Recipe for success: Batch software improves pigment processing


Process control, Information control/software

Batch execution software is helping Ciba Specialty Chemicals plant in Scotland operate its pigment manufacturing process with more consistency and flexibility.

Echternach, Luxembourg —A pigment processor in Scotland found the recipe for consistency by applying batch execution software to its operation. The installation, called one of the largest batch execution sites in Europe, is said to be more flexible than the legacy system it replaced, able to provide important batch records and reports, and offering capabilities for future development.

Ciba Specialty Chemicals installed GE Fanuc 's Proficy Plant Application batch execution software, running on a Proficy HMI/SCADA-iFix platform, on two pigment manufacturing processes at its Paisley, Scotland, plant. The chemical plant produces pigments for coloring in a wide range of applications, including inks, paints, plastics, and textiles. Each of two manufacturing units has its own central operator area with twin-head displays of their respective batch execution and iFix operations. There are 10 process lines, each with a batch server, and 15 iFix client displays on the shop floor.

'The legacy recipe system was developed in house and the control system used commercial software that was no longer supported,' explained Alan Sanderson, control engineering manager at Ciba. The company needed to find a supplier who could provide long-term support. The batch execution software from GE Fanuc, continued Sanderson, provides the sought-after repeatable recipe consistency, 'with a multiple batch server front-end enabling us to control the individual operations all from a central control room.

'It offered us flexibility and, by working in a graphical environment, ensured ease of development,' he continued. 'It also minimized our database as we can interrogate the current readings of any piece of process hardware by clicking on its icon. The software automatically accesses the real-time data via a remote OPC service, without it being captured on the database,' said Sanderson.

For related news from Control Engineering , read: ' Batch control standard focuses on data from multiple systems .'

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel , senior editor

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