DCS links two chemical sites

A distributed control system has played a key part in the integration of steam and power monitoring at two Cheshire plants operated by Brunner Mond (UK)

A distributed control system has played a key part in the integration of steam and power monitoring at the two Cheshire plants of Brunner Mond (UK), which manufacturers alkaline chemicals for the glass, detergent and chemical industries.

Brunner Mond was already a user of Yokogawa’s Centum system, which integrates the process control and operation systems at the Winnington plant. Now the company has installed a fibre-optic cross-sites link to its Lostock plant, some 5km away, and its DCS system, which was as installed by Yokogawa and monitors steam and power distribution across both sites.

Yokogawa initially became involved with Brunner Mond in 1994, with the upgrade of some of the existing control system facilities at Winnington. Since then, the Winnington site has evolved to its present status using two generations of the Yokogawa Centum system, including the re-siting of local operator stations into a central operations centre in 1998.

This move was made without any interruption to continuous plant operation – something that was possible only through carefully planned project execution using the fully redundant Yokogawa communications bus. This also maintained a continuous track record of no lost production from the Yokogawa control system since its installation.

The next stage, in 1995, involved installing a new independent Yokogawa plant control system for a part of the Lostock plant using the existing central control room.

More recently, the commissioning of a new CHP facility at Winnington has enabled Brunner Mond to further reduce operating costs. This involves monitoring high-voltage power and steam distribution over both facilities from their separate control rooms.

Steam and HV power distribution from the new Powergen CHP plant are monitored by the Centum system on both sites, with dual-centre monitoring of all variables provided with domain linking between Winnington and Lostock. This feature of the Yokogawa Centum system allows the integrity of individual plant bus domains to be maintained, while also giving interdomain access for up to 100,000 connected points.

The end result is that Brunner Mond has significantly reduced overall manufacturing costs through improved process efficiency and control-system reliability as a result of the upgrade programme using Yokogawa equipment.

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