Evonik Stockhausen GmbHIncreasing Productivity by Means of Partially Automated Start-up and Load Change ProceduresExecutive SummaryEvonik Stockhausen GmbH’s acrylic acid plant in Marl has been operational since 1991 and currently consists of three production lines with a total capacity of approximately 200,000 tons per year. Acrylic acid is primarily used as a raw material for superabsorbent polymers, which are used to produce disposable diapers, among other things. The plant had already been fitted with a Yokogawa control system in 1999. In 2005, this ever-expanding plant was also fitted with Advanced Alarm Administrator, an intelligent alarm management system from Yokogawa.Plant start-up, load changes, and other operational changes are complex, challenging processes that require experienced operators. Given the substantial commercial importance of this plant, initiatives to standardize operational procedures and automate its processes make complete sense. Exapilot is Yokogawa’s solution to this challenge. This story describes how Evonik implemented the Exapilot solution at this large-scale acrylic acid plant and presents key outcomes and experiences.Implementation and ConfigurationEvonik purchased the Exapilot package and connected it to the CENTUM DCS via an OPC interface. (Exapilot can be connected to any Control System via OPC.) A core feature of the software package is a symbol-oriented command language. This makes it possible to assemble clear and easy to understand flowcharts of operational procedures for complex operations in order to automate a process. To optimally configure such processes using Exapilot, data on the plant configuration and the process as well as input from experienced operators is required. During start-up, for example, logical information and parameter lists are loaded and processed step by step. The status of the procedure is indicated with a color code. At the same time, an ActiveX notification window provides the operator important information on the process and actions to be taken.Evonik engineers devoted approximately two man-months to studying the process dynamics and developing a highly efficient configuration. Different from a classical approach of writing a full specification first and then implement the function in an automation system, the engineering process was an iterative process in which all stakeholders had been involved. While configuring the system, additional improvements were made within the normal process and control loops as well. With the completion of this process, up to 90% of all manual tasks can now be carried out automatically. Projects of this sort can typically be broken down into two main stages:•Determining and analyzing the current status, selecting best practices, and developing the procedure•Implementing, testing, and configuring the procedure as well as training the operatorsPlant InformationLocation:Marl, GermanyOrder date:2006 Completion:2007 Operation procedures in flowchartActiveX notication window35Success Story CollectionChemical (Fine & Specialty Chemical, Biofuel)& Pharmaceutical

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