Any company that plays a role in the “storage, handling, transportation and use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)” is familiar with NFPA 58: Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, which is considered the “Bible” for the industry. This code is administered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and was most recently updated in 2020.
One supplier of LPG to a customer base of around 20,000 in the Northeastern United States is so in tune with the edicts of NFPA 58 that one of its LPG storage and distribution terminals was actually featured prominently in a recent edition of the codebook. This state-of-the-art terminal facility achieved this position because it has been designed with safety as the No. 1 priority, along with providing efficient and user-friendly handling and transfer of LPG at all points along the supply chain.
Since achieving the ultimate level of safety is the terminal’s top goal, a hands-on approach was used when it was designed. Part of the company’s due diligence process involved visiting other LPG terminals and interviewing key personnel to assess what type of equipment and systems they were deploying. Unloading LPG railcars can be a difficult and high-risk job and during the research phase of the project, company personnel learned that the safest and most efficient sites were relying on a specific brand of loading arms – those manufactured by OPW Engineered Systems, Lebanon, OH.
Because of that, you will find “A” Frame Loading Arms (LPG-32-F models) from OPW Engineered Systems installed at the terminal. The “A” Frame is one of the most popular loading-arm configurations offered by OPW due to its flexibility, long reach and easy maneuverability brought about by its light weight.
Specifically, the design of the “A” Frame loading arm allows it to be stored in an upright, near-vertical position away from the railcar for safe clearance, while crossover of any obstructions can be readily achieved, which makes it ideal for rack setups that feature dual unloading lines. During the unloading process, it adjusts to the railcar’s elevation or tilt so that a tight connection can be made to the valves in all instances. The arms are available with 2- to 4-inch hoses with the frame constructed of carbon steel, stainless steel or aluminum.
The “A” Frame arms are ergonomically friendlier than other loading-arm styles, which puts less physical strain on the technician. The easy maneuverability of the “A” Frame also pays dividends during the cold, snowy winter months in the Northeast by eliminating slip-and-fall risks that are inherent in the handling of heavy transfer hoses. Additionally, each “A” Frame loading arm at the facility is supported by OPW’s Endura™ Dual Split Flange (DSF) swivels, which combine the features of high load-bearing capability, redundant sealing and leak detection with easy maintenance.
The result is a terminal design that set a new standard in the safe and efficient handling, transport and storage of LPG. In addition to the “A” Frame loading arms and Endura swivels, what also contributed to the success of the installation was OPW’s commitment to working hand-in-hand with the customer to identify and develop the best solution. By working closely with the end user, OPW was able to provide the best outcome and establish a good relationship with the LPG terminal supplier.
For more information on OPW Engineered Systems’ complete portfolio of Loading Arm Systems and components, please visit opw-es.com.