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What is part of a On Spot facility?

On Spot loading facilities are complex units, consisting of various components. Here you will find a list of the eresential components:

Filling systems :

Major components of the filling systems for each filling station are:

  • Hydraulic filling pipe incl. telescopic gas pipe
    • Articulated arms for product and displaced vapors   
    • Product distributor with quality assurance system 
    • Monitoring system for filling pipe positioning 
    • Controlled product double valves DN 250 for each product 
    • Controlled gas valves and detonation arrestors DN100/150 DN100/150
  • Folding stairs, 5-step, with monitored parking position
    • Horizontally movable for safe rail car access    
    • Pneumatic actuation 
    • Provided with protecting cage
  • Earth tester for monitored forced earthing of the filling pipe and the rail car during the loading operation (Eastern Europe)

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Process control and instrumentation systems:

  • Control and visualisation of the whole process by process control and instrumentation systems (e.g. WinCC of Siemens) and PCS control systems.
  • Server/client based process control system with centralized data storage based on Windows computer systems

Creation of redundant systems:

  • Process connection of PCS control systems (e.g. Simatik S7 of Siemens) via bus systems (Industrial Ethernet or Profibus)
  • Integration of tank storage management systems, quantity recording systems admitted by the calibration authorities, and ID card reading systems into the whole concept
  • Connection of process signals in PCS control systems via standardised field bus systems (Profibus-DP, Profibus-PA)
  • Coupling to external systems and their integration into the process automation systems as far as possible via standardized or user specific protocols (e.g. Profibus, Modbus, 3964R, RK512 or other))
  • SAP connections of loading computer systems and customer specific adaptations are possible.

Process visualisation

Complex On Spot railcar loading facilities including all sub-systems such as VRU systems, fire fighting systems, power supply systems, shunting units, product tanks, product pumps,  piping systems, etc. are provided with subordinate machine-near operation and monitoring systems based on Windows computer systems.

Visualisation and process operation in visualisation pictures specifically prepared for this process.

  • Specification and check of process parameters
  • Visualisation, recording and archiving of alarms
  • Incorporation of subordinate process visualisation systems into the process control system

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Loading computer system

The process control system (visualization) is connected with the  loading computer. All inputs, functions and the representation of the loading system including the display of all safety-related conditions can be gathered from 2 colour monitors. The PC system is installed in the control room housed within the operation container of the On- Spot  rail car loading facility.

Control and monitoring system

The control and monitoring system (SPC) is arranged in the electrical/instrumentation container outside the explosion-hazardous area.

The PLC is responsible for all safety-related interlocks of the on-spot loading system, for issuing the higher-level filling releases and for controlling the loading process based on volume measurement (filling control) and opening/closing the pneumatic valves. In case of a power outage, the entire automation system is supplied with power from an UPS unit for sixty minutes.

LV switchgear and feeder systems

Via fused outgoing circuits the LV switchgear supplies the field instruments, such as electric heaters, lighting and control gears, with voltages of  400/230 V AC and 24 V DC in the loading facility.

Gas warning system

The gas warning system consists of the gas sensors arranged at exposed locations in the loading facility. 

 The gas warning system signals:

  • 20 % UEG:  Alarm (Horn and flashlight)
  • 50 % UEG:  Disconnection of facility

The signals are processed and monitored in the fail-safe part of the SPC.

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Emergency STOP control

When the Emergency Stop button is pressed the entire loading operation will be interrupted in a fail-safe manner. The de-energized valves (spring type) return automatically to a safe position

In addition to that a separate emergency stop system is provided. 

Fire fighting systems

The fire fighting systems of On Spot facilities are designed and supplied by Scherzer according to the individual applications. Different systems are used, e.g. filling station extinguishers (CO2 or dry powder), sprinklers to wet (cool) the rail cars and foam extinguishers for collecting areas. 

Vapor recovery units (VRU)

The vapor recovery units of the On Spot rail car loading facilities are usually designed and supplied by Scherzer. Systems available on the market are analyzed as to whether they are suitable for the project and then incorporated into the overall concept.  For this purpose Scherzer works together with all manufacturers worldwide. Based on many years of experience we can always provide the optimum vapour recovery solution for the project concerned. 

Product pump stands

The product pump stands are designed by Scherzer according to the project requirements and the required daily and annual capacities. So, top-quality, variable frequency-controlled product pumps with automatic bypass control are used.

Integration of customer’s systems 

On request Scherzer integrates all existing systems in the process control system and visualizes the tank levels, pressure measurements from the entire system, product line systems, emergency systems etc.

Plenum systems

Scherzer relies on high-quality systems made in Germany that use ATEX-approved ventilators and air-conditioning compressors. The ventilators are arranged at an elevation of approx. + 10.5 m (35 feet). Extraction takes place from a height of 16 m to 18 m (50-60 feet). In front of the boxed device and inside the operation container one gas warning sensor each is provided for monitoring purposes.    This system maintains the minimum pressure of the container of 25 PA (0.25 mbar (0.1 inch H2O)) as required by IEC 79-13 and provides for a pleasant climate inside the operation container whatever the climatic conditions of the locations are. 


