“We met with an engineer of the original plant in Japan to discuss the system design that would be used for the new plant,” said Salvador Alejandro Rivas Rojas, a project manager for ORDI.
“We needed to decide the best approach for meeting the requirements of the original facility while keeping the project on schedule. We couldn’t wait for equipment and component deliveries to come from Japan, and we wanted support services provided in the local language.”
ORDI, which specializes in automated facilities within the chemical industry, decided to utilize a North American-based equipment and solution provider that could help speed up the design, installation and commission processes in the new plant, and provide an intuitive and flexible system.
It would also help eliminate the communication challenges that would otherwise arise between the on-site integrators in Mexico and a Japanese support staff.
ORDI chose to implement a virtualized PlantPAx® process automation system from Rockwell Automation. The PlantPAx system combines process and discrete control in one system, and provides redundant control of every phase of the nitrile production.
The system delivers complete diagnostic monitoring to give operators visibility into all aspects of nitrile production. It also uses intrinsically safe barriers to connect field devices to the module inputs and outputs to help meet Class I Division 2 requirements for hazardous areas.
A virtual infrastructure, leveraging the VMware vSphere® platform and the PlantPAx Virtual Image Templates, was used for the benefits it offers compared to a traditional physical infrastructure.
Virtual machines, for example, have increased fault tolerance and are always available, which is critical for processes involving hazardous and explosive chemicals.
They also provide improved disaster recovery, with virtual machine backups immediately available in the event that a physical computer stops working.