CALIBRATOR SPEEDS 3,300 PROFIBUS LOOP CHECKS
The BASF facility in Wyandotte, MI, manufactures Joncryl, the trade name for several hundred different polymers used in the coatings industry. Over 200,000 tons of polymers, oligomers, and resin cuts are produced annually. The company began construction of a new resins plant at the beginning of 2008 and CH2M Hill was selected as the agency to engineer, procure, and manage the project. Today it contains over 3,300 PROFIBUS PA devices on more than 250 segments. Jim Garrison, CH2M Hill I&C Engineer, sought a device to aid calibration. He had two requirements: the first was for a device that was separate from the DCS, to enable proper monitoring of the PA segments; the second was for a device able to set or modify an instrument’s PA address in the field without needing a laptop and an external power supply. Jim and his team chose the Beamex MC5 multifunction calibrator and developed a five-stage procedure for testing devices before the DCS was installed. Jim acknowledges that this may seem duplicative. However, he found it made the full loop checks much faster and troubleshooting much easier. “I would estimate the savings in troubleshooting time and gain in loop check efficiency to be in the order of several man-weeks,” Jim states. During instances when they needed to move a device from one segment to another, the MC5 was also employed. This frequently required the technician to change the address of the instrument to avoid conflicts with devices on the new segment. Since the MC5 can provide power to an instrument, the team was able to disconnect the instrument from the field distribution box and connect the MC5 to the device’s spur cable. Then, communication with the device and modification of the address from an easily accessible location prior to connecting the device to the new segment was completed. All in all, CH2M Hill utilized the Beamex MC5 to save money and time, and increase efficiency for the largest installation of PROFIBUS in North America.