In a chemical process plant, emergency situations can be extremely costly, both in terms of equipment and human life. However, under such extreme circumstances, it is rare that operators are able to effectively shut down all of the valves and pumps in the process line.
We were given two weeks to install an upgrade to their existing system, along with the programming. The idea was simple – interlock the whole system so that no matter which part of the line the operator was, he/she would be able to shut down the entire system from his/her location.
We integrated Phoenix Contact’s Smart PLC Logic Relay and Human Machine Interface (HMI) into their system, splitting all of their valves and pumps in the process line into three zones. In the event of an emergency situation, the operator need only trigger the relay in one zone to shut down the whole process line.
Why it’s awesome:
Instead of having to run to separate parts of the process line to shut them down individually (and quite possibly realising how much more they need to train their running stamina and cardio over the weekends), all the operators have to do is to trigger the nearest zone. This not only saves time and effort, but more importantly equipment repair costs and human lives. This one-touch-kill-switch also reduces the risk of the operator forgetting to shut down some of the more remote areas of the process line in the heat of the moment, which would undoubtedly lead to higher repair costs.
In addition, our solution boasts the following features:
- Easy troubleshooting on HMI with clear indication of which zone the emergency button was activated.
- Easy maintenance work with interchangeable plug-in elements.
- Reduced risk of system failure.
- Allows greater flexibility for future system modifications.
- Traceable data logging of system information.
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