A North Carolina-based specialty chemical manufacturer, a major producer of insect repellent, was looking for a better way to measure the liquid level in its glass-lined agitated reactor. The company uses a number of complex technologies to manufacture sebacates, adipates, isophthalates, catalysts, alkyds, and other natural and renewable chemistries based on castor and citrates.
The chemical manufacturer had always relied on the low-tech “inch count” method, which means an operator actually inserts a tape measure into the hatch and measures down to the liquid level to calculate how many gallons are in the reactor.
The information is used to calculate the “drying rate” to predict when the processing is finished and the product is ready for post-processing. Operators look at starting and ending gallons to calculate the percentage of moisture, which is important for product quality. If they start at a certain inch level and apply heat to the vessel, they measure how fast it is dropping to determine how many gallons have dried.