Case Study: Specialty Chemical MES

The Challenge

MES ImplementationContinued growth in sales and production requirements increased the need to improve the efficiencies of existing processes at Jost Chemical Co., a St. Louis based manufacturer of high purity specialty chemicals for the pharmaceutical, nutritional and food markets. In order to facilitate these needs, engineers at Jost were tasked with implementing a reporting system to provide meaningful production data to process engineers, and they selected McEnery Automation, a Rockwell Recognized Process and Information System Integrator, to implement a Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Historian and VantagePoint EMI system.

The Solution

McEnery Automation worked with Jost’s engineers to design and implement a new plant-wide Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk system. FactoryTalk Historian SE was implemented as the systems historian to log and store process data directly from existing Rockwell ControlLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs). Server virtualization was used to expand the customer’s server capacity from two physical servers to five physical servers running 8 virtual servers using Microsoft Hyper-V technology, helping to reduce hardware cost and provide significant room for future expansion. Four of the virtual servers were configured as redundant distributed FactoryTalk View SE servers that allowed the plant to minimize data loss and provide consistent standards between applications. The configuration was set to be redundant at both the HMI and FactoryTalk Live Data level. A server was configured to utilize FactoryTalk ViewPoint that allows engineering to remotely monitor production lines and view real-time data. A FactoryTalk Transaction Manager server was configured to record data during specific events of the process and log the information into a Microsoft SQL Server database. The data from Historian, Transaction Manager and Live Data are now accessed from a server running FactoryTalk VantagePoint. FactoryTalk VantagePoint allows both engineering and management to access historical and live data in customized reports.

The Result

McEnery and Jost engineers were able to leverage the new technology to quickly develop multiple reports which provided production personnel with actionable data. Within the first year after implementation, the system yielded multiple areas for energy savings, improve efficiency, increased production, and increased quality. In most cases, minimal additions or changes to field instrumentation were required in order to yield the results. For example, the system was also able to assist with energy savings from a large plant compressed air system. Reports were generated which presented the data in a manner that clarified the correlation of air pressure and compressor motor current, and process engineers were able to use this to fine tune the settings, which yielded significant savings. Additional examples include increasing throughput of a drying process by reducing drying time while improving quality; reducing centrifuge residency time which resulted in energy savings while again increasing product consistency and increasing production capacity. Most significantly, the system provides users easy access to additional data which will allow the generation of new reports as needs change. This will allow for future costs savings and production improvements.