Fish processing at the top of the World

Maritex, a subsidiary of the Danish company Aarhus Olie AS, has chosen a field-based architecture to automate a fish processing facility at Sortland, in Vesterålen, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle.

Maritex, a subsidiary of the Danish company Aarhus Olie AS, has chosen a field-based architecture to automate a fish processing facility at Sortland, in Vesterålen, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle.

Established in 1994, the Maritex facility in Sortland sits above the Arctic Circle, where supplies of the plant’s raw material, fresh fish, are plentiful. At the factory, internal fish organs are processed into marine oils for use as ingredients in traditional and health food, such as Omega-3 margarine. The factory also extracts advanced products. These include DNA salts from cod milt, enzymes from cod stomach and peptone, a protein building block. Research into new products continues.

Maritex selected Fisher-Rosemount’s PlantWeb architecture for the control of a new process, including an evaporator. In so doing, Maritex implemented a proven solution that included intelligent field devices and DeltaV automation system with integrated Asset Management Solutions (AMS) software.

The networked field devices use industry-standard Foundation fieldbus for communication with each other and with the DeltaV system. At the Maritex factory, these devices included Micro Motion Coriolis mass flow meters, Rosemount pressure and temperature transmitters, and Rosemount Analytical pH transmitters. Existing 4-20 mA field equipment at the facility was also connected to the DeltaV system.

PlantWeb was chosen because it is user friendly, adaptable, and proven. ‘The DeltaV system with AMS is easy to use. At the same time, PlantWeb architecture is capable of handling everything from monitoring of the tank farm to advanced process control,’ remarked Maritex Plant Manager Viktor Johnsen. ‘These advantages continue to be important to us. At the time of the installation, we did not have a process automation department at Maritex. Since then, we have configured a second evaporator on our own.’

‘Changes are taking place all the time in our process equipment,’ said Johnsen. ‘For that reason, it is important that we quickly can adapt the process system to them.’ The flexibility of the PlantWeb architecture makes this easy.

Together with the parent company of Maritex, Fisher-Rosemount Denmark configured the first evaporator. Thanks to the power of PlantWeb, this was done remotely. Such a capability is important when working on a facility that sits, almost literally, on top of the world, far removed from most support services.

During configuration, asset management enabled PlantWeb to use information from field devices to manage plant assets. Functionality and diagnostics information from these high performance field devices are delivered to AMS, which helps Maritex troubleshoot and eliminate automation system commissioning problems, thereby reducing configuration and set-up time.

Johnsen summarised, ‘Our experience so far has also shown that production has become smoother. We will continue to use Foundation fieldbus technology wherever we can.’

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