REC silicon plant gets new automation


REC Silicon’s Silane unit now has upgraded automation. A major automation upgrade of the Silane unit in the REC Silicon plant in Moses Lake, WA, involved migrating the company’s existing PROVOX control system to a DeltaV digital automation system from Emerson Process Management. A new plant-wide MES network was installed that hosts an OSIsoft PI data historian.

The scope of work for Emerson on the project included front end engineering design (FEED), hardware design, migration configuration, AMS Device Manager configuration, turnkey implementation, installation of a critical data backup server and automation simulation services. “Given the large scope of this project, we experienced very few surprises,” said Scott Brown, operations manager at Moses Lake for REC Silicon.

The Moses Lake project included installation of an extensive MES network.

REC is uniquely positioned in the solar energy industry as the only company with a presence across the entire value chain. REC Silicon and REC Wafer are the world's largest producers of solar-grade silicon and wafers for solar applications. REC Solar produces solar cells and solar modules, and is gaining market share through strong growth. The Moses Lake facility produces solar-grade polysilicon for use in solar panels and devices, and includes two processing areas, Silane and Polysilicon.

Production for the Moses Lake facility is in a sold-out position, so minimizing turnaround time on the project was important.On startup, it was possible to quickly identify devices that required attention and recalibrate and/or respan them promptly.

Emerson’s DeltaV digital automation system is a core component of Emerson's open, standards-based PlantWeb digital plant architecture. Its built-in predictive intelligence can improve plant operating efficiency by 2% or more. PlantWeb services help customers derive full value from state-of-the-art control, automation and asset management predictive diagnostics, whether at the installation or operational phase of the project.

“We are pleased to have been a part of the Moses Lake upgrade,” said John Gardner, senior vice president of Emerson Process Management.

The Emerson-OSIsoft strategic alliance allows customers to access real-time information so they can respond quickly to take advantage of favorable market conditions as they arise.

The migration to the DeltaV system has been a great success and the upgrades were all completed within the time allowed for the shut down.

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