Batch Automation Project Increases Production
The upgrade of an existing operational plant to a new control system can be full of uncertainties, especially in the areas of operability, downtime, and benefit. Cabot Corporation recently upgraded their Treated Silica operations in Tuscola, Illinois to Batch software, new PLC processors, and an upgrade of the existing HMI's to the latest version of the vendors software. The previous system was using older PLC's with HMIs in a semi-automatic configuration. The system relied heavily on the operators to make critical batch decisions and mechanical equipment adjustments. Cabot utilized the services of a batch software provider/developer, who developed the new system using S88 standards. The system started up with minimal downtime and has delivered as promised. The Units have seen as much as 30% increased throughput, production record keeping has become more accurate, and the product has become more consistent. These gains were achieved by the automation of a great majority of the operators former manual tasks, which included the use of batching technology and the addition of more automation equipment in the field. Additionally, to speed production and fulfill Cabot's production needs for greater throughput, recipe entry onto the batch list is now handled using specialized campaign software.
Author: Tom Branch, Senior Project Engineer, Application Systems Engineering, Rockwell Automation; Todd Ray, Senior Process Engineer, Cabot Corporation | File Type: PDF
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