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System 800xA Batch Mangement at Amtex the largest CMC producer in Latin America

Fully automated process with Batch Management increased production by around 35%

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System 800xA's Batch Management and partnership with ABB provided the demanding Amtex project with both the right technology and expertise. Reliability in production ensures customer satisfaction for Amtex.

Global technical support for strong project implementation

As the first ever batch management project developed with ABB System 800xA in Colombia, the contract held particular significance for both ABB Colombia and the channel partner, Automatización S.A. 

Carboxymethylcelullose (CMC) in Latin America, originally looked to Siemens for the project as it was already familiar with Siemens' PLC products. However, due to the strong collaboration between ABB Colombia and Automatización S.A., the benefits of going with System 800xA Batch Management became apparent. 

Due to the fact that it was the first batch project of its kind in Colombia, numerous technical issues had to be resolved before the system was stabilized. Understandably, Amtex had reservations about using System 800xA for this unique project. Furthermore, it thought that the system was very expensive. 

Reinforced with ABB’s global expertise, particularly from the Latin American network including ABB Brazil and ABB Argentina, the channel partner and ABB Colombia were assured they have all the technical support needed to meet the demands of the project.

Main facts

Industry Chemical product manufacturing
Customer Amtex
Country Colombia
Solutions
System integrator
Automatización S.A.

ABB Batch Management with System 800xA

A marked shift in focus has been noted within the chemical industry, with emphasis moving away from traditional supervisory batch management to production management. 

To help market players keep pace with this change, ABB has crafted System 800xA Batch Management: a comprehensive, ISA-88 compliant recipe management, batch and procedural control software package for configuring, scheduling, and managing batch operations to improve batch production profitability, consistency and traceability, while ensuring improved regulatory compliance, safety, and security. 

System 800xA Batch Management enhances production management by featuring integrated production historian and production schedule interface for batch as well as procedural control applications in continuous and discrete processes. 

System 800xA Batch Management provides manufacturers the agility, speed, and control to respond to increasing production demands while reducing lifecycle costs and production downtime to enhance performance and overall competitiveness in the marketplace.
800xA Batch Management
A comprehensive, ISA-88 compliant recipe management, batch and procedural control software package for configuring, scheduling, and managing batch operations to improve batch production profitability, consistency and traceability, while ensuring improved regulatory compliance, safety, and security.

Superior technical solutions, global support and technical knowledge made the difference

In 2010, Amtex realized it needs to automate a reactor at its functional polymers plant and operate under Batch standards. After reviewing proposals from ABB and other market players, through channel partner Automatización, Amtex selected ABB for its solution’s technical advantages in both the control system and batch. Confidence in the contractor’s technical knowledge and global support were also critical in the win. 

The first contract scope was the automation of one reactor. However, a few months after this first implementation, Amtex noted that the quality of the products produced by the newly automated reactor was markedly better than those from the remaining reactors. It therefore decided to expand the automation to the five reactors at the plant. 

The system was implemented with redundancy at the controller, network control and AC800M Connectivity Server. The system has a Batch Server, Information Management Server, two operator workplaces, one engineering workplace and three controllers. The main controller also has five Profibus DP modules: one for each reactor to connect remote I/O modules, ABB drives and Profibus PA Instrumentation.
A few months after this first implementation, Amtex noted that the quality of the products produced by the newly automated reactor was markedly better than those from the remaining reactors.

Batch and information management for significant production increase

Batch Server
A total of 50 assets are operated in the process and two full production management clients. The System 800xA Batch Management complies with ISA S88 and allows the standardization of production control according to the requirements of customer orders. 

Information Management Server
For the reporting process, Automatización implemented an Information Management Server that generates specific reports for raw materials, electrical consumption, steam and water utilization, batch production, process variables, alarms and events. 

Connectivity Server
A redundant connectivity server was installed, guaranteeing the availability of the system. The license of this system covers 600 redundant tags. 

Operator Workplace and Engineering Workplace at Control Room
The control room has two operator workplaces with Batch functionalities: one with four monitors for operating the processes, and another for monitoring batch processes (i.e., PFC), editing recipes, accessing data, including making online changes to the recipe. 

The second workstation also features the engineering workplace where the operator can make adjustments, changes and enhancements in the control system. 

Controllers
The system has three AC 800M controllers: two in redundant configuration, for process control, and one for auxiliary plant equipment which connects the plant meters via a Modbus RTU network. This setup prevents the process controllers from being overloaded with data traffic tasks that could affect the performance of the CPUs. 

Fieldbus and I/O Modules
The system has a control rack for the controllers and DP/PA converters; and four distributed control racks that have remote I/O modules connected by Profibus DP. The I/O modules for hazardous areas are S890. Each reactor has a Profibus DP master module to which the variable-speed drives and I/O modules are connected via remote DP/PA converters. For this project, Profibus PA instruments such as Series 266 pressure transmitters, temperature transmitters and Coriolis mass flowmeters were also supplied. 
The production in the plant has increased with around 35% with the process fully automated with System 800xA Batch Management.

“With the System 800xA, we ar e completely convinced we may offer our customers reliability and repeatability in our products. Nowadays customers worldwide seek minimal changes in their process and the only way of managing it is by reducing process variables.”

Juan Camilo Arango, Gerente General Amtex

Project facts

Benefits

Amtex’s primary goals for automating its chemical process were to increase production to around 30% and access realtime and accurate information on the production process.

Now, with the process fully automated with System 800xA Batch Management, the production in the plant has increased to around 35%. In addition, with Information Management capabilities, Amtex now has historical information on which to base decisions in the future.

Amtex plans to replicate the automation project for its other plant in Colombia, also collaborating with ABB’s channel partner Automatización S.A. Truly, this is a testament to the project’s success and the client’s satisfaction.

About Amtex

In Latin America, Amtex is the largest producer of Sodium Carboxymethylcelullose (CMC) under the brand name of “Gelycel”®. It operates four production plants in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, with sales offices and representatives in major cities on the American continent. With an installed capacity of 32,000 metric tons per year, Amtex is ranked among the world’s most important producers of CMC, an anionic polymer derived from cellulose used as a thickener in many applications in the food, pharmaceuticals and oil industries. In Colombia Amtex has two facilities: one for the CMC production of 15,000 tons/year, the other one for the production of 14,000 tons of Functional Polymers per year.

Amtex is also involved in manufacturing and providing technical assistance in the application of Gelycel, PAC, compounds and resins, as well as commercialization of raw materials.

About Automatización S.A.

Headquartered in the metropolitan area of Medellin, Colombia, Automatización S.A. carries out its activities throughout Colombia with offices in the cities of Bogotá, Cali and Cartagena. Founded in 1962, Automatización S.A. has a long history of successes in providing automation products and services to various industries in Colombia.

As the system integrator for this Amtex project, Automatización S.A. was in charge of designing the integration of the DCS system, as well as installation, calibration, commissioning and service.

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