The first project involving System 800xA was the installation of Reactor 12, used for the production of phenolic resins. Since then, ABB has supplied a turnkey solution. Collaboration on the project by Xavier Vanhove, Application Engineer at ABB, was a crucial factor. Since he previously worked for the ABB Service Department, he had already intervened a number of times at Sumitomo and was therefore very familiar with the customer company and their systems.
Xavier: “I first programmed two reactors using Reactor 12 as a pilot project. When ABB designed the 800xA system, it also developed complete documentation. This is a collection of codes that refer to functions and procedures that can be used by the programmers. The advantage of this documentation is that programmers don’t have to write new code for standard operations. And the less you change things, the fewer the problems you will have for later updates. In any case, it is almost impossible to fully follow the basic configuration. Fabian and I therefore adapted the documentation to the needs of Sumitomo so that code would be as efficient as possible.”
An accelerated transition plan
Since Xavier worked frequently at the site, it was very easy for him to communicate with Fabian, which accelerated the consultation procedure. Once Reactor 12 was in place, we could start the step-by-step project to transition the rest of the site to the new system. However, a serious incident occurred in February 2015 that suddenly gave a boost to implementation. “We had just implemented a simplified version for Reactor 2. The control system dated from the eighties and still worked using relays and buttons,” comments Fabian.