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Process Control Stepwise Migration: How to Replace a Process Control System

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

A story of the replacement of the process control system – Cht R. Beitlich’s decentralized control system with isolated PDA had seen better days. Rather than helping to optimize production, it was tying up valuable resources. Changes to the system were tedious; replacement parts were getting harder and harder to come by. The company began surveying the market for an appropriate replacement. In the end, there was only one system that met all of their requirements.

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The best way for companies to modernize control technology used in their processing systems is to migrate step-bystep to a new solution; thereby, maximizing system availability and avoiding extended or unplanned downtime.
The best way for companies to modernize control technology used in their processing systems is to migrate step-bystep to a new solution; thereby, maximizing system availability and avoiding extended or unplanned downtime.
(Picture: B&R Industrial Automation)

For Cht R. Beitlich, it was becoming increasingly apparent that our antiquated systems would soon no longer be able to keep up with the intensifying demands. The requirements for product quality, quality assurance, process reliability and safety regulations had all changed dramatically over the years.

“What is more, our old technology was preventing us from filling new orders,” adds Head of Production Engineering, Cht R. Beitlich, Günther Schätzle. It took three days, for example, just to install a new valve and get it up and running. On top of that, equipment was failing more and more frequently, and replacement parts were no longer readily available.

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The control, HMI and data acquisition systems, which had become outdated, inflexible and prone to failure would need to be replaced with state-of-the-art new technology. “Fully automating everything was certainly not our primary goal as that would have been too complex for our multifunctional stations,” says Schätzle.

83 systems at 2 locations Cht produces specialty chemicals in the areas of textiles, textile care, construction chemicals and performance chemicals. The company’s customer-oriented product development continues to expand an already broad spectrum of products. The majority of the Cht’s revenue comes from very complex products, which are produced primarily at the production and logistics centers in Dusslingen and Oyten, Germany.

These sites are home to hundreds of systems including higher-level supply systems and a variety of mixing vessels and chemical reactors. Many of the production stations are multifunctional and can produce up to 100 different products.

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