Safety overhaul at Süd-Chemie

14 April 2008

Süd-Chemie has installed a safety instrumented system (SIS) at its Bruckmühl, Germany plant. The system, certified by TÜV to safety integrity level (SIL) 2, is hoped to ensure the functional safety of the plant.

The SIS was installed on the catalyst production process loop, with a Servomex 2200 process oxygen analyser used as part of the process control and safety-related inerting system.

In the Bruckmühl plant the catalyst is produced by means of a reduction process that uses high-temperature hydrogen. The resulting pyrophorous catalyst material is then stabilised, which involves a change in oxygen concentration. Oxygen is measured before the hydrogen is introduced, as well as at other times throughout the production process.

Eberhard Trefftz, Bavarian area sales manager for Servomex, recommended the Servomex 2200 and, in addition, proposed a Servomex 2210 control unit and two Servomex 2223 transmitters in a redundant configuration.

Each transmitter incorporates a rugged, non-depleting paramagnetic sensor cell that is said to be fast, accurate (±0.02%), gives a linear output and has low zero drift. They are approved to ATEX Category 2, which was important because of the potentially explosive nature of the atmospheres in the plant. Furthermore the control unit, which incorporates an auto-calibration facility, is approved to ATEX Category 3.

The Servomex 2200 analysers helped Süd-Chemie to have their system certified by the German TÜV to a safety integrity level of 2 (SIL 2) in accordance with EN 61511 (Functional safety - Safety instrumented systems for the process industry sector). Not only is the analyser performance tested to EN50104 “Electrical apparatus for measurement and detection of oxygen” and ATEX category 2 approved for IIC-T4 gases, but the transmitters have undergone an FMEA analysis by an independent specialist in functional safety and operate independently from the control unit.

In a joint statement, Johannes Jüngling and Herbert Mayer, the responsible project engineers in the Bruckmühl plant, said: ‘The safety-critical solution installed in early 2006 including the Servomex 2200 analyser is performing exactly as expected. It has proven to be reliable and involves a minimum cost of ownership. We intend to consider Servomex gas analysers for future projects worldwide.’

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