Hima-Sella is upgrading PLCs used at a UK refinery following acceptance of its Remote I/O and Network box designs. The installation is being carried out ‘live’, eliminating the need for site-wide shutdown

Engineering Safety systems company Hima-Sella has commenced work on a site-wide PLC upgrade programme for a major UK refinery. This follows the customer’s formal acceptance of Hima-Sella’s Remote I/O and Network box designs, to be used for the programme.

At the site, a HIMA HIMax unit will act as a combined Data Concentrator and large Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), communicating with around 100 network boxes distributed over three fibre-optic control loops. Each Network box will then interface with up to 12 Remote I/O boxes, which in turn will have 25 channels for physically interfacing with hardware such as motorised valves, switches, sensors.

The HIMax unit at the heart of the PLC network is a Programmable Electronic System (PES), HIMA’s flexible platform for large, critical production processes. In its role at the refinery, the HIMax will be the focal data point for the site’s Honeywell EPKS Distributed Control System (DCS). The HIMax will be processing an anticipated 20,000 channels of data, with scope for expansion, and delivering a complete loop response time of less than one second; from field initiation to DCS transmission.

Key to this upgrade programme is the requirement to use off-the-shelf hardware around the site and open-standard communication media protocols (namely Ethernet and Modbus).

The installation work is being done ‘live’ in that small local areas shutdown for a few hours at a time while the Remote I/O and Network boxes are migrated to take the place of legacy, standalone PLCs. This is possible thanks to HIMax providing uninterrupted system operation while still accommodating changes, additions, maintenance and even proof tests. This negates the need for a site-wide shutdown, minimising downtime.

Eddy Turnock, Hima-Sella’s sales & marketing director, said: “We’re delighted to have received acceptance of our Remote I/O and Network box designs, as this enables us to commence work on the upgrade and enter volume production on several hundred units.”

In addition, under the site-wide PLC upgrade contract, Hima-Sella is project managing the complete supply-chain. The contract is valued at circa £1.75m.


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