Brazil’s Sugar-energy Sector benefits from PROFIBUS
The Brazilian agro-business is increasingly standing out with new bio-energy plants, which produce 26.52 billion liters of ethanol, making Brazil the second largest worldwide exporter. Throw in 37.76 million tons of sugar produced and you have the world’s biggest exporter. The installed capacity of 9.339 MW for generating electric energy from the incineration of sugar cane bagasse after the juice extraction, represents annual revenues of 43.36 billion dollars. With these figures the sector is gaining prominence all over the world, as it is a highly strategic “green” industry for the government and is strongly positioned in Brazil´s energy matrix.
“By this time there were massive investments in new plants and the update of the existing ones, highlighted by the adoption of Industrial Networking technology with the PROFIBUS protocol adopted in 6 out of 10 automation projects.”
Benefits of PROFIBUS seen in Brazil’s sugar-energy sector
One of the sector’s major challenges is how to manage industrial costs. Only automated plants can surmount these challenges. Peak productivity capacity occurs during the 8-month crop season. Automated plants are responsible for high scale gains, by controlling the process oscillation caused by load variations during the long production period. This includes highly operational safety systems. The sugar-ethanol sector underwent a wide investment phase before reaching these figures by 2006. By this time there were massive investments in new plants and the update of the existing ones, highlighted by the adoption of Industrial Networking technology with the PROFIBUS protocol adopted in 6 out of 10 automation projects. Why did PROFIBUS networks stand out and continue to stand out as the de-facto standard in the sugar-energy sector? One of the main features that characterize the industrial process in agro-business mills is that the plants require production information be provided to asset management systems. This information comes from discrete signals at the lowest command levels through redundant control systems with intelligent field instrumentation, and from the MCCs (Motor Control Centers).
The PROFIBUS technology allows all signal and control levels to be addressed by PROFIBUS DP for remote MCCs and connections, as required by the sector´s network architecture. PROFIBUS PA allows intelligent instrumentation to meet all the process control requirements, including the classified areas’ needs, mainly in the ethanol distilling sector.
The multiple benefits from PROFIBUS networks include:
- Easy to install large command and control systems
- Decreased time for installing new plants
- Ability to provide elaborate logic for standard systems with communication blocks
- Access to additional information from devices and instruments for the configuration and management of on-line assets
The PROFIBUS protocol stands out because it encompasses all requirements. The PROFINET protocol opens even further layers of applications and generates even more possibilities in terms of operational control.
The PROFIBUS protocol changed the model for the operational control of the sugar-energy sector, which became a world reference in the production of energy with a high level of safety. The production and management automation methods employed here have allowed the sector to become among the most important ones in Brazil and the top ranked all over the world.
Márcio Venturelli, DLG Automação Industrial Ltda