High availability at a glance - HIMax from HIMA as a visualisation and operation component at INEOS Köln


14-10-2009 - High availability at a glance - HIMax from HIMA as a visualisation and operation component at INEOS Köln

HIMax is now in use at INEOS Köln (Germany, Cologne) as a high-availability operating and visualising component for remote monitoring of safety technology in a production plant. The challenge in this application is the length of the optical fibre used for high-speed data transmission.

The plant produces cyclopentane, isopentane and methyl propadiene. The safety-related functions are performed by two existing HIMA H51q safety controllers that serve as ESD systems for controlling loading (non-redundant) and quick stops (redundant). Operation and visualisation of the safety technology was implemented using HIMax in order to ensure that the controller level and safety level were separate.

HIMA carried out the complete installation of the HIMax safety system. The job included engineering work, programming the visualisation of the touch panels and the HIMax controller, the Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and commissioning the system. According to INEOS Köln, the project was executed extremely professionally, with every quality and schedule target met. The HIMax system has been running without incident and to the operator’s full satisfaction since commissioning.

HIMax allows the existing optical fibres to be used for remote data transmission, which involves a redundant distance of just over a kilometre. The HIMax system includes a redundant master CPU and a remote module, which communicate with one another via optical fibres. The system handles around 140 I/O signals. The use of optical fibre technology enables extremely fast and secure data exchange between the two HIMax components.

The H51q controllers are connected to the HIMax system via Modbus TCP. The safety system is operated and activated using two TFT touch panels in the control room. HIMA were asked to structure the visualisation so that the control room team – experienced with panel displays only – would quickly get used to the system. The programmers succeeded in developing an intuitive operating system based visually on a panel display, a concept well received by the operating personnel.

The INEOS Group is the world’s third largest independent chemicals company and a leading manufacturer of petrochemical products, specialised chemical products and products based on crude oil. INEOS has 17 business areas and maintains 64 sites in 14 countries. Around 15,500 people work for INEOS, and they manufacture 57 million tons of petrochemical products each year. The total volume of sales is around 47 billion US dollars. INEOS Köln was founded in 1957 as a petroleum chemicals operation. Since 2005, INEOS Köln has been the INEOS flagship and Cologne’s third-largest industrial employer, with a turnover of 2.6 billion euros and 2,200 employees.