Making the move to a plantwide control solution

24 January 2012

According to research performed by the ARC Advisory Group, the global process industry loses approximately $20 billion annually, or about 5% of annual production, due to unscheduled downtime from aging DCS systems.

One company which has taken this research on board is Warwick Chemicals, a manufacturer of bleach activators for the detergent and biocides industries. The company has made the decision to invest in a new control solution. Colin Ainsworth, electrical, control and instrument engineer at Warwick Chemicals, explains why: “Our current DCS was installed in 1994, extended in 1998, and then extended again in 2001. By replacing this 17-year-old DCS infrastructure, Rockwell Automation will help us meet productivity goals and aggressive process improvement plans.”

The company has specified the PlantPAx process automation system which will provide it with a single, integrated control platform based on standard communication protocols, helping to minimise integration and maintenance costs and offering production insight. Rockwell promotes this solution as offering the best of both DCS and PLC/SCADA solutions for process control, with a combination of the systems approach of a DCS system and the flexibility of a PLC/SCADA system.

Warwick Chemicals has always relied on multiple control platforms for its manufacturing process. So why change? “PlantPAx will help us to migrate to a single, plantwide control platform that will be easier for our engineering staff to operate and maintain,” concludes Ainsworth.

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