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Modernizing and digitalizing process plants

The process industry is in a state of change

A consistent data stream is the basis for predictive maintenanceIn many production operations, control systems from different manufacturers and different generations are in use due to long runtimes – many systems are already decades old. This results in a corresponding pressure to modernize process systems. The way to a modern, digital plant is based on a three-step plan. The goal is to bring the communications up to the state of the art so as to optimize maintenance processes, reduce unplanned failures, and make inspection rounds paperless.

Never change a running system – this phrase fits especially well to the process industry. Many chemical plants are often more than 20 years old and need to be modernized because built-in devices were discontinued or more efficient components became available. Process plant operators are retrofitting in order to gain more reliability and reduced downtime. With Phoenix Contact, valuable space in the switch cabinet is optimized and applications are made ready for future requirements.

Standardized replacement of controller systems

Written by Jörg Wegener, Senior Project Manager Process, Phoenix Contact

For decades, Dow Chemical has been using its own control system, MOD5. The system has been used by all locations worldwide, and it has thus standardized all signal connection. The Trinseo company, with its former Dow plants, also uses this system. However, the MOD5 control system is aging and must be replaced with a more efficient one.

For this purpose, a migration team made up of Trinseo employees and Phoenix Contact project engineers was established several years ago. The team has developed a concept for converting these plants quickly and, above all, safely to a new ABB system. Here, field wiring was not changed.

The concept has been implemented successfully. We are now shipping components worldwide for the 10th plant that Trinseo is equipping with a new control system.

The team still exists and is made up of permanently appointed contact persons, working together with full confidence. This is one of the most essential conditions for successfully carrying out such projects, which are scheduled to take several years.

Quick conversion in constrained space

Written by Manfred Glebe, Process engineering, Phoenix Contact

A globally active chemicals customer needed to replace its current control engineering at its locations, as the hardware had been discontinued and was no longer available. The challenge here was replacing the installed fields one-to-one with the old hardware. This made it necessary to set up the new hardware, with controllers, I/O units, redundant 24 V DC supply and terminal strips, within the existing and thus highly limited space.

Thanks to our new, compact components, such as power supplies, redundancy modules and fuse terminal strips, we have made it possible for the customer to continue using its existing space. The customer was able to replace the old control cabinet fields one-to-one and use the limited space in the existing control boards optimally.

One of the largest operators of chemical parks is updating the control engineering of its various wastewater plants and water installations. In view of the high number of I/Os, a clear overview is essential.

Modernization of the control engineering of wastewater plants and water installations

Written by Lahcen Damou, Industry Management Process, Phoenix Contact

Phoenix Contact is implementing a concept together with the local control cabinet and installation company which enables continuous logical marshaling from the control system to the field cables. In this concept, the exact IO number of the respective IO card (32, 24 or 16, etc.) is laid onto corresponding blocks of the interface level and the marshaling level. This marking makes the system clear. Even without a circuit diagram, it will be possible to check and expand loops easily and quickly and eliminate faults.

Individualized adapters for the rapid replacement of control systems

Written by Stefan Rücker, Manager Solution Center, Phoenix Contact

A plastic granulate factory in Schkopau, Germany, uses a control system that is over 30 years old. Replacement parts for this system are no longer available on the market. We have developed an individualized migration concept with the customer that allows the control system to be effectively replaced over the course of a single weekend.

What is unique to this application is that, for the first time, terminal blocks are being equipped with a newly developed adapter that provides a high-position connection. The customer has verified and approved the concept in a mini plant in advance. In addition, pre-fabricated, tested system cables were used during the retrofit, reducing downtime to just 2 to 3 days. Only 20 % of I/O signals, previously installed in single-conductor wiring, had to be tested. Our professional solution concept was thus able to ensure an error-free conversion of the customer’s plant.

Replacement of the interface level during operation

Written by Fatih Denizer, Process engineering, Phoenix Contact

A chemical plant in Wesseling, Germany, has been using 30-year-old marshaling panels and 19-inch isolated barriers—all of which are now discontinued. Fearing the immense effort and resulting downtime, it has avoided replacement—until today.

Together with the customer and its system integrator, we created a customized adaptation within ten weeks that makes conversion to new Ex-i insulators possible during operation. A small team is currently implementing the replacement without downtime or the resulting costs. This gives the customer rapid access to a solution with up-to-date technology, enabling continued future-proof operation.

Easy WLAN networking in processing plants

Written by Jürgen Weczerek, Product Manager Industrial-Wireless, Phoenix Contact

Digital servicing and maintenance in processing plants reduces costs and increases availability. An industrial wireless LAN infrastructure in the production plant is an essential requirement for keeping smart devices such as tablets connected to the production network.

Particularly in small and mid-size plants, however, the cost and complexity of IT-WLAN systems is often a challenge. This is especially true if there is no trained IT staff to set them up and operate them.

One simple alternative is central management of the WLAN network, which can be administered by the MCR/control engineering group itself without having to forgo security. An example of this is cluster management. WLAN networks with up to 20 access points can be easily integrated centrally using the web interface of a WLAN access point.

Introduction of uniform plant marking based on KKS

Written by Stefan Paul, Lead Engineer Conventional Power Generation, Phoenix Contact

In the K+S potash plant in Sigmundshall, Germany, the company-owned power plant has been repeatedly enlarged and modernized over many decades. As a result, parts of the plant, units and equipment have been marked and documented in completely different ways.

The introduction of uniform plant marking based on KKS has improved operational safety as well as occupational health and safety. Furthermore, this has simplified servicing and maintenance. The customer was particularly pleased with the introduction of the consistent classification system in connection with mobile devices, which allow for links to associated 2D flow charts (P&IDs) online. This has made on-the-job training of new employees significantly easier.

Digitization of plant documentation has also improved the availability of the documentation and prevents duplicate entries. Instead of wasting time searching through various binders, the complete documentation for all the plant parts is now immediately available using the QR code.

Plant communication in waste disposal operations

Written by Christoph Westerwelle, Manager Industry Management Infrastructure, Phoenix Contact

Just over two years ago, Phoenix Contact started the initial discussions with a municipal waste management agency about the upcoming cleanup of its wastewater treatment plant. These talks were the basis of the subsequent automation concept. The operator was particularly focused on consistent communication throughout the plant for condition-based maintenance. All systems were to be connected to the higher-level control system in the future.

Special attention was paid to the rotating scraper bridges of the individual water treatment stages. Thanks to the comprehensive implementation of WLAN access points, we have completely integrated each individual controller on the scraper bridges into the ethernet network. By implementing WLAN on the scraper bridge, the operator can save 2 to 3 maintenance processes per year, which were previously necessary to clean the slip rings. The economical integration of WLAN end devices even allows for later integration of additional system parts.

Monitoring wells

Written by Mehmet Akcit, Product Marketing Wireless Communication Interfaces, Phoenix Contact

In the metropolis of Istanbul, a commercial producer of energy had the idea of generating electric power from methane. The methane is extracted from a landfill. It is produced in 520 wells in an area measuring 90 ha and generates almost 34 MW of electricity.

A service technician monitors the water level and gas pressure in the wells continuously. This process is no longer necessary at 14 of those wells, as the wireless Radioline system transmits the measured data to a central controller up to 4 km away at 2.4 GHz. Now, the customer can adapt the wireless system to its demands at any time and transmit data from additional wells if necessary.

For more information, visit our website or visit us at the Achema trade show (Hall 11.1, Booth A27) from June 11 to 15, 2018 and learn more about our extensive range of services.



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