature and many catalysts. Because of the focus on hydrogen, that results in emissions like hydrogen sulphide, sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide.

But by using sodium as the de-sulphuring agent, the reaction with Field Upgrading's technology is exothermic, meaning it makes heat. Any greenhouse gas emissions are indirect, depending on the source of electricity used for the batteries. "So it's very clean. It's also very simple. We just have a reactor and these batteries," says Carmata. He calls the process elegant.

Camarta spent four years developing the technology bench scale at a Coors-owned lab in Salt Lake City. Now he has opened a pilot plant in Fort Saskatchewan, with plans for a demonstration plant next on the path to commercialization. Funding over the years has come from Alberta Innovates, Natural Resources Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the former CCEMC, now called Emissions Reduction Alberta.

And Field Upgrading's target market?

"The largest single consumer of high-sulphur heavy oil is the marine industry," says Camarta. "All the ships that sail upon the sea, they burn about four million barrels a day of 3.5 per cent sulphur. I think there's a fact that goes something like this: that the world's 15 largest ships make more pollution in the form of sulphur dioxide than all the cars in the world put together. "

In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization ruled that by 2020, every ship must change over to fuel that has a reduced sulphur content of 0.5 per cent.

"So that's our market. We would take the sulphur out of heavy oil and then we would take it to tidewater and we would sell it into the shipping industry, because our oil fits the new sulphur regulations perfectly."

Field Upgrading has already met with companies in Singapore and other shipping centres.

The technology offers a major market opportunity for the oilsands industry. With diesel well over $70 a barrel, this will help in diversifying Alberta's economy and it's an environmental win for the world's atmosphere and oceans.

Says Camarta about his Calgary office: "We must be the only people here with a boardroom with a big ship on the wall - just to remind us of what our market is."

Not surprisingly, the demonstration plant will be named Clean Seas.

 

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