Take a Good Thing and Make it Better

Previously, ABB announced a five year frame agreement with Petrobras, the huge Brazilian oil and gas company, to upgrade the Petrobras refineries using System 800xA installations for both automation and power control.

Substituting for project leader Eliane Valvano Corrêa da Silva from Petrobras REDUC Refinery was ABB’s Antonio Carvalho in a progress report on one of the upgrade projects being done under the frame agreement. Valvano is currently doing the SAT for one phase of the project, so she was unable to leave the refinery to attend ABB Automation and Power World.

The project consists of a retrofit and integration of existing Infi90 control systems, an existing System 800xA, an Advant system controlling the plant power system, and in future 6 more 800xA implementations as plant expansions come on line to improve the product quality of fuel manufactured at REDUC so that it meets US fuel import requirements.

The project at REDUC consists of two phases. In Phase A, the DRT (distillation and reformation) and DCCF (fluid catalyst cracking and deasphaltation) units will be upgraded. In the B phase, the TM Thermo electrical system will be upgraded to 800xA workstations. “In most cases, in both phases the existing controllers will be maintained,” Carvalho said.

“Most of the project is a pretty common ABB scope,” Carvalho explained, “but there’s also some uncommon attributes to this project. We also are supplying the electrical system integration and the field installation, and we’ve supplied an entire operator training and simulation facility, including portable buildings.”

“The first part of the project was to integrate the Harmony library and create System 800xA graphic elements that were identical to the Infi90 screens so the operator comfort level would be very high when the changeover occurs,” Carvalho said. “Infi-90 RCM and MSDD blocks were made to look like AC800M faceplates, with differences only in the extended faceplate. The faceplates may use descriptors from Infi-90 database or new ones inserted in the 800xA system,” Carvalho continued.

“Even though we were on a tight schedule,” Carvalho reported, “over 3700 manhours were used to produce the graphic elements, and we held a special FAT (factory acceptance test) just for the graphics. All the screens were tested. Every graphic element on every screen was tested according to the original screens.”

“Next we built the operator training facilities,” Carvalho said, “and started training the operators on the new systems in small groups, hands-on, with one screen per operator.”

DRT has completed the SAT (site acceptance test), and is one month into the three month parallel operation portion of the changeover. Currently the operators can see both the old system and the new System 800xA simultaneously. Operating changes are still being implemented in the old system, so the new system can be rigorously checked during operation.

Interestingly, Carvalho and Valvano reported that the team has run into some unforeseen migration issues. There are features and functions supported by the Infi90 that they have not yet been able to replicate in the System 800xA, such as Alarm Groups, and automatically configured loop maintenance screens. Another feature that will not carry over to the new system is the tuning screens. “Other than tuning, these screens allowed operators to visualize variables with a higher update rate. We have not yet been able to reproduce that functionality,” Carvalho reported. “We don’t know yet how to transfer this information to operators.”

The first two systems are operational and connected to the Infinet network, Carvalho said. DRT workstations are installed, and operating in parallel with the old Infi90 console. DCCF Operator training ends on March, 31st, and Valvano is starting the SAT this week. For the TM upgrade, operator training begins in April.

For most of these projects at Petrobras, Carvalho reports, “phase 1 is the evolution of the consoles, with phase two the evolution of the controllers. But some Petrobras refineries are already doing ‘rip and replace’ projects to install System 800xA. We have over 62 people in Brazil working just on the Petrobras projects,” he concluded.