Integrated System Improves Operations

Combined process control and safety system cuts costs and boosts efficiency

By Odel Protti, Atanor

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The system is flexible and adaptable to changes, enabling us to easily introduce improvements. What I like most is the comprehensive information it offers as well as the speed of operation.

Its tools allow us to analyze conditions and tendencies that occur before a problem develops, furnishing extremely valuable information to the maintenance team and enabling us to make the right decisions. The new tools enhance the safety of the plant and the efficiency of the hydrogen peroxide production process by providing event lists and graphic trend displays. The engineering station offers a complete set of options for maintenance personnel, helping to adjust, calibrate, configure and bypass field instruments that are marked for verification or repair.

The system also notably reduces the time required for start up and shut down. The plant can be shut down in less than five minutes if needed. A single operator can complete a plant start up in less than 10 minutes.

Moreover, because of the system we’ve substantially speeded up a variety of activities such as operation startups and production regime changes. On average we’ve reduced time by 30 minutes per operation compared with actual values from identical activities performed in our adjacent A.O.A. I plant. Uptime has been optimal – there’ve been no plant shutdowns caused by problems in the control system.

The combined control and safety system gives peace of mind to our entire work team. We have the assurance of knowing that a safety system will kick in during an emergency.

Just the beginning
The A.O.A. II unit was the first at Atanor to use the 800xA integrated BPCS and SIS. It proved to us that such an approach can increase safety and productivity while providing cost savings. Since then, our process engineering team has implemented an integrated system at our Cloro Soda II plant that started up at the end of 2006. Looking ahead, Atanor is considering putting a similar system in the A.O.A. I plant. In addition, many local industries are interested in learning more about our control system.

Odel Protti is general manager of the A.O.A. I, A.O.A. II and acetic acid plants for Atanor, Rio Tercero, Argentina. E-mail him at

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