Safety in Tight Spaces with Local Safety Concept

The pharmaceutical production facilities of the Nutrition & Care division of Evonik in the southern German town of Dossenheim have been upgraded with a new safety system. Due to a lack of space in the existing control rooms, standard control cabinets could not be installed. Instead, HIMA implemented a decentralized safety solution.

Challenging initial situation
The plant in Dossenheim consists of several production facilities with associated technical rooms. Each of these production areas is equipped with different equipment, such as reactors, which are used to produce various active pharmaceutical ingredients. Increased safety requirements necessitated a revision of the entire safety concept of the Dossenheim plant. In addition, integration into an existing Yokogawa control system was an absolute must for the new, comprehensive safety concept. One particular challenge was the programming of the formu­lation management and the associated sequences.

Flexible Installation
Various products are manufactured in each of the reactors. For each product, a “formulation” is stored in the control system, which is defined via a sequence. Any future safety system would have to safely execute the shutdown parameters defined for each formulation.
This is where HIMA’s automation expertise came in. Individually defined sequences ensure that the correct shutdown parame­ters (according to the sequence of the respective formulation) will always react as required.

There was no room in the Dossenheim plant for a safety control system in the form of classic control cabinets being placed in a separate electrical room. Instead, a decentralized safety solution had to be devised.
In the course of the project, HIMA ended up developing the pre­configured local safety concept: a 1200 x 1600 x 300 mm box that can easily be mounted on the wall and integrated into Ex zone II. Each of the boxes contains one HIMatrix F35 03, which
is connected remotely via SafeEthernet in a ring structure – a perfect, highly flexible safety solution for Evonik.  
A total of 8 decentral ssps boxes were installed in the production and technical rooms to save space.

The extendibility of the safety systems was also an important criterion. The ability to accommodate additional I/O signals in the existing boxes at a later stage without significant effort was vital. Based on HIMatrix controllers, the decentral ssps boxes are designed for future expansion, so that up to 96 individual signals, including Ex separation, could be connected in the final configuration. This safety system, which is part of the HIMA Smart Safety Platform, offers ultimate flexibility. All safety controllers of the HIMA Smart Safety Platform (both the HIMax and HIQuad X safety controllers) are compatible with each other.

HIJunction Box (example): The HIJunction Box expands the HIMA Smart Safety Platform directly into the field. Various configuration options of the HIJunction Box are available for inputs and outputs, contributing to high flexibility and enabling communication with the SIS over fiber optics. The HIJunctionBox is certified according to ATEX and IECEx.

Qotation: Evonik Operations GmbH


The plant in Dossenheim is one of 16 production sites of Evonik in Germany. The corporation is represented on 6 continents and in over 100 countries, with production units in 26 countries. The com­pany is divided into 5 different divisions with a distinct focus: Specialty Additives, Smart Materials, Performance Materials, Tech­nology & Infrastructure, and Nutrition & Care. The Dossenheim site is part of Nutrition & Care, with 180 dedicated employees involved in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipi­ents.

•    Coordinate an extensive project with many constraints
•    Integrate the SIS in the existing control system with complex process chains
•    Implement safety controllers in a decentralized solution across eight rooms
•    Ensure Ex safety in reactor rooms

•    Flexible, independent monitoring with HIMatrix
•    Compliance with legal regulations for safety and documentation
•    Analysis and evaluation integrated into safety tools
•    Products, service, and modification from a single source
•    Fewer false alarms and lower on-site fire department costs

HIMA Products and Services
•    HIMatrix and SafeEthernet (incl. option to connect to the Smart Safety Platform)
•    Concept design
•    Functional safety training
•    Basic and detail engineering
•    Support with SIL analysis, DCS integration and factory acceptance tests
•    System installation and test
•    Commissioning