Optimizing Railcar-Loading Operations
OPW Engineered Systems, a division of OPW Fluid Transfer Group, is pleased to announce NuStar Energy has selected its 890 Series Hi-Load loading arm counterbalances  in the railcar loading upgrade at its Stockton, CA refined products terminal.
NuStar recently optimized the railcar-loading times at its 900,000-barrel facility by building a new rail siding that features six loading platforms. Playing a key role in this enhanced railcar-loading operation are OPW Engineered Systems’ 890 Series Hi-Load loading arm counterbalances, which give NuStar the performance, versatility and reliability to successfully perform a challenging operation.
“The operators are ecstatic, the customers are impressed — they call it first-rate,” explains Dan Thomas, the terminal manager at NuStar’s Stockton facility. “This new loading system has dropped the loading time from five cars in 10 hours to six cars in 3-1/2 hours. The system is also ergonomic for the operators so they’re no longer getting under the railcar since we’re now top-loading through the boom arms.”
OPW Engineered Systems has designed its 890 Series counterbalance for loading arms that are required to handle extremely heavy loads and travel a long distance. The 890 Series has a high-load spring that means it does not require the pneumatic system that is typical for loading arms that have a longer reach or additional weight.
The high-load spring technology allows the 890 Series to handle roughly 50 percent higher load capacities without worrying about the dangerous drift that can compromise load stability. Maintenance is also simplified since spring-tension adjustments can be completed by using only a socket wrench.
“We are extremely pleased with how the OPW loading system has worked,” said Thomas. “I ask the operators every morning how things are going and I had one say, ‘I love this system, Dan. It’s so much easier than what we used to do.’ This really is the only way to load a railcar.”
To see the operation of the new OPW loading arms at NuStar Energy’s Stockton facility, please check out the following video: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o-h8684MNYg . For more information, please visit www.opw-es.com .