Last year when a R&D chemical manufacturer needed help with their largest capital project to date; the Greenfield plant construction project, they turned to Texas Industrial Control and Manufacturing (TICM) who provided the electrical design support and control panels for the project along with Arrington Automation to architect the control system, lead the control system design process, and implement the controls solution.
Eric Compton, Principal Engineer with Arrington Automation states “All previous projects for this customer had very little automation. Many design reviews were held throughout the project to verify correct understanding of how the customer wanted to run the process as well as to incorporate learnings from their small-scale R&D demonstrator unit. These design reviews went over the entire control scope using the P&IDs as well as written Control System Functional Descriptions to ensure that the process engineers and operators were all on the same page and comfortable with the control system design and functionality. In the end a custom library of control objects – valves, pumps, discrete objects and alarms was created to control the system with Rockwell PLC hardware and VTScada for the HMI solution. Installation and Commissioning proceeded smoothly with process engineers and operators quickly coming up to speed with the operation of the control system due to their full inclusion in the design process.”
Challenges for this project:
Problem #1: Customer with very limited exposure and experience with automation.
Solution – A lot of up front work and reviews were necessary to ensure the customer was comfortable and understood the final control solution. They needed something that was functional with the potential to be expanded and optimized in the future once the initial startup was completed and they better understood the operation of their final process.
Problem #2: The project was on a tight budget due to the nature of the product and process that the customer was trying to roll out.
Solution – The customer wanted a fully automated solution on a budget. Automation hardware was chosen that could provide the base functionality as well as the opportunity to easily expand the architecture in the future. A Rockwell CompactLogix series processor and IO was used for the control hardware and was mated to SCADA software from VTScada. This affordable yet robust and feature rich HMI solution not only provided basic functionality for control and alarming, but also provided full data Historian and Reporting functionality for batching and blending operations.
Compton says, “Overall, this was a great project to be a part of. We got the opportunity to work with a new customer and provide a great controls solution. It was a challenge to meet their schedule within the budget and at the end of the day provide them with way more value than they were expecting.”
About Arrington Automation – We offer Controls Engineering and Industrial Automation consulting services. With over 17 years in the field, we can offer our clients the full package. www.arringtonautomation.com
About TICM – TICM is a control panel manufacturer and system integrator for many industries. Our goal is to provide the finest quality products and outstanding service to our customers. www.icmtx.com