Emerson Completes Digital Automation of Polystyrene Plant, Argentina

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Emerson Completes Digital Automation of Polystyrene Plant, Argentina

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Emerson Process Management announced production gains and reduced plant downtime through a multi-year digital automation project at Petrobras Zarate, a polystyrene manufacturing facility 80 kilometers north of Buenos Aires, Argentina.The reports shows that through the renovation process, production rose by 3 to 5 percent ? that is about to 66,000 tons per year. The plant's availability is now 99 percent and product reliability is up by 2 to 3 percent. The plant, which produces high impact, general purpose crystal and bioriented sheet polystyrene, is part of Petrobras Energia, an integrated energy company in Buenos Aires. Polystyrene is a lightweight plastic used to make items such as disposable food containers and cutlery, footwear, school materials, and parts used in refrigerators, air conditioners and vacuum cleaners.As Petrobras Zarate's process automation supplier, Emerson provided consulting, staff training, and installation of its PlantWeb? digital architecture, AMS? Suite asset management software, and DeltaV? automation system. The project modernized the plant's high impact and crystal polystyrene facilities, including the water, steam and air utilities and the reactor operations. Polystyrene production at Petrobras Zarate had been limited by a 1980s-era distributed control system. "We needed modernization to place the plant in the vanguard of technology and ensure it could respond to the needs of the market," said Roberto Gorbaran, instrumentation supervisor at Petrobras.Plant managers had several goals in mind when they decided to partner with Emerson for the technology upgrade. "We discussed a migration strategy towards a control system that could give us greater reliability, would fall within our budget, would comply with medium- and long-term strategy and satisfy management and the business," said Adolfo Suiffet, maintenance manager at Petrobras Zarate.The transformation to digital was implemented in stages between 2002 and 2005. Petrobras Zarate saved US$ 1.13 million in 2005 when, with Emerson's assistance and aided by its digital valve and instrument technology, plant personnel completed the final hot cutover of operations control to the DeltaV system without stopping production. Annual plant stoppages have been reduced by half, to once every two years, because plant staff can now make decisions based on more reliable data about their operations. The Petrobras Zarate plant uses foundation fieldbus communications to network Emerson's DeltaV digital systems, Rosemount? flow, level and temperature instruments, Micro Motion? Coriolis flowmeters and Fisher? valves with Fisher FIELDVUE? digital valve controllers.Advanced control tools increase production quality and capacity. For example, application of neural network software in the DeltaV system made quality prediction in the reactors more effective, and Petrobras Zarate was able to up rates for certain products in the plant. Predictive diagnostics from AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager deliver information to operations and maintenance personnel for fast decisions on field devices. The plant has also added mobility enabled by a wireless network that allows them to perform asset maintenance in the field since personnel can use their laptops to access operational and diagnostic data through remote DeltaV desktop and AMS Suite applications. Project Name Polystyrene Plant, Argentina Location Buenos Aires, Argentina Commence 2002-2005 first stage Completion 2008 Estimated Investment N/A Capacity N/A Key Players Emerson Process Management

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