Emerson's PlantWeb architecture is the "automation of choice" at the Center for the Assessment of Technical Competence in the UK.
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DeltaV™ system and AMS® Suite predictive maintenance software provide an authentic working environment for chemical industry trainees
AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 4, 2008) – Emerson Process Management announces that the company's PlantWeb® digital plant architecture has been installed at the CATCH (Centre for the Assessment of Technical Competence) training center for the chemical industry in Stallingborough, near Grimsby, North Lincolnshire. The £8.2 million facility has been developed to meet the industry need for a training center that accurately reflects the environment existing in plants but without the hazards found in many process industries.
Emerson supplied products, software and services and was involved with the engineering, design and installation of the plant architecture. This includes the DeltaV™ digital automation system and AMS® Suite Intelligent Device Manager, together with Fisher® control valves and FIELDVUE® digital valve controllers, Rosemount® level, flow, pressure, and temperature transmitters and Micro Motion® Coriolis mass flowmeters.
Originally designed as a conventional plant utilizing HART communications technology, the challenging timescale and the projected savings in cabling costs led to the adoption of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. As the project evolved, extra instruments were added and these changes, together with any future expansion plans, could be readily accommodated using the existing cabling. Had the plant retained the original architecture it would have been necessary to excavate a roadway to lay additional cabling, extending the original project timescale. With customer training sessions already arranged, any delay would have created serious problems for CATCH. By adopting FOUNDATION fieldbus communications the plant was ready for its first scheduled training sessions.
"CATCH provides professional facilities although it is not itself a training organization," said Clive Rounce, General Manager at CATCH. "Our brief is to provide and maintain a realistic and safe training facility for our partner companies. When the project was at the design stage, we approached our partners for input on the type of automation system to be used. They wanted a system that would provide the best training platform based on what they actually have installed on site, and their first choice was Emerson's DeltaV system as the state of the art front end system and as a key component in an overall PlantWeb architecture."
In order to create an authentic working environment, the process on site is based on a real digital automation architecture. FOUNDATION fieldbus digital communication technologies feed data over a network to the centralized control room where students are able to control, configure and troubleshoot in a real plant environment.
Most of the hardware for the plant was contributed to CATCH by its partner companies and comprises a tank farm and system of pipework, pumps, valves, heat exchangers and reactor vessels that is typical of the chemical industry. The plant is run as a live system with safety rules and full evacuation procedures in place. It can be operated as a continuous process, or by using the reactor vessel, configured for batch production. Students are able to experience a range of situations and incidents that test their knowledge and skills in a real environment.
As new technologies are introduced to the industry, the equipment on site will be upgraded to ensure the latest innovations can be experienced. For example, the automation system incorporates Emerson's DeltaV SIS (Safety Instrumented System) which extends the benefits of the PlantWeb digital plant architecture to safety applications. Other innovations include the addition of Emerson's DeltaV Simulate software that allows engineers to develop new control strategies, and fully test them on their laptop computer using actual control configurations and process simulation software. CATCH is also planning to include Emerson's Smart Wireless solutions that enable data to be collected from remote locations without the need for wires.
"We are delighted to be involved with the CATCH project which sets a new standard for training facilities in our industry," said Travis Hesketh, Director of PlantWeb for Europe, Emerson Process Management. "By basing its training facility on our PlantWeb digital architecture and DeltaV system, CATCH offers its partners a state of the art facility that uses the architecture of choice for the process industry."
The project is already proving to be a great success with over 6,000 students having passed through the facility in the first year of operation. From January 2008 more than 120 apprentices will be based at Stallingborough, learning skills and gaining experience that will be vital to the future success of the industry.