Published

Double-up LPG filling with Flexspeed

CASE:

Customer

HPCL, India
Cherlapalli filling plant, Hyderabad

The customer's challenge

To increase capacity without expanding the plant.

Our solution

Exchanging a traditional filling line with a high-speed Flexspeed system filling 3600 cylinders/hour.

The outcome

Double-up on plant capacity and reduced operational costs.

Scope of supply

  • One Flexspeed system with 66 filling posts
  • Fully automatic vision recognition system for reading of tare values and outsorting of cylinders
  • Two leak detection process modules
  • KC Facility Service agreement

An urgent need for increased capacity, but no space for expansion of the filling plant. That was HPCL's dilemma. Kosan Crisplant's high-speed filling system Flexspeed was the solution. With a growth of about 7-8 percent a year, the demand for LPG is high in India, but there is no space left for expansion of the existing filling plants. Around the big cities, where the LPG demand is most urgent, the plants are fully utilized already, and setting up more filling lines is not an option, as a state decree prohibits LPG plants from occupying more land.

Faced with these difficulties, HPCL chose their plant in Hyderabad to be the target of an upgrade to Kosan Crisplant's high-speed filling system Flexspeed.

Increased capacity, fewer operators 

The primary advantage of Flexspeed is the high capacity. HPCL's Flexspeed carrousel runs 3600 cylinders per hour. However, the fact that it is able to fill cylinders of different sizes in the same production round is important too, as there are two different cylinder types in circulation in India (14.2 kg and 19 kg).

 

HPCL Flexspeed overview 2

 

Before Flexspeed, there were three filling carousels at the plant in Hyderabad, but they were never in simultaneous operation; partly because each one could only handle one type of cylinder, partly because three working carousels would call for more operators – and not only are skilled operators in short supply, they also mean high costs. Not requiring the same amount of operators as traditional carousels, Flexspeed solved this problem as well.

Reduced cylinder maintenance costs  

The need for cylinder maintenance was also reduced. As the operation is non-stop, all procedures are performed while the cylinders are flowing smoothly along the conveyor line without knocking into each other, which reduces the amount of damages to the cylinder surface. Utilities are reduced as well – compressed air and electricity, e.g. – and the weighing precision is second to none, ensuring that the LPG is used to the fullest extent.

Finally, the cost of running the plant in Hyderabad was not increased, even though the production capacity was doubled. As all improvements were done of within the frames of the existing buildings, there were no need for increases in security, staff, logistics, etc. and – consequently – no additional costs.