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Emerson Plantweb digital plant architecture featuring Wirelesshart, Wi-Fi and Foundation Fieldbus technology is being used to automate a pilot ethanol processing plant built by Chematur Engineering.

The plant, located at Karlskoga (250km from Stockholm) in Sweden, is used to demonstrate the company’s Biostil production process and to enable its customers to trial the latest process automation technologies for their specific raw materials.

The Biostil process enables ethanol to be produced from almost any raw material, including wheat, sugar beets and rice.

The pilot plant, consisting of a raw material mill, a liquefaction department, a fermentation section and a distillation column, is a smaller version of the real ethanol processing plants designed and installed by Chematur Engineering worldwide.

As the layout and function of the pilot plant will be modified over time, as improvements in the Biostil process take place, it was essential that the network architecture was very flexible.

Johan Selinder, manager of electrical and control design at Chematur Engineering, said: ‘We needed a very flexible network architecture that was easy to modify, develop and expand.

‘The pilot plant, which covers an area of roughly 50m2, features the very latest automation technology from Emerson, including its DeltaV digital automation system, open-standard Wirelesshart products as part of Smart Wireless solutions for field instrumentation, Smart Wireless solutions for plant-wide operations based on Wi-Fi networking and a broad range of Foundation Fieldbus intelligent devices.

‘The DeltaV system enables the entire plant to be controlled from a single operator station using advanced networking functions to place process data in the hands of the operator,’ he added.

Chematur Engineering wanted to establish a plant-wide network incorporating Emerson Smart Wireless technology.

Wireless offers further levels of flexibility by enabling temporary installations and changes of transmitter location without the need for re-engineering.

Selinder continued: ‘Hands-on experience helped us get an understanding of where wireless technology can be successfully applied.

‘Currently, we see the benefits in monitoring applications accessing data from remote or difficult-to-reach parts of the plant.

‘Installing cabling in these places can be cost prohibitive, especially if there are just one or two instruments to be connected,’ he said.

The wireless field network based on Emerson Wirelesshart devices enables the process monitoring of various sections of the plant.

Nine Rosemount wireless pressure transmitters and seven Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters have been installed, delivering measurements of water, slurry (a water, yeast and starch/sugar mixture) and the final product, ethanol.

A further 30 instruments communicate process control and asset management information using Foundation Fieldbus.

A wireless plant network has been established to provide Smart Wireless mobile worker solutions.

This consists of a rugged wireless access point installed in the process area, providing high-bandwidth connectivity to a touch-tablet PC to wirelessly access process data.

The touch-tablet PC incorporates DeltaV and AMS Suite predictive maintenance applications and is used as an operator station in the field as well as a replacement for local indicators on the field instruments.

Selinder said: ‘A plant-wide wireless network offers enormous benefits by bringing the control room out into the plant.

‘Placing this kind of power in the hands of operators produces much greater worker efficiency.

‘Of course, you still need a central control room, but for maintenance and especially during commissioning and start-up phases it becomes an excellent tool,’ he added.

Emerson’s AMS Suite provides a common user interface for access to predictive diagnostic information from the Foundation Fieldbus and Wirelesshart devices.

The real-time device information provided is intended to enable operators to respond faster and to make informed decisions.

It also helps to achieve a faster start-up and when the plant is running it can increase its availability through more cost-effective maintenance and improved device performance.

AMS Wireless Snap-On is used to maintain the wireless network.

This application graphically displays the communication paths and diagnostic and performance parameters to prevent potential problems with the field instruments.

Emerson Process Management

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