The pipes are planned and installed in accordance with the customer requirements. The pipes are designed based on European (EU), Russian or US norms and standards.  All valves and systems are provided with tag numbers and listed in a project-related database (MS Access ).  In addition pipe connections, pump stations, product distributors etc. are visually displayed in the process control system (e.g. WIN CC). 

Solenoid valves (pilot valves) of the pneumatic drives come as standard in heated and insulated switchgear cubicles.  Also provided are restrictors for the opening and closing of valves. Thus, pressure surges are avoided in the pipes even in case  of emergency stop or power failure.  All valves in the product system are of  fail-safe design. Alternatively ATEX-approved electrical drives with fail-safe function are provided through the UPS. 

Scherzer  attaches great importance to the quality assurance systems of the products and employs as standard a double shutoff system and leak detection.  Much emphasis is also put on ergonomic aspects, such as accessibility, maintenance etc. of pipes and product distributors.

Leak detection system

The leakage detection system used by Scherzer has proven its worth over the years and ensures that the petroleum industry's requirements on high-quality products are fulfilled. After every loading process, the space between the valves is automatically drained and the leakage monitoring sensor is actuated. A cross-contamination of the product is excluded during the filling of the rail cars, for instance, an inadvertent ingress in the product piping system. 

This is quality assurance at its best.

Rail car pulling devices and remote-controlled shunting vehicles 

Scherzer uses high-quality shunting equipment made in Germany. The shunting systems available on the market have been developed to fit the rough conditions of an On Spot facility.  Scherzer does the programming itself and relies on an automatic positioning of rail cars under the filling station and on the weighbridge respectively and a machine oriented visualization.

A whole range of shunting systems is used. Depending on the application, buffer cars with or without siding or pusher cars directly acting onto wagon wheels are used, which rail cars can run on.

Buffer cars are used when the number of coupled rail cars is large. Special sidings are provided for through tracks. 

Pusher cars directly acting onto wagon wheels are used for up to 11 coupled rail cars and have the big advantage that they can be ‚run over’ by the rail cars. An auxiliary track is no longer required with the new facility because this car can run on the main track.

Remote-controlled shunting vehicles  Compared to conventional cable systems remote-controlled shunting vehicles are particularly useful, especially when it comes to installation and maintenance (no foundations and cables). 

Diesel-driven shunting vehicles are also very flexible, e.g. may be used on several loading tracks and to feed and remove coupled rail cars.

Centrifugal fans

On Spot facilities for loading Russian rail car types use special ATEX-approved centrifugal fans. They provide special protection against emergent hydrocarbon vapors from the dome while filling takes place. Standard control is by a vacuum system.  

Electrical/instrumentation, operation and CO2 extinguisher containers

The containers designed by Scherzer are fully equipped when supplied. All switchgear cubicles, operator panels, control points, ventilation systems, heating system etc. are completely installed and wired on a terminal strip.  Prior to delivery they undergo a detailed performance test including all sub-systems to the extent possible at the factory.  The end user is invited to witness such test. All equipment including desks, chairs, thermometers, shelves, writing utensils, light fittings etc. are supplied.  

Electrical/Instrumentation container

The standard type of this container is a combined unit split into: 

  • Compressor room  (optional),equipped with a ready-to-use redundant compressor for instrument air, dew point   –60°C (-76 deg F).  
  •  Electrical/instrumentation room,
  • equipped with a ready-to-use control and monitoring system, LV switchgear and UPS for voltage supply of the automatic system in case of power failure. 

The electrical/instrumentation room is also provided with heating, lighting and air-conditioning system.In Russia, for example, the electrical room is provided with an automatic CO2 extinguishing system. A temporary workplace for the maintenance and service personnel is also provided.  

CO2 extinguishing system

The CO2 extinguishers are arranged in the area of the On Spot rail car loading facility. The CO2  container is supplied completely equipped and ready for use. In case of fire the extinguishers are triggered automatically by the fire alarm system  (UV/IR alarm system) or manually by the push button call point on the operator panels.

Operation container inside the On Spot facility

This container is designed in accordance with the plant concept.

For facilities with 2 filling stations  the container will be approx. 9 m (30 feet) long, and for  4 filling stations the container will be approx. 16 m (50 feet) long. The side windows are made of laminated glass and are inclined at an optimal angle to the filling station.

The installation and cabling of vents, operator panels, network cabinets including network connection distributors and all necessary accessories takes place at the factory prior to shipping the unit to the site. 

Also provided are all necessary computer systems for a safe operation of the facility. 

The operation container is the central control station of the On Spot facility and is permanently manned as long as the facility runs. Here, all systems are monitored and the loading data checked.  

In accordance with IEC 79-13 this container is designed for an internal pressure of over 200 Pa (0.8 inch H2O). Local requirements (e.g. UP-AUTN-96 ) will be met.

After installation at the factory the systems and system components undergo a thorough functional test.   During this test all communications are put into operation and to the extent possible, components are tested, too. Usually the end user witnesses such test for the purpose of pre-acceptance

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