Control News from Europe March 2008

Read Andrew Bond’s Industrial Automation Insider, a monthly newsletter covering the important industrial automation news and issues as seen from the U.K.

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The study has also found that ProfiNet’s data delivery via individual frames benefits more from increasing bit rates of, for example, 1000 Mbps than other transmission methods. Moreover, for larger amounts of user data in the branching topologies used in more complex systems, the transmission method used by ProfiNet IRT always yields performance advantages compared with protocols using summation frame techniques.

Phoenix contact and its partners plan to demonstrate prototype systems based on their findings at the Hanover Fair in April 2008.

  • Brazilian process automation vendor Smar reports rapid uptake of digital networks, especially of Profibus DP and PA, in the burgeoning Brazilian ethanol from sugar cane market which is predicted to be worth more than $15bn by 2012. Particular drivers are the need for low-cost technology for implementation, data protection, ease of operation and maintenance, and complete integration between field instrumentation and control system. According to Smar, more than 50% of new sugar and ethanol plants in Brazil are currently being designed with Profibus technology.

Typical of the new projects is that for Tropical Bioenergia which includes some 1000 Profibus nodes supervised by 15 Smar DFI302 DF73 controllers and overseen by Smar’s System302-7 decentralized architecture hybrid control system. Smar has also recently signed a contract with Santa Elisa Distillery, a subsidiary of major sugar ethanol producer Santelisa-Vale Group (SVG), for the complete automation of four new plants. In each case, Smar will supply its System302-7 control system together with complete Profibus- enabled field instrumentation, controllers and control panels. The project also involves provision of a Center of Integrated Operations (COI) based on a successful Smar system previously implemented for Santa Elisa. Smar will be supplying more than 3200 Profibus PA field instruments and four supervisory control systems. In addition AS-I technology will be used for the control of the on-off valves and sensors. Two of the four units are due to begin operation in July 2008 with the other two starting up in May 2009. A further joint venture project of similar scope between SVG and Maeda Group is due to start up in early 2008.

All of these projects are integrated with Smar’s Studio application, which is a System302-7 component that allows complete management of a project’s software requirements.


Honeywell in BP Exploration MAC deal

Honeywell has entered into a six-year agreement with BP Exploration to provide main automation contractor (MAC) services at its new and existing facilities with the aim of accelerating production schedules and improving efficiency by integrating all levels of plant operations and automating critical processes.

“Automation will be a key to streamlining operations and improving business performance as we move into the future,” said Tim Bass, BP Exploration’s director of procurement and supply chain management, projects and engineering. “Honeywell has the tools and experience to enable BP to implement its automation strategy, improving integration and the operating efficiency of our assets.”

As the MAC services provider, Honeywell plans to apply an integrated strategy to each design phase, including front-end engineering development, early operator training and process simulation, advanced control modelling, process validation and advanced process control. Honeywell says the integrated approach will result in common interfaces across production and business systems for increased safety and efficiency, higher plant availability, lower operating expenditures and reduced engineering. The integrated MAC approach will allow BP to draw on Honeywell’s process control, MES and safety and security solutions as well as wireless-enabled applications.

  • Honeywell is to provide the integrated control system for Woodside’s new Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) Project in Western Australia. Based on the Pluto gas field north west of Karratha, the project is Western Australia’s first new LNG plant for more than 20 years and will produce 4.3 million tons of LNG per year when it comes on stream in late 2010. It includes sub-sea wells, offshore, unmanned wellhead platform, 180-km trunk line, onshore LNG plant and associated infrastructure. Honeywell’s Experion PKS R300 will control all process operations and provide data from subsystems throughout the facility. Honeywell will also specify, procure, engineer and integrate the emergency shutdown and fire and gas systems. The control system project is scheduled for completion in 2009 and Honeywell’s UniSim Operator Training Simulator will allow process design verification and operator training to begin prior to start-up.

The entire control system will be integrated through Experion with Field Device Manager and Asset Manager helping operators efficiently to monitor and diagnose field devices, and the Uniformance PHD data historian providing efficient and effective data analysis. Honeywell will provide consulting services and applications to assist operators in sorting and prioritizing system alarms.

  • Field instrument protection specialist Intertec is supplying more than 100 fire protection cabinets to protect instrumentation at the new hydrocracker complex being constructed at the Kirishi oil refinery near St. Petersburg, Russia. The cabinets will provide valve actuators supplied by the field instrumentation vendor for the project, Emerson Process Management, with a minimum of 30 minutes of protection against fire, to ensure that emergency shut-down systems and services can quickly isolate and minimize damage and protect employees, assets and environment. The GRP cabinets are variations of Intertec’s field proven Fire Shelter and, because no Russian or German norms exist for this exact application, their performance was validated before installation by the independent Russian institution, Pozhaudit. Tests on an example cabinet showed that the internal temperature did not rise above 60 °C for at least 30 minutes when subjected to an oil-based fire with a temperature of around 1000 °C.
  • Metso is to supply a metsoDNA CR automation system to replace the existing controls on the dry stone and asphalt plant at Hanson Aggregates U.K.’s Criggion Quarry in Powys, Wales. Metso’s scope of supply includes its metsoDNA historian, which provides a data warehousing solution for process and product related information. As well as plant management and production reporting, the system will also provide order management functions after start-up in May 2008.

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