Petrochemical manufacturing requires careful attention to detail to ensure safety and reliability. For INEOS – a global company that makes petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, and a variety of oil products – the safe and accurate functioning of all systems throughout its expansive operations is of utmost importance.
At INEOS’s 500-acre facility in Cologne, Germany, four critical focus areas have helped the organization keep its commitment to safe operations for years:
Training and education
Experience and accountability
Success on these fronts has depended on close working partnerships with trusted suppliers. Since 2006, INEOS has worked with Swagelok Düsseldorf, the region’s certified Swagelok sales and service center, to ensure the safe production of petrochemical gases and fluids. INEOS has used Swagelok’s components, custom solutions, and application expertise to reach its safety goals for over a decade. Here is how the relationship has flourished.
The INEOS Cologne facility is a highly integrated industrial complex featuring fluid system applications that align with many of Swagelok’s strengths. Process analytical technology plays a large role, and INEOS does not compromise when it comes to quality componentry and product selection. Even the smallest amount of improper fluid can interfere with entire chemical product processes.
“We only use Swagelok because we require high-quality technology,” says INEOS’ Team Leader for Analytical Technical Services. He says that part of the Cologne facility’s track record for safety has been due in part to its exclusive use of Swagelok components. Interchanging and intermixing components made by different manufacturers can result in unpredictable performance, environmental releases, safety problems, and increased costs. Therefore, INEOS’s selection of Swagelok components – including tube fittings, ball valves, quick connects and regulators – across the plant’s fluid systems ensures compatibility and consistent performance throughout operations.
INEOS’s analytical technical service team is responsible for all process analytics systems throughout the plant. In every part of these analytical systems and processes, quality is paramount, from incoming materials to processes to final product output.
In process analytics, there are typically many fittings and couplings that must be precisely joined to avoid any inadvertent leaks. To that end, reducing fluid system complexity and using as few different connection points as possible helps to minimize potential complications. Working collaboratively with the INEOS analytical technical service team, Swagelok Düsseldorf engineers understand the needs of the facility and have helped develop a customized configuration that meets system requirements. Swagelok custom solutions allow INEOS’s systems to run efficiently at all times and have been essential to the chemical producer’s success.
Training and Education
Even the highest-quality components require the right knowledge to properly put them together, and ongoing training for the INEOS analytical technical service team has been critical to the plant’s continued success.
The organization’s reputation relies heavily on the safety of the surrounding community and the environment, and it makes certain to provide its employees with the training necessary to keep that commitment. That is why Swagelok experts have provided private, on-site safety installation training for INEOS employees. Most recently, INEOS participated alongside both Swagelok Düsseldorf and Swagelok field engineers in Process Analyzer Sampling System Plus (PASS+) Training. Employees learned sound sampling system design principles, process analyzer best practices, and other ways to optimize systems for increased efficiency. The Swagelok training opportunities benefit all INEOS employees from recent hires to experienced professionals with training designed to enhance plant safety and operations.
Experience and Accountability
When it comes to quality components and trustworthy training services, INEOS did its due diligence in selecting a partner. It identified Swagelok as the right partner who shared the company’s organizational goal of operational excellence.
INEOS’ analytical technical services manager credits the engineers at Swagelok’s Duesseldorf center with many application successes at the facility. “The value of Swagelok coming here is that they have a tremendous history and knowledge of processes,” he said. “They have a lot of experience in different applications, and when they promise to do something, it is done. That is a very nice thing.”
The relationship between INEOS and Swagelok has resulted in safe, successful operation for more than 10 years. By continuing to follow best practices across its operations, using quality components, and taking advantage of training opportunities, INEOS can look forward to ongoing success well into the future.
Authors: Vera Weski, director marketing & communication, and Andreas Growe, director sales, Swagelok Düsseldorf