BASF's Ludwigshafen site now includes a new world-scale production facility with the capacity to produce 90,000 metric tons of acetylene per year. When it came to planning and implementing functional safety, BASF opted for state-of-the-art safety technology from HIMA. Around 20 production facilities at the Ludwigshafen site use acetylene as a starting material for many other products and value chains. The modern production process of the new facility uses raw materials very efficiently. Furthermore, the heat given off during production will be used to generate energy. The end-product yield is higher and by-products are used efficiently. As a chemical component, acetylene has a diverse range of applications. It is an important starting material for many everyday products, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and highly elastic textile fibers.
In the new acetylene facility, HIMA's controllers not only perform the classic ESD function, they also handle the complex functions involved in starting up and controlling the equipment. The SafeEthernet protocol ensures safe cross communication between controllers in SIL 3 quality. Fast response times in the event of a safety shutdown and the high operational safety (SIL 3) within safety-critical production processes contribute to the acetylene facility's high availability and productivity. Additionally, the HIMax hot swap function enhances the future-safe design of the facility as redundancy allows upgrades to be implemented during operation.
HIMA and BASF started their joint work on this project in 2017. After the intense planning phase, in 2018 HIMA delivered 61 BASF control room racks based on a total of six HIMax systems. To enable read out of the field devices, 103 X-HART modules were also integrated into the HIMax controllers. HIMA wired and tested (FAT) the HIMax controllers in-house and delivered the pre-assembled complete modules, including separation layer in accordance with the “just-in-time” requirements of the construction site. This ensured smooth installation and timely construction progress while relieving BASF of the effort for on-site basic wiring.
Since October 2018, two HIMA engineers have also been permanently based in Ludwigshafen to make sure that the safety solution is seamlessly integrated into the existing automation architecture and that the commissioning schedule is met.
Complete Solution from a Single Source
Despite the complexity of the system, HIMA was able to design a lean and highly reliable hardware solution. This was possible thanks to the HIMax system, which can comprise 15 base plates with 18 I/O slots in each controller and is therefore extremely modular and flexible. Additionally, HIMA was able to contribute its safety expertise and solution competence beginning with the planning phase: HIMA engineers proactively assisted in designing the hardware and programming the application-specific software, in particular for implemention of the complex burner control circuits. The resulting solution was then easy to integrate into the specified DCS system.
"We have been working successfully with HIMA at the Ludwigshafen site for many years and have found the experience with our partner's safety solutions to be excellent. It seemed logical to also rely on HIMA's technology and expertise for the new acetylene plant. The HIMA experts' service and engineering played a significant role in ensuring that the safety systems were delivered and commissioned smoothly, and that the construction progress schedule was met", said Meinrad Rämisch, Senior E&I Engineering Manager at BASF."
Read more: www.basf.com/acetylen