Migration to digital automation improves control and consistency

Paul Boughton

The hydroxy monomers produced by Cognis at Hythe in England are reactive intermediates that are sold globally and used primarily in high performance automotive paints and high-gloss product lacquers.

The company also manufactures high purity products for contact lens and biomedical applications, as well as multifunctional methacrylate monomers used in niche applications such as adhesives, rubber compounds and super absorbent polymers in disposable nappies. These products require high levels of consistency and tight control, while high levels of manufacturing availability are required to meet demand.
There are two major multifunctional monomer production units at Hythe, MMU2 and MMU3. MMU2 was controlled by stand alone controllers, and MMU3 is controlled by a Rosemount System 3 (RS3) process automation system from Emerson.
Certain components within the existing controllers on MMU2 were becoming difficult to source, leading to concerns about plant availability. There were also issues surrounding the engineering support of the older controllers, including fewer technicians able to program the DOS-based software.
In addition, one of the site control rooms had to be moved and the cost of hard wiring the controllers into a new location was prohibitive.
To address the MMU2 issues we decided to install a DeltaV digital automation system from Emerson said Pepita Monk, the site's project instrument/electrical engineer. We chose DeltaV for several reasons. It was the most economic solution for usand we could use the existing site local area network to enable the engineering and operator stations within the new control room to communicate with the controllers located in the termination room on the plant. Use of the DeltaV system also prepares our plant to use the benefits of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology and PlantWeb digital plant architecture for future expansions."
"The assistance provided by Emerson was invaluable continued Monk. A lot of time was spent prior to order placement in helping us to prepare a specificationas well as running training sessions to ensure our engineers were comfortable with the technology. When we installed the new control systemwe utilised the existing field wiring and termination panels to minimise costs. These were then wired directly to the DeltaV I/O. Emerson assisted us in commissioningand helped with operator training. By using DeltaV Simulatewe were able to configure a training demo to resemble the new architecture that we were installing."
With version 7the MMU2 DeltaV can be upgraded to DeltaV Operate for RS3enabling raw material inventory data on the MMU3 RS3 to be shared by the MMU2 DeltaV system.
An AMS Suite trial is currently being undertaken on the MMU3 plant where approximately 60 intelligent field devices are currently connected to AMS Suite intelligent device manager softwareand are passing diagnostic information on their condition through to the plant maintenance technicians. If the intelligent device manager trials are satisfactoryAMS Suite software applications may be expanded to other areas of the plant to assist in a move to predictive maintenance.