Efficient operating and monitoring in the hazardous area
Steady, continuous production processes without rapid change of products is common in the chemical industry. Ursa Chemie, a mid-sized company based in Montabaur, has accepted the challenge and produces custom-made chemicals and materials on short notice. The flexibility of the producer is supported by a modern Scada-system.
Large manufacturers of chemical products have plants that are designed for volume production of a substance, but do not allow flexible, rapid changes in the production process. This mass production also requires additives and basic materials in small quantities, the production of which in-house is usually not profitable for the operators of large chemical plants. However, the requirements for these precursors are just as high as for the end products, which means that impeccable quality and traceability must be guaranteed at any time. Another challenge is posed by the environmental conditions. Flammable gases and vapors strictly require equipment that is certified for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Ursa Chemie, based in Montabaur near Koblenz, manufactures preliminary and intermediate products for the chemical industry. The equipment and production technology capabilities are in no way inferior to those of large chemical companies, so that all chemicals can be manufactured and processed, from simple mixed products to complex reagent products.
focus developed a concept for breaking down and defining the automation steps required in chemical processes, such as "stirring" and "heating", into so-called basics. A basic has parameters that have to be adapted to the product to be manufactured. These parameters are stored in an SQL database. For new processes, they only have to be combined correctly and provided with the respective parameters and the production process can start.
The Scada software used accesses the same SQL database in which Ursa's production planning system defines the sequence of basics and the associated parameters. The connection to the production database was easy thanks to the open interfaces. The display options in WinCC range from an overview of all boilers with the most important information at a glance to a detailed display of individual boilers with data on valve positions, temperatures, filling quantity and other operating data.
WinCC is set up as a multi-user system. Operators can access the process control system simultaneously from thirteen clients distributed across the plant and the shift supervisor offices. Parameters can be adjusted and basics added or removed via manual input - after authentication via log-in and password. It is possible to easily create a screen navigation within the WinCC project, to provide it with a display of collective messages and to integrate it easily and quickly into each screen. Furthermore, traceability, i.e. the traceability of the production process, is made possible by the complete documentation of batch-related values and messages. In this way, an evaluation can be created and provided to the customer for each product.