As part of its five-year investment to boost capacity and operational excellence within its global plastics additives business, BASF has awarded Emerson a multi-million-dollar contract to modernize automation software and controllers at its specialty chemical production facility in Lampertheim, Germany. These enhancements are to help the world’s largest chemical manufacturer increase production flexibility and enhance operations.
Lampertheim/Germany — As the European chemical industry faces increasing market competition from outside Europe, flexible and cost-competitive development methodologies and production technologies are needed to ensure success, says research by Dechema Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology). BASF is making a significant investment to modernize plant automation as part of its effort to sustain market leadership and achieve Top Quartile performance.
To this end, the company will implement Emerson’s new hybrid automation solution that replaces existing programmable logic controllers (PLCs), used to control 20 reactors, with the Delta V PK Controller. The new hybrid technology integrates into the customer’s existing Delta V automation system, which is to significantly reduce the cost, time and complexity of modernizing the automation system; minimize start-up time for new production batches; and make switching production easier. For the chemical manufacturer, Emerson will also replace an obsolete system controlling the tank farm and distillation columns at the facility, which produces additives that improve characteristics for plastics and coatings.
A key part of the project is to expand automation security protections. This advanced technology, developed with Emerson to address cybersecurity threats, has been applied at other BASF manufacturing plants. By modernizing its automation systems, the company can take advantage of new capabilities embedded in the supplier’s automation systems that help fortify plant operations against cyber threats.