Using a BAS for process control

Building automation systems are found in nearly every type of industrial plant handling a variety of tasks. But their diversity is perhaps best exemplified in an application that uses a BAS for process control.

08/01/1998


Building automation systems are found in nearly every type of industrial plant handling a variety of tasks. But their diversity is perhaps best exemplified in an application that uses a BAS for process control.

The installation is a retort-in-place system specially designed for the thermal desorption of the mercury found in fluorescent lamps. The recycling process requires precise control of temperature and time to achieve consistent results. Using a vacuum process, the technique separates out the mercury, which is collected and sent to a distiller where it is purified for reuse.

BAS control technology was employed primarily because the mechanical contractor installing the retort system was familiar with it and believed the processing equipment would lend itself well to control by a BAS. The firm was already experienced in using a BAS to oversee such an operation, having installed it in another application 3 yr ago.

The DDC-based BAS system provides continuous and reliable control of operating conditions and temperatures. It includes a touch screen display and access to all process variables; remote and onsite around-the-clock monitoring of process alarms; and onsite monitoring from a PC or dumb terminal. Open net

working arrangements allow device-level controls from a variety of manufacturers to be incorporated into the system.

It also permits large volumes of information to be transmitted over two wires for maximum data collection and analysis at the greatest efficiency. Password security protects data and limits access to proprietary information.

Designed to maximize plant and operator safety, the BAS enables the process to operate unattended and lets the operator pause or stop the process should any measured variable exceed allowable limits. Alarm conditions are displayed on the touch screen. Dial-out alarm messages directed to a remote monitoring facility simplify the handling of problem situations. Redundant electrical and mechanical controls for high temperature, pressure, and flow levels enhance safety and ensure compliance with federal and state hazardous waste handling regulations.

Notes Bob Abele, one of the senior engineers on the project, "Doing both the mechanical contracting on the process equipment and installation of the BAS have the advantage of teaching us how to troubleshoot the system, how to make things work. Being involved in both sides helps us know what is needed and how to do it."

Two systems are now in place and operating successfully, one in Phoenix and a second in Indianapolis. Both are monitored remotely in real time.

Remote access monitoring and control of the equipment have proved advantageous from startup, allowing installing engineers to change or override parameters without traveling from site-to-site. The remote features were especially helpful for initial troubleshooting when a large number of alarms can generally be expected.

Information for this section was provided by Herman Bogot & Co., Park Ridge, IL, installers of the system. The BAS in the system is from Circon Technology Corp., Delta, BC, and uses a Lonworks network from Echelon Corp., Palo Alto, CA.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me