Boosting productivity and quality in chemicals

2012-12-17 - An ABB process automation and batch management solution has helped one of Latin America’s leading chemical companies to raise productivity by 35 percent and improve the quality of its chemical products.
By ABB Communications

The solution has been operating at a plant in Colombia owned by Amtex, one of the largest suppliers of chemicals to the food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries in Latin America. The plant produces functional polymers that are used to improve the properties, durability and appearance of packaging and products in a wide range of applications throughout the region.

In 2010, Amtex decided to automate a reactor at the plant in order to increase production and improve product quality, consistency and traceability in accordance with batch production standards.

The ABB solution has been so successful that it has been rolled out from one reactor to all five reactors at the plant, and is scheduled to be installed at a second Amtex facility in Colombia.

Having assessed the solution proposals of all the major process automation vendors, Amtex selected the ABB solution for its operational benefits in both process control and batch production management. The solution was proposed by ABB’s local channel partner in Colombia, Automatización.

The solution comprises a new Extended Automation System 800xA process control system with integrated System 800xA Batch Management software.

System 800xA is an integration plant automation platform with unparalleled connectivity to enterprise and plant systems, applications and devices. It enables users to seamlessly integrate all their automation and information systems using the same 800xA extended automation platform – from electrical integration and communications to safety, asset management and enterprise resource planning – and in an environment that is designed to maximize collaboration, efficiency and productivity.

System 800xA Batch Management is a powerful application software package that allows users to configure, schedule and manage batch operations and improve batch production profitability, consistency and traceability. Its main features include:

• Increased product consistency for better product quality
• Easy to use recipe management functions that reduce time-to-market
• Integrated production management and control to maximize equipment utilization and minimize operating costs
• Regulatory compliance through the use of embedded system technical features

“With System 800xA, we are completely convinced we can offer our customers reliability and repeatability in our products. Nowadays customers worldwide seek minimal changes in their process and the only way of managing it is by reducing process variables.”
Juan Camilo Arango, CEO, Amtex

The results achieved by the solution are outstanding. Amtex’s target was to increase production by 30 percent and obtain real-time and historical information on the production process. Production has in fact increased by around 35 percent.

As a result of these achievements the ABB solution has been rolled out to all five reactors at the plant, and plans are in the pipeline to replicate the solution at a second Amtex facility in Colombia.

Click here to read a full-length ABB case study on the solution.

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