Flexible batch solution for the chemical production in small batches
URSA Chemie GmbH (UCM), based in Montabaur, is a medium-sized company for contract manufacturing in the chemical industry. Its range of services includes chemical production, cosmetics production, laboratory, incoming goods inspection for raw materials and quality control of finished products. For cosmetics production, the company offers GMP-oriented production facilities. Incoming goods and quality control are carried out by means of IR spectroscopy, gas chromatography, spectrophotometer, dry substance measurement and electronic density and refractive index measurement, among others.
For the existing Ex production in the Montabaur multi-product plant, a process control system was required that can be operated both in the Ex area and outside the Ex production. High demands were placed on the required automation and process control technology, since all components must be designed for operation in the Ex area. Above all, a high degree of flexibility of the automation solution was required, as the effort for product changes in the plant should be kept as low as possible.
The link between the higher-level ERP system and the process control system is an application based on SIMATIC WinCC V7.0. The application is operated in the hazardous area via special thin clients that connect to the WinCC servers via the RDP protocol. The clients are networked via special fiber optic cables, which are also designed for the hazardous area. Outside the hazardous area, standard PC ́s are used to connect to the WinCC server system. The two WinCC servers with Windows Server 2008 R2 as well as the decentralized periphery are fully redundant. An S7-417H is used as the PLC, which is also fully redundant. The PM-Quality module from Siemens is used for batch-oriented data acquisition.
The program for controlling the plant and thus for manufacturing the respective products is modular and therefore very flexible. Individual sequences are populated with parameter values via the manufacturing instructions, which originate from the higher-level ERP. Depending on the product, these individual sequence modules are combined to form a batch sequence. This makes it theoretically possible to manufacture any product in the plant, which consists of 13 stainless steel boilers and 7 auxiliary plants. The bidirectional data connection to the ERP is realized via an SQL database system. In addition to the product-specific parameters, alarms and plant statuses are also stored here.
Furthermore, an energy data acquisition of the plant as well as the integration of the in-house monitoring technology (access control, fire alarm system, burglar alarm system) into the new system, based on EIB/KNX components, were part of this project.
Flexible batch solution for chemical production in small batches