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The client, one of the largest oil companies in Spain, needed a safe solution for transferring phenol, an aromatic compound derived from benzene that is extremely hazardous if inhaled or comes into contact with skin. Therefore, the client requested a loading arm that would minimize, if not eliminate, the interaction between the operator and the arm. Given the risks associated with phenol, it was essential to design a system that kept operators at a safe distance throughout the entire process.


To meet the client's needs, we selected a 3" diameter loading arm, balancing functionality and customization. Three pneumatic pistons were integrated to ensure full movement of the arm on three axes, controlled remotely via a control panel. Despite being a rarely implemented solution due to its complexity, the project we developed allows operators to maintain a safe distance during the handling, loading, and parking phases.


The design of the loading arm had to take into account several specific factors required by the client:
• Heating Requirements: An electric tracing with insulation was installed to
maintain phenol at the precise operating temperature. We also added a second thermostat in parallel as an alarm signal in case of an issue with the tracing. This choice was crucial because phenol, in the particular concentration that the client needs to transport, does not have a wide temperature range: below this range, it solidifies, while above it, it vaporizes.
• Accessibility: To reach the manhole on the truck roof, we designed a ladder with an asymmetrical cage, aligned with the arm for top loading.


Once the project was completed on paper, we began selecting suppliers for the special parts. With the project approved, we moved on to the production and assembly of the components. The system passed rigorous handling and pneumatic tests, achieving very positive results and final approval from the client.


Silea Liquid Transfer successfully provided a custom loading arm that met stringent safety and operational requirements. Our innovative design and thorough testing ensured a safe, efficient, and compliant solution for the client's phenol transfer needs.

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