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Emerson upgrades automation at BASF chemical plant

BASF, the world’s largest chemical manufacturer, has selected Emerson to enhance operational efficiency and cybersecurity at a specialty chemical production facility in Lampertheim, Germany. As part of the technological overhaul, Emerson will install a new hybrid automation solution to replace BASF’s existing programmable logic controllers (PLCs). PIF finds out more about how these solutions should benefit the chemical giant.

As part of its five-year investment to boost capacity and operational excellence within its global plastics additives business, BASF has awarded Emerson a multi-million dollar contract to modernise automation software and controllers at its speciality chemical production facility in Lampertheim, Germany. This BASF-Emerson partnership will help the world’s largest chemical manufacturer increase production flexibility and enhance operations.

BASF-Emerson partnership

As the European chemical industry faces increasing market competition from outside Europe, flexible and cost-competitive development methodologies and production technologies are needed to ensure success, says research by DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology). BASF chemical company is making a significant investment to modernise plant automation as part of its effort to sustain market leadership and achieve Top Quartile performance.

“To maximise operational efficiency and production flexibility, we will continue to implement the latest automation technology and systems,” said Jens Grimm, automation manager at BASF Lampertheim. “Emerson is a trusted business partner with the proven expertise to help ensure a seamless system migration as we partner to modernise Lampertheim for successful, long-term production.”

BASF chemical company embraces digital technologies

BASF will implement Emerson’s new hybrid automation solution that replaces existing programmable logic controllers (PLCs), used to control 20 reactors, with Emerson’s leading DeltaV™ PK Controller. The new hybrid technology integrates into BASF’s existing DeltaV automation system, which will significantly reduce the cost, time and complexity of modernising the automation system; minimise start-up time for new production batches; and make switching production easier.

“Embracing digital transformation technologies and strategies is critical to achieving top performance levels,” said Jim Nyquist, group president of Systems and Solutions for Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “Through the implementation of Emerson automation technologies, BASF is well-positioned to drive business performance and remain the market leader.”

 BASF & Emerson collaborate on chemical plant automation
Source: BASF SE

Emerson at the forefront of automation in chemical industry

For BASF, Emerson will also replace an obsolete system controlling the tank farm and distillation columns at the facility, which produces additives that improve characteristