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Case Study: Plant Batch Control System

The Challenge

lubricant plant batch automationGroundbreaking product lines have helped Phillips 66 Lubricants evolve into one of the top finished lubricants manufacturers in the U.SA. Continued growth and evolving market needs demanded the ultimate reliability and flexibility of their process control systems. Their Midwest lubricants blending facility was operating with a legacy system of FactoryTalk Batch and Wonderware InTouch. In order to continue to maintain their leading position, it was critical for a new solution to be implemented which would transition their systems to newer leading edge technologies which would provide greater reliability as well as enhanced functionality.

The Solution

McEnery Automation worked directly with the Phillips 66 engineers and production personnel to gain a complete understanding of their current system and to fully understand their needs. We then designed and implement a solution to meet those needs. Whereas their legacy system used a single server to implement Wonderware, FactoryTalk Batch and SQL Server, the new system was designed around a virtualized environment with a High Availability (HA) host server arrangement to provide an additional level of redundancy. Multiple virtual servers were generated to individually host Wonderware System Platform server, Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Batch and Microsoft SQL Server. The applications were distributed onto each of their own servers to increase performance. The legacy InTouch applications were imported and migrated to the latest version of Wonderware System Platform, while maintaining a similar look and feel to the legacy application, eliminating the need for extensive re-training. While upgrading the HMI applications, existing limitations and errors were identified and corrected, which allowed us to increase the efficiency and performance of the system. For example, the plant had been experiencing network issues, due in part to the design of I/O interface with the multiple applications and interfaces. McEnery engineers designed a new streamlined, centralized I/O configuration that allowed the data to be collected at a centralized server and distributed to the clients. Along with the latest version of FactoryTalk Batch, the new system included Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Batch Archiver. The archiver allows data to be collected from the batch system and archived to the system database.

The Result

The migrated system provides increased reliability, availability and stability. It also helped optimize the network and thereby increase throughput and performance. The system performance was further improved, and system reliability dramatically increased, by using virtualization technology to separate the software loads onto multiple servers. In addition to addressing the critical reliability and performance issues, the new system provided production and engineering personnel with automatic batch reports and additional reporting capabilities, which provided the stake-holders with enhanced access to actionable data in an easily managed format.