Enhancing Petrochemical Performance

Equipment in the petrochemical industry includes centrifugal style fans, material pumps, belt conveyors, water/wastewater pumps, and more for chemical, raw material, and petroleum/petrochemical processes. In many circumstances this equipment requires significant maintenance, high-energy consumption, and unnecessary labor costs. The following case studies examine how petrochemical plants upgraded their equipment with MagnaDrive ASDs to enhance operating conditions and performance capabilities.


Formosa Plastics China utilized a drying machine air venting/feeding fan that controlled flow via a valve. Due to network fluctuations, the fan wasted a lot of power and caused vibration. In 2015, engineers upgraded the components with MagnaDrive ASDs (rated power 290 kW /340 kW, rated speed 1,480 r/min). Following the install, the operation was stable; vibration isolated, and there is no abrasion. The energy savings on the equipment was more than 20 percent.


Daqing Oilfield installed 50 units of the MagnaDrive MP series in 2015 on oil pumps. Before the install there was a big surge current when starting the equipment, severe abrasion on the belts and some of the belts needed replacement every 3-5 days. This resulted in high maintenance costs. After the install, the pumps saved between 5-10 percent average power, the starting surge was reduced more than 30 percent, the lifetime of the belts was extended and the maintenance work/costs was significantly reduced.

For a water pump application at Daqing an ASD replaced a manually adjusted vault that caused high labor intensity and low accuracy. The ASD provided more than 25 percent in overall energy savings and reduced pressure that makes the pump operate more effectively.  The valve is now operating in full open condition.


Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical upgraded a pump where high vibration led to frequent maintenance for the system bearings and shafts. The original damper was manually controlled which caused high-energy consumption.  An ASD was installed in 2011 with an energy savings of 30 percent and it isolated the vibration from the fan to the motor, extending the life of the equipment. Now the company uses less spare parts and the maintenance workload has been reduced.

For an air feeder fan at Sinopec, the original equipment used a valve to adjust the air volume, which caused high vibration and wasted energy. This was replaced in 2012 with a MagnaDrive WH2500 (900 kW, 1,480 r/min). Since the install the vibration has been reduced, the system is more stable and an energy savings of 28 percent was achieved.  


A Yanshan Petrochemical water circulating pump was dealing with pressure variations. Flow control was utilized with the valve, energy was wasted and the pump vibrated. The WH2500 ASD install in 2015 led to a more stable operation that isolated the vibration and resulted in an energy savings of 21 percent. 


A Jingbao Coking gas circulating purification pump had similar problems with pressure variations; pump vibrations, and wasted energy. The WH2000 ASD install (800 kw, 990 r/min) provided a 20 percent energy savings, stable operation and helped to isolate the vibration.

The MagnaDrive ASD is available in sizes ranging from 5 to 4,000 horsepower and speeds up to 3,600 rpm. Lower maintenance and operating costs are a result of transferring torque from motors to driven equipment across an air gap without shaft-to-shaft physical connection. This “disconnected connection” provides reduced vibration that increases bearing and seal life.


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