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Going state-of-the-art.

Going State-of-the-Art

Picture this! The management of your firm decides it wants to install a solvents distribution tank farm, warehouse and drumming facility, at an existing warehouse location. Furthermore, the project is to be completed within one year and at a budgeted cost of 5 million dollars. As the manager in charge of this project, what would you look at and how would you handle this project?

Once your initial sense of panic has subsided and you realize the job market and/or early retirement are unappealing, you are left with the challenge. Mission Impossible? Not quite. This is the challenge that faced Vern Wilson, vice-president of operations at Canada Colors and Chemicals Limited (CCC). The location was the CCC distribution facility in Brampton, Ont.

About CCC

Canada Colors and Chemicals Ltd. is Canada's largest independent chemical distributor. It is a privately-owned Toronto headquartered company and maintains full chemical distribution centers in Montreal, Brampton and Vancouver.

CCC also operates a solvent tank farm in Windsor and has distribution facilities in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Other operations include a PVC compounds and polyolefin color concentrates manufacturing facility in Colborne, Ont. and a sulphuric acid and oleum production subsidiary, Sulco Chemicals Ltd., at Elmira, Ont.

CCC distributes, nationally, thousands of products to many key Canadian Markets -- including plastics, paint and coatings, chemical producing, food and beverage, metal treatment, soap, detergent and specialty chemical compounding -- from 125 principals around the world.

Making Plans

According to Wilson, "The keys to a successful undertaking such as this are planning, management commitment, organization and communication." At Canada Colors, much of the planning was achieved by setting up a Solvents Task Force solely for this project. This task force was made up of operations, engineering, finance, sales and marketing personnel.

The first step taken by the task force was to decide the direction of the existing solvent distribution business. Once market opportunities were identified, the decision to expand at the Brampton facility was made. Other issues were then taken into consideration: defining the parameters of the facility, determining the size and scope of the project and setting a preliminary budget.

The second step taken by the task force was to provide management direction and commitment on various issues involved with the project. This simply stated, was Canada Colors commitment to meet or exceed all known environmental, safety and health standards and requirements. The next step was to put together an on-site project team. This team included operations and engineering personnel from within Canada Colors, the contractor representatives and a consultant with experience in constructing tank farms.

The primary objective of the project team was to ensure that issues impacting the project were dealt with in a timely manner. Secondary objectives included; 1) providing communication to all parties involved, prior to and during construction. 2) ensuring that the project stay on track, both cost-wise and within the time frame required.

This team approach proved highly successful in that it allowed maximum consideration of the issues involved. The actual physical design of the facility was also a truly co-operative effort, with input from all members of the project team and existing operations personnel. In order to meet its communications objective, the project team held weekly meetings, where all parties worked on issues, both prior to and during construction. Additional meetings were held as the project advanced, in order to provide feedback to individuals of the team and to operations personnel, as they completed their assigned tasks.

The issues tackled by this project team included meeting requirements and obtaining approvals from; the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Labour, Peel Region, the Municipality of Brampton and CN Rail. Other requirements, as established by the provincial fire code, National Fire Protection Agency (US) and by Canada Colors insurance company and brokers were also handled by the project team.

Finally, as the project neared completion, in its various phases, start-up teams of contractor and operations personnel were put together. These teams would meet, to go through a thorough hazardous operations procedure analysis, for the equipment or process system to be started-up. Here members would think about what could go wrong with the equipment, during start-up and normal operations. Issues were identified, operating procedures written, safeguards built-in and personal protective equipment purchased, prior to equipment start-up.

The major loss control principle used by the project team at CCC, during its input on design of the facility, was that of Engineering Controls. In essence, it attempted to minimize risk to personnel, the environment and equipment, by designing the facility to control exposures to physical hazards and hazardous substances. Dave May, operations manager at CCC said, "Proper design of the tank farm and loading/unloading facilities is of key importance, when it comes to efficient, environmentally sound and safe handling of flammable materials and solvents, at a high-volume throughput."

There is a picture of a portion of the completed tank farm and loading/unloading facility at the CCC Brampton distribution centre. Note: this facility is capable of loading/unloading four tank trucks, unloading a railcar and feeding two drumming lines simultaneously. Look this picture over and identify the various engineering controls in place. Here's a hint. There are approximately 18 different engineering controls that are identifiable from this picture. The following are general engineering control principles that were applied, when designing the Brampton facility.

Typically, engineering control principles include: 1) Elimination: eliminating exposures to a hazard, or hazardous toxic substance entirely, is the preferred control method. 2) Substitution: substituting a less hazardous operation, or less hazardous toxic material is the next preferred option, in reducing risk emposures.

Table 1 illustrates examples of substitution/elimination control methods utilized at the Brampton facility. 3) Equipment/Process Selection: engineering controls are best addressed during the selection of new or replacement equipment. In buying or installing these, it is important to carefully scrutinize manufacturer's specifications. One must then ensure that the new/replacement equipment meets minimum standards and if possible, exceed them. The selection of raw materials and proper process is also important.

Table 2 contains some examples of equipment/process selection controls. 4) Isolation/Containment: isolation involves separating workers from a hazardous process or equipment. This can be accomplished by two principle methods: isolating the process, equipment or hazard from the worker; isolating the worker from the process, equipment or hazard.

Containment involves designing the process, equipment or site to contain and/or isolate hazards and/or hazardous materials, in the event of an emergency. The need for containment would typically follow such emergency situations as fires, hazardous chemical spills and severe storms or flooding.

Table 3 illustrates these isolation/containment controls. 5) Ventilation: this type of engineering control is used to control exposures to substances, generated in the form of dust, fumes, vapors and mists.

There are two principle types of ventilation controls used: general or dilution ventilation: this is the use of large volumes of air to dilute the level of contaminants. It should only be used when the amount of air contamination is not excessive and when the contaminant is released at a considerable distance from the worker's breathing zone. local exhaust ventilation: this type of ventilation removes the contaminants at the source of generation and prevents them from entering the general work area. It is often the best technique for controling highly toxic airborne substances.

Table 4 illustrates both the general and local exhaust ventilation, used at Brampton.

Have you been able to identify the 18 different engineering controls in the picture of the tank farm? Lets now go through these identifiable engineering controls.

For substitution/elimination controls, you should be able to identify the first eight examples given in Table 1. For equipment/process selection controls, you should be able to identify six of the examples given in Table 2. These include the first two examples in the equipment category and the first four in the process category of Table 2. For isolation/containment controls the first four examples from Table 3 should be identifiable in the picture. Ventilation was used for the indoor facilities and therefore not illustrated in the picture.

As the project manager in charge of a similar expansion then, once all the issues have been identified, engineering controls put in place and construction completed, you would hopefully have a facility similar to Canada Colors and Chemicals -- Brampton.

The end result: 1) you would have approximately 38,000 sq ft of storage space, capable of storing up to 5,000 drums of flammables and combustibles. 2) you would be able to unload/load as many as four tank trucks and unload a railcar simultaneously. 3) you would be capable of drum-filling over 300 drums a day. 4) you would have 34 storage tanks, capable of holding approximately 450,000 imperial gallons of chemicals, onsite.

If you followed the team approach, hopefully you too would be capable of completing all of the above, within a 10-month time frame and under budget, as was done at the CCC -- Brampton distribution facility.

The final word belongs to Wilson. "Upon reflection, the accolades for this project must go to the on-site project team, the start-up teams, Kermecho Ltd (our contractor) and especially the operators. In particular, our operators provided invaluable input to our team approach, helping to identify and resolve issues, as they arose. Finally, the concept of forming a project task-force team, an on-site project team and start-up teams is the principle management approach, that we intend to utilize in the future, on most projects. It certainly was a success for us." [Tabular 1 to 2 Omitted]

Table 3

Examples of Isolation/Containment

Operations kiosk at truck loading/unloading provides a temperature controlled atmosphere, protecting the operator during the loading/unloading process.

Impervious clay base in tank farm, for spill containment.

The tank farm diking was sized to contain a rupture from the largest tank plus 10% of the remaining tanks.

The spacing between tanks was designed to isolate tanks, so that fire trucks, men and equipment could operate between rows of tanks.

There is an underground 10,000 gallon storage tank, used for spill containment and water run-off from the truck loading/unloading and drum-off areas.

An over-flow pond, connected to the tank farm and warehouse, was designed to hold the excess from the diking, should a fire or large spill occur.

Table 4

Examples of Ventilation

The flammable and combustible drum storage warehouse is equiped with general exhaust roof fans, which operate continuously to prevent accumulation of explosive vapours. These roof fans are interlocked with the plant security system.

Local exhaust ventilation is provided at the drum-filling location, by ducting connected to the drum-filling nozzles.

Fume hoods are provided in the laboratory for technician to use, while testing samples.

Local exhaust hoods and ventilation are provided at the wash vats and drying sections of the drum reconditioning area.

A paint-booth with water spray is provided, for painting of drums in the drum reconditioning area.

General exhaust ventilation is provided in the drum reconditioning area, to provide 20 changes of air every hour.

General exhaust ventilation is provided in the drum filling location, in order to prevent accumulation of explosive vapours. This ventilation is electrically interlocked to the feed pumps, so that the pumps will operate only with the ventilation operating.

PHOTO : This photograph shows many of the different safety features that have been built into the

PHOTO : new Canada Colors facility at Brampton, Ont.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Chemical Institute of Canada
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:warehouse design for chemical distributor Canada Colors and Chemicals Ltd.
Author:Stankovich, R.J.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:Feb 1, 1990
Previous Article:John Hooz.
Next Article:The IAPA and WHMIS.

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