BASF I/A system gains new life in plant upgrade


BASF has launched a renovation of its Ludwigshafen, Germany, acetylene plant designed to extend the life of its 16-year-old I/A system at least another 15 years. Invensys Process Systems is upgrading the Foxboro automation system in BASF’s sprawling petrochemicals complex. The new design solution is being implemented while the plant is running to maintain critical production within the larger facility.

Invensys has already helped BASF extend the eight existing Nodebus-based I/A series process control networks using high-speed, switched Ethernet technology. Existing I/A series application processors and workstations have also been upgraded with more powerful and current I/A series hardware. These reside on the new, switched Ethernet backbone.

According to Betty Naylor-McDevitt, director of Foxboro systems marketing at Invensys Process Systems, “The continuously current architecture of the Foxboro I/A Series system, which we introduced in 1987, makes it relatively easy and cost-effective for our customers to upgrade their existing I/A Series systems to the new, performance-enhancing technology over time and to do so within a stable system and application environment. This capability—which is unique to Invensys—has been proven time and time again at many customer sites around the world.”

Besides the BASF Ludwigshafen acetylene plant, recent upgrade examples include: PPG’s large chlor-alkali plant in Lake Charles, LA; the Reliance integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Jamnagar, India; and Saudi Aramco’s large Shedgum and Uthmaniyah gas plants in Saudi Arabia.

Naylor-McDevitt added, “at these and other sites which were all early adaptors of I/A Series system technologies, the customers have (or will have) upgraded through multiple generations of I/A Series technology at minimum cost, with minimum (if any) loss of production, and without having to re-engineer their control and information strategies. ”

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company with more than 100 production sites. The Ludwigshafen facility produces more than 12 million tons per year of products such as plastics, chemicals, fertilizers, and fibers. Invensys is a leader in industrial asset performance management, with brands such as Foxboro, Triconex, SimSci-Esscor, Wonderware, and Avantis.

--Control Engineering Daily News Desk

Peter Welander , process industries editor

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