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Sponsored Article

Electronic marshalling improves project success

15 February 2011

International chemical and plastics maker Solvay has selected Emerson Process Management’s DeltaV digital automation system Version 11 with electronic marshalling and Characterization Modules (CHARMS) to improve control of a strategic PVC polymerisation process at its plant in France.

“Based on our recent positive experience with the DeltaV system’s electronic marshalling, we know we can rely on Emerson to deploy this game-changing functionality on our PVC project. This innovative technology will streamline our project implementation, minimise I/O footprint, and reduce downtime,” said Franck Jouault, system manager for Solvay Tavaux.

The Tavaux plant, which is Solvay’s largest, faces the task of managing a diverse and aging collection of installed control systems from multiple suppliers. This includes conventional DCSs, PLCs, relay-based systems, pneumatic systems, and legacy emergency shutdown systems (ESD). Modernising and integrating the plant’s 45,000 I/O concurrent with expansion projects is an ongoing and costly challenge.

Solvay found that Emerson could address these project and lifecycle challenges with the completely redesigned hardware architecture of the DeltaV system Version 11. The electronic marshalling offered in Version 11, eliminates the need for terminal blocks and much of the additional wiring and cabinet space associated with conventional DCSs − a substantial cost saving. Start-up time also improves due to the reduced hardware content and workload.

Selection of the DeltaV technology for the PVC polymerisation process followed a previous Solvay test programme to verify that the new I/O system would be compatible with existing field devices and wiring requirements. Solvay had also successfully implemented the DeltaV system with electronic marshalling on two other projects of increasing size and complexity.

“The new project will automate 2600 I/O,” said Frederic Puissegur, system project manager for PVC at the Tavaux plant. “In addition to the DeltaV system with intrinsically safe CHARM I/O, it will include a redundant batch server, Batch Campaign Manager and Audit Trail software, a DeltaV SIS process safety system, AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, engineering services, and on-site training.”

Solvay personnel noted that the DeltaV Version 11 system simplifies project engineering and execution, particularly the electrical and wiring studies, compared to a DCS with its traditional I/O cards. Solvay has been able to eliminate the marshalling cabinet and the associated wiring and design − a huge benefit, given the plant’s space constraints. This reduced engineering effort also means faster project execution, so that the process can come back on-line sooner.

The new system also helps reduce project cost and schedule risks. In past projects, Solvay noted that five per cent had to be added to any project time and cost estimates because of change orders, incorrect estimates, and other problems. With CHARMS, I/O definition and late changes are easily accommodated during project implementation. Solvay now has the flexibility to assign any I/O point to any controller for optimum use of controller processing resources.

Solvay Tavaux also anticipates that the DeltaV system will provide higher availability while avoiding unplanned downtime, because problems can be isolated to a single I/O channel – minimising impact on the system.


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