Control system migration: Minimal downtime for Swedish chemical plant

DeltaV Electronic Marshalling removes the need to wire I/O to specific controller I/O cards, reducing downtime, explained Emerson Process Management.


Perstorp, a specialty chemicals group, is upgrading the control system upgrade at its pentaerythritol (penta) processing plant in Perstorp, Sweden. Engineers at the Perstorp plant, operated by the legal company of Perstorp Specialty Chemicals AB, will replace the existing distributed control system as part of a plant lifecycle management program to ensure continued high product quality and operational efficiency.

The Perstorp plant uses a chemical batch process to make pentaerythritol (penta), an additive in paint and lubricants. “To remain competitive in this very tough marketplace, Perstorp has decided to invest in the very latest process automation technology wherever appropriate,” explained Jörgen Annell, engineering manager at Perstorp.

The existing Emerson RS3 distributed control system, one of more 50 RS3 and DeltaV systems installed at Perstorp plants worldwide, has provided flexible and reliable control of the process since 1984. However, the need to run the plant continuously with continued high product quality and reduced downtime prompted Perstorp to plan for the time when spares for the existing system would no longer be available.

“Having considered a number of alternatives, we felt that Emerson’s DeltaV system provided the advance control and batching features we required, while also helping to minimize process disruption and cost during the migration procedure,” said Annell.

The Perstorp migration project will be one of Europe’s first installations of Version 11 of Emerson’s DeltaV system. The system has an ISA88 batch hierarchy, with integrated functions such as easy configuration and scheduling, advanced control and multi-stream formulations, and automatic data collection. New intuitively designed operator displays help to improve operator performance by providing quick recognition of alerts, and rapid access to the information needed to understand the alert and act in a timely fashion.

Important to the selection of the DeltaV v11 system was its I/O On Demand functionality, including Electronic Marshalling.  “Minimizing plant downtime is critical for projects such as Perstorp's, and DeltaV Electronic Marshalling will play a significant role in ensuring a quick and smooth migration process,” explained Bob Sharp, president of Emerson Process Management – Europe.

DeltaV Electronic Marshalling eliminates up to two-thirds of the wiring and connections needed by conventional marshalling cabinets by removing the need to wire I/O to specific controller I/O cards. Instead, Perstorp will deploy 792 single channel Characterization Modules (Charms) to relay 3000 device signal tags to 60 DeltaV S-series I/O modules. This unique wiring technology is expected to reduce downtime during this upgrade by two days, helping to reduce lost production.

The migration procedure will be performed by Perstorp’s engineering team and is expected to take two weeks to complete.

Emerson Process Management is based in Austin, TX USA.

Emerson, Millennium finish batch plant automation upgrade

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Control Engineering Process Control Channel

- Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering,


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