Samsung Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (SPCL), a major Korean petrochemical company, produces 700,000 tons per year of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) at its Daesan plant. PTA, a white powder substance that is produced by oxidizing and refining para-xylene, is a precursor to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a polyester material that has excellent thermal resistance and wear resistance and is widely used as a substitute for natural cotton fibers and in film packaging, beverage bottles, tire cords, paints, adhesives, and other applications.
INPEX Corporation (INPEX) is Japan's biggest oil and gas development company and is involved in all aspects of this business, from research to exploration, production, and sales. INPEX is engaged in projects all over the world, in a total of 29 countries, including Japan, where it operates a gas production plant near Oyazawa, a town in Niigata prefecture.
This paper shows how to improve distillation operations by focusing on procedure automation. It will review the importance of using procedures in distillation operations and highlights the collaboration work underway between Fractionation Research Inc. (FRI) and Yokogawa Corporation to improve procedural operations.
Operational error is the single biggest reason for unscheduled shutdowns in process plants, causing several millions of dollars in damages and losses per year. Combine this with an aging skilled workforce leaving the work place, with inexperienced people to replace them, and there is no doubt that process plants face a challenging problem.
Yokogawa has come a long way in making its message clear to the world of process automation. Last year, the company embarked on a full-scale global marketing campaign to make customers aware of the company's focus on system reliability, security, dependability, and robustness. Dubbed "Vigilance", the campaign created a unified message for the company and greatly helped expand awareness of the Yokogawa brand and corporate philosophy.
The world of process automation is governed by procedures. While we like to refer to the process industries as being largely "continuous", this could not be further from the truth. Process manufacturing is constantly in flux.
Process plants are run according to operational procedures. These procedures consist of a set of tasks that are executed in a consistent manner to achieve a specific objective, such as starting up, shutting down or transitioning a unit as part of making a product.
Process plants require operational procedures in order to produce products. These procedures consist of a set of tasks that are executed in a consistent manner to achieve a specific objective such as starting up or shutting down, or transitioning to a different product. The level of detail, purpose and frequency of use of these procedures varies by process, company and site—but in all cases these procedures should be the basis for plant operations.
Manual operations live on and even thrive in largely automated process plants, and they are often the cause of safety incidents.
By Maurice Wilkins, VP Strategic Technology Marketing Center, Yokogawa Corporation of America
Marcus Tennant, Senior Principal Technology Strategist, Yokogawa Corporation of America
Large process industry companies have recently started building plants with world-class safety and profitability to reinforce their competitive edge in the global market. As for plant operations, support functions for improving operators' plant operation skills and for extending operators' maximum capability are required to the DCS so that an operator can expand the area of plant monitoring or operate a plant with higher cost- consciousness.
In 1999, Yokogawa Electric Corporation formed an alliance with Shell Global Solutions International B.V. (SGSI) in Advanced Process Control (APC), and both companies have since jointly developed products. This alliance successfully combined SGSI's experience gained through more than 800 projects in more than 30 years and Yokogawa's great deal of experience with the process control market, and strengthened the scheme to provide the APC technology.
In recent years, safety and profitability have become ever more important in the process industry due to fierce global competition. Greater emphasis is being placed on highly efficient plant operation for reducing the increasing energy bill.
Remarkable progress in information technology has led to open architecture systems and networking in the manufacturing industry. In such industry, remote monitoring systems based on public communication lines or the Internet, and or collaboration of control, information, and corporate systems based on standardized interfaces such as OLE for Process Control (OPC) are now widely used via networks.