Maximum availability when loading


23-6-2009 - New HIMax safety system protects Ineos vinyl-loading system

The Voslapp plant at the port of Wilhelmshaven is one of the biggest sites operated by the INEOS ChlorVinyls Group. At the factory, a combined process produces polyvinyl chloride (PVC) of different qualities, ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM).

The raw materials are delivered by ship, and pumped onto land using a loading arm. A HIMax system is used to control and monitor this loading arm and its line, while the ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer are trans-shipped, ensuring maximum system availability.
Safety-relevant facilities such as EMERGENCY STOP and EMERGENCY CUT-OUT are redundant and self-monitoring, protecting the plant personnel from potential risks, and the neighbouring North Sea from pollution.

The new loading arm shows a significant improvement over the old arms in terms of operation, remnant-emptying, rinsing, functional safety and handling, and the new system has been brought in line with the very latest technology.
Remote control makes it easier to position the arm precisely when attaching and detaching. The closure fitted immediately in front of the quick-release coupling is hydraulically operated, which improves work safety when the product is offloaded.

To the customer, one of the most important benefits of HIMax is the high level of system availability. “The new HIMA safety controller ensures the maximum possible availability. You never have to switch HIMax off, even when you upgrade software or hardware and perform maintenance. The system just keeps running,” says Otfried Kurz, operations manager at Ineos Vinyls Deutschland GmbH. Kurz sees further benefit in the separation of safety-related and non-safety-related program areas, which is useful in terms of TÜV certification when it comes to upgrading and modifying.

The equipment supplied by HIMA for the new loading system included a redundant CPU, 128 digital input channels and 96 digital output channels. The loading system is automated using a Foxboro control system with which the HIMax system communicates via an I/O link.

HIMax, the new safety system from HIMA for medium- and large-scale applications, is the first safety system to enable uninterrupted operation throughout the entire life cycle of a processing plant. It is based on HIMA’s revolutionary “Nonstop XMR” technology. This combines SIL 3 safety technology with a scalable, fault-tolerant architecture that eliminates false responses and enables unlimited changes, modifications, extensions, improvements and even proof tests to be carried out while the plant is operating.

The safety system was engineered using SILworX, the fully integrated, IEC 61131-3-compliant configuration, programming and diagnostic tool for HIMax. Its intuitive user interface reduces application errors, and speeds up the engineering process. A range of user levels, the displaying of all status and diagnostic information, and comprehensive validation tools guarantee quick planning and commissioning.


About INEOS ChlorVinyls
INEOS ChlorVinyls is Europe’s leading PVC manufacturer and is one of the world leaders in VCM/PVC technology. The company’s activities include the manufacture of ethylene dichloride (EDC), vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), compounds and hard films, and the development and licensing of technologies related to the most important production processes. Its headquarters are in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, United Kingdom. The company runs large-scale integrated operations all over Europe, and employs around 1,700 people. In Germany, INEOS ChlorVinyls operates plants in Wilhelmshaven and Schkopau.