Chemical control solution

Louise Smyth

A large chemical facility in Brazil will be the first to use a new control console that has been designed with plant operating personnel in mind, by providing a single visual workplace that allows for more effective responses and less operator fatigue.

ICL Brasil will use Honeywell Process Solutions’ (HPS) Experion Orion Console as well as the firm’s Universal I/O technology to modernise its production facility in Cajati, near Sao Paulo. The upgrades are planned to increase production, improve efficiency and improve the effectiveness of the plant operators.

“This project reflects ICL Brasil’s bold and pioneering vision for its business by better helping its operators perform their jobs, reducing costs and saving time on the overall project,” said Francisco Casulli, HPS business leader for Brazil. 

“Experion Orion changes the concept of ‘plant operations’ by transforming the process operators into profit operators. These operators not only understand how the plant works, but also how to make it run more efficiently and profitably.”

The new console, built on Honeywell’s Experion process knowledge system (PKS) control platform – features an improved ergonomic design, better displays, and stronger capabilities to meet the needs of increasingly mobile plant operators.

“The Cajati plant has been an important part of our company’s success for almost 30 years,” said Arnaldo Dias Jr., industrial manager of ICL Brasil. “For this upgrade, we needed technology that would help us boost our competitiveness and improve our leading position as the premier manufacturer of phosphoric acid. Honeywell’s technology will enable us to do that.”

Although ICL Brasil is the first major facility to install the Experion Orion Console, HPS has similar projects ongoing at chemical plants, refineries, mines and other production sites around the world in countries such as Chile, Mexico, the United States, Korea, Australia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

The console features a large, ultra-high definition display with clear status readings of operations in a single glance for faster and more-informed management. Operators can customise displays to prioritise data that is needed for a given process or operation. The display also can be set to show operating limits and targets. Touchscreen displays help operators quickly and accurately respond to changing conditions. Additionally, the console features adjustable sitting and standing operating positions to reduce fatigue. The console was developed using the Honeywell User Experience, a new approach to the design and development of new products focused on making them easier to use, more intuitive, more efficient, and more productive.

Use of the Universal I/O (input/output) technology will speed project schedules, reduce production downtime, and help plant personnel more efficiently manage operations by reducing the stock of spare parts.

In parallel, the Universal I/O modules play a critical role in helping start operations on time by allowing operators to quickly and remotely configure channels as digital or analogue. This allows the system to become operational as soon as the points are set, and eliminates the need to re-open panels to replace cards or adjust wiring even if there are changes later in the project. Finally, using Universal I/O modules allows plants to reduce the number of spares that are needed, which is important for large projects such as the ICL Brasil upgrade, which can have more than 10,000 I/O points. This translates to considerable savings on inventory and storage costs.