Ten Years of Automation with Remote I/O at BASF
BASF production building
“The most advanced technical appliances in the field of chemical process management were installed and have proved extremely reliable over the past 10 years,” says Christian Magin, Process Control Engineer in charge of the Emulsion Production department.
Some 750 machines and devices must be controlled and regulated such that the system technology is used in the best possible way ensuring a consistent product quality. The products based on these emulsions are used for adhesives and paints, for example.
By eliminating the numerous marshalling cabinets that had previously been necessary, the complete complex control technology was reduced to only a few cabinets in the control room.
At the time, BASF opted for the fast PROFIBUS DPV1, which efficiently connects more than 16,000 process signals via Remote I/Os acting as intelligent junction boxes (IJB) to the process control system controllers employing redundant, two-wire bus lines.
The reduced wiring requirements and the elimination of a large number of marshalling cabinets led to significant cost savings. Furthermore, the technology offers immense operating benefits thanks to central engineering and the option of requirement-oriented maintenance. Conventional wiring was used only to connect safety-relevant signals to the safety control system.
Around 100 decentralized, intelligent junction boxes (IJB) were used to connect the sensors and actuators. The IJBs are located in explosion-hazardous Zones 1 and 2. They are equipped with numerous Remote I/O modules in which the data streams are collected from the field and transmitted to the process control system via the PROFIBUS DPV1. More than 30 km of PROFIBUS cables were laid to connect the IJBs.
Remote I/O acting as an intelligent junction box
Pepperl+Fuchs has supported this technology from the outset. It is integrated in Remote I/O. The resulting IJBs operate as system-inherent modules and can be expanded and reconfigured within the Symphony engineering system during operation. The HCiR (hot configuration in run) principle was implemented for the first time here. It has proved to be extremely stable to this day. In fact, new measuring points and new Remote I/O stations have regularly been added to the system.