RIL gets ‘live upgrade’

22 May 2008

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has selected ABB’s System 800xA Extended Automation as part of a control system upgrade for its linear alkyl benzene (LAB) plant at Patalganga, India.

The facility operates in technical collaboration with UOP (USA), the process licensor. The LAB product produced is marketed under the trade name ‘RELAB’.

The LAB plant was commissioned in 1988 and was equipped with ABB MOD30 controllers that were linked to a VAX system. Following the removal of bottlenecks to increase plant capacity, the control system was expanded to an MOD-300 DCS using ABB Model B and SC controllers. Later, AC460 controllers were added. The complete control system consisted of approximately 1,400 I/O points.

As the Model B and SC controllers became dated and more costly to maintain, RIL decided to upgrade the complete control system with a new generation, distributed control system.

The 800xA system was selected with consideration to several factors. One was the fact that it provides a Windows platform, as well as highly reliable 800 Series I/O modules. Additionally, it features Open System architecture and OPC compliance. Also, service support is available, and the company is familiar with the 800xA system since one had been installed at RIL’s Hazira complex.

RIL’s LAB plant system runs a suite of industrial IT software for operations, maintenance and management of the asset. The transition from the earlier control system to the 800xA system was conducted in two stages.

The front-end area of the plant was selected for upgrading first. Open loops were transferred, one by one, to the 800xA system over a period of time. Then, complex loops followed, receiving special care.

Once the front-end area was commissioned, the plant entered an observation phase for six months to monitor how well the new system would perform. Satisfied with its operation, the Back-End area was transferred in similar fashion. During the period between commissioning the front-end and back-end areas, Advanced Process Control (APC) from Aspentech was implemented in the system.

‘This was a unique project for RIL in that it was the first ever implementation of an on-line evolution of one of their petrochemical plant’s automation systems,’ Ranjan Bhattacharya, vice president of RIL, said.

He added: ‘We have successfully completed the up-grade of the LAB DCS from MOD-300 to ABB’s 800xA. We congratulate the ABB team for achieving the objective of the project to our satisfaction.’

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