Process Safety in Specialty Chemicals: Turning Industry Challenges Into Opportunities
The need: Lower life cycle costs and better information flow. The solution: New standards offer more choices for integrating safety and process control
The specialty chemical industry is facing a number of difficult challenges, including increasingly stringent safety and compliance mandates, higher energy and feedstock prices, and aging plants and equipment all intensified by global competition. Compounding these challenges is the expanding breadth of specialty chemical product categories, forcing manufacturers to dedicate major resources and continuously innovate to maintain market share and capitalize on new opportunities.
Despite the size of the industry and the increase in worldwide demand for all types of specialty chemicals, margins must be managed closely due to rising costs, more demanding customers, and the fact that all products no matter how innovative eventually go off-patent and face stiff competition. While operating a chemical plant is tough business, opportunities exist for companies to optimize their investments and improve both productivity and their financial performance.
Risks prevail wherever people store, process or handle hazardous or toxic materials. In the specialty chemical industry, these risks are compounded because the hazard has the potential to impact a numerous of people. A spill of a toxic agent or explosion could be hazardous to a population within a plant or the surrounding area. One growing area of focus in recent years is the critical value of safety in protecting people, and helping safeguard the environment and plant assets, as well as reducing lifecycle costs.
This paper explores how changes in industry standards and technology developments are expanding how safety systems are applied in specialty chemical applications. It also examines the operational and competitive advantages driving the trend toward separate yet interoperable safety and process control platforms with common development tools. These benefits include reduced life cycle costs, expanded access to process data and improved plant-wide integration.
Author: Rockwell Automation | File Type: PDF