A new DCS system for Yara Sluiskil : "In the making" for at least two decades, but the end result is also a bull's eye! After extensive research, DeltaV from Emerson was used as a new DCS system for all plants. Thanks to the knowledge and experience of Batenburg Bellt, we have been able to support this project for many years.
At Yara Sluiskil next to the Ghent-Terneuzen canal, the decision was made more than two decades ago to replace the outdated, no longer supported DCS system that was used in all plants with a more modern one. The old system dates from the mid-1980s and in a number of respects could no longer be kept up to date. Several DCS systems on the market have been considered, all with their own characteristics, such as a system that is more focused on continuous production, but also systems that are more focused on batch processing. In addition to the type of DCS system, speed and efficiency of support were also important and the emerging international standardization of DCS systems played a role within Yara. All this made DeltaV from Emerson the most suitable DCS system to be used for all plants.
After some initial plant migrations by Yara itself, Batenburg Bellt's assistance was called in. The own Yara DCS engineers needed experienced support. That is why we have started providing training to the operators. It was then decided to also call on our assistance to help with the migrations, of course always in collaboration with Yara's engineers. The assignment for us related to the software part, and initially included the task of reading and documenting the data and configuration per plant from the old system. Subsequently, this configuration had to be transferred to the new system. Since the 2 systems were not compatible, the new system had to be programmed almost entirely manually. We were able to automate things with our own hand-built tools. The biggest challenges we experienced were the conversion of the complex controls and their display. These had to be transferred to the new system as closely as possible and according to standard. Always with a view to recognisability and unambiguity for the operator.
Yara, in conjunction with the supplier Emerson, kept herself fully occupied with the hardware set-up. After the design, order and construction of the new system, the configuration could start. This eventually had to be completely ready and tested internally so that it could be connected, tested and finally put into operation during the effective conversion. The new system is a bull's eye, especially because a number of things have become more user-friendly. In particular, the overview and readability are a lot clearer. This makes interventions and improvements in the controls much easier.
In 2019, the last Provox system was transferred to DeltaV, all that remains now is Provox I/O in one of Yara's urea plants. This is scheduled to be replaced next year. Six Batenburg Bellt colleagues participated in this project. At the moment 2 of our colleagues, one of whom during the entire period, are present to perform configuration work for various projects and TURs.