Petrochemical Industry

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Ability to meet any challenge

The manufacture of chemical products from natural gas and naphtha in refineries places high demands on the process instrumentation. In different process steps, such as cracking, condensation or distillation, the respective intermediate or finished products are manufactured under defined pressure and temperature conditions. The high precision and quality of WIKA's time-proven products ensures maximum plant availability here. Since the handling of the various gas mixtures and the highly flammable naphtha is not without danger, for example, our ATEX tested and certified measuring instruments make a contribution to the required safety.

The petrochemical industry is a bedrock of modern life. It not only supplies the various fuels that power the transportation sector, but also produces a myriad of other essential raw materials: plastics, medicines, lubricants, synthetic rubbers, and synthetic fibers – to name just a few.

The two most common petrochemical processes are:

  • Separation of hydrocarbon fractions by boiling and condensing a hydrocarbon feedstock in a distillation tower.
  • Production of olefins (ethylene, propylene, etc.) and aromatics (benzene, toluene, xylene, etc.) from heavy hydrocarbon fractions in a cracking reactor.

Both processes rely on heating a feedstock, usually in the presence of a catalyst to boost the chemical reaction.

Distillation and hydrocracking require very specific temperature, pressure, and flow conditions. In addition, closely monitoring these processes can prevent hot spots, thermal runaways, catalyst maldistributions, channeling in the catalyst bed, and other costly problems. Furnace condition monitoring is an especially important step during an economic downturn, when lower throughputs of heavier feedstock can accelerate coking and fouling.

For optimal performance, a petrochemical plant routinely measures temperature, pressure, flow, and level at different points in the following equipment:

  • Distillation columns
  • Hydrotreaters
  • Steam crackers
  • Fluidized catalytic crackers (FCCs)
  • Hydrocrackers
  • Alkylation units
  • Reformer furnaces

Maximum safety and Instrumentation for the Petrochemical Industry

Since the primary and secondary products obtained are very diverse, different materials are needed for the wetted parts. In atmospheres containing H2S, which can pose a possible health and safety risk for residents, personnel or the environment should corrosion damage the plant, the fulfilment of the NACE / ISO 15156 requirements is also a 'must' for the instrumentation.

Safety Standards and Certifications

The petrochemical industry’s various processes are, to say the least, challenging. For example, distillation and cracking require extremely high temperatures. Feedstocks, intermediate products, and end products are flammable and/or corrosive.

Therefore, measuring instruments must be equal to the challenge. WIKA’s solutions for pressure, temperature, level, and flow meet the rigorous standards of national and international authorizing bodies. Our products for the petrochemical industry fulfill NACE compliance and ATEX requirements, and come with a wide range of certifications, such as FM Approval.

Instrumentation for the Petrochemical Industry

Many factors go into choosing measuring instruments for your petrochemical facility.

  • The basics are the desired accuracy, measuring range, and working pressure and temperature.
  • The material is crucial, as aggressive media call for instruments to be made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant alloys.
  • To further protect instruments from harsh media or strong vibrations, pair a pressure gauge with a diaphragm seal or a temperature sensor with a thermowell.
  • For processes or working conditions prone to explosions, choose an intrinsically safe or explosion-proof pressure sensor.

WIKA offers a complete portfolio of temperature, pressure, flow, and level instruments for the petrochemical industry.

We have other specialized solutions for petrochemical applications, such as furnace tubeskin thermocouples, multipoint sensor flexible assemblies, and diaphragm monitoring systems.

WIKA - Your strong partner

Particularly in applications with aggressive media, in combination with high media temperatures, individual solutions with diaphragm seal assemblies or thermowells are essential. There is an equally large variety with the requirements of level monitoring in tank farms. For all application examples mentioned, WIKA offers an unrivalled programme of pressure, temperature and level measuring instruments, as well as calibration instruments and services.

WIKA is more than just an instrument manufacturer. We offer a range of field services, from installations and repairs to safety testing, regardless of the instrument brand. As an ISO 9001 registered company, WIKA also has a Calibration & Service Center accredited by A2LA (American Association for Laboratory Accreditation).

Quality products, a worldwide network, and superb customer service are what make WIKA a leading supplier of measuring instrumentation. See our Refinery Roadmap for an interactive look at where WIKA products are used in the petrochemical industry, and contact us for expert advice on how to help your facility operate more safely and efficiently.

WIKA has worked with licensing and EPC companies for more than 30 years on major projects all over the world. We partner with you from the planning stages through to completion, and we provide post-project support. In addition to supplying high-quality process measurement instruments for temperature, pressure, level and flow applications, we can also work with you to develop solutions that meet your exact requirements.

WIKA also offers on-site expertise and technical support services to help ensure the success of your project. For more information, contact us.

The factors of capacity

Our high level of performance is essentially based on three factors: A wide and innovative product range, comprehensive and competent service and a reliable global presence. We are pleased to be committed to your success, too.

Engineering and Technical Services for Temperature, Pressure Measurement

As a true partner, WIKA is committed to helping you run as efficiently, reliably and safely as possible. We offer on-site engineering and technical services for your pressure and temperature measurement solutions to help you meet operational goals.

Whether you need us to troubleshoot an issue, calibrate an instrument, install or repair a multipoint assembly, or help develop a new specification or design, WIKA has experienced teams dedicated to providing the expertise and support you need.

Temperature Measurement Installation, Turnaround, Repair Services

WIKA Instruments Ltd field services include on-site engineering and supervision, turnaround, and installation and repair for::

  • Tube Skin Thermocouple Assemblies
  • Multipoint Assemblies
  • Radial Temperature Measurement Systems
  • Flexible Multipoint Assemblies
  • Flame Rods, RTDs and Thermowells

Mechanical Pressure, Temperature Product Training, Audit, Turnaround Services

For mechanical pressure and temperature, WIKA developed the FAST program (Full Audit Service Team), which is a dedicated group of engineers who provide expertise to:

  • Streamline your gauge population, and drive cost savings as well as maintenance and purchasing efficiencies
  • Establish specifications for a new project or facility upgrade
  • Troubleshoot recurring gauge failures
  • Train your staff on best practices and establishing a sustainable gauge management process

FAST is a turnkey, value-added program, meaning you get engineering resources, including support with ERP and MOC documentation, for no more than you would spend for gauges.

The FAST services include:

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Chemical and petrochemical industries - customised measurement solutions and services

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Tubeskin measurements

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Multipoint Brochure


Engineered instrumentation for Ethylene production


Instrumentation for high-pressure applications

Calibration services

Entrust the calibration and maintenance of your measuring instruments to a competent partner.