Capstone project

Liquid cargo discharge automation demonstrator

In order for the modern merchant marine officer to get a grasp of the ever-evolving field of automation, it is necessary to actually see a working example. By being exposed to one possibility of automation, an interest can be stirred for the further research and development of this science. The basis of this project is to display an easily-conceived method of controlling the discharge of a representative oil product cargo using already developed technology and simple off-the-counter components. The model will consist of two tanks which will represent two cargo tanks on a modern day products (or parcel/chemical) tank vessel. Each of these tanks will be connected, via various valves and pipe routing, to two cargo discharge pumps. These pumps will move the cargo to either one of two discharge manifolds, similar to the athwart ship manifolds used universally on tank vessels. Control and selection of fluid flow will be from a computer. The basis of the control system w111 be a Mcintosh IIcx computer. The controlling software will be the LabVIEW data acquisition program. This program has proven to be extremely flexible in it's use of computer interfacing. Therefore the opening and closing of the valves and the starting and stopping of the pumps will be controlled by the user, via the computer. The user, using the mouse, will open the appropriate valve from the desired tank, choose a pump to use, and choose a discharge manifold. The computer, using interfacing boards and relays, will activate the solenoids in the valves and start the pump motor. When pumping is finished, the operator will shut off the pump and close the valves.

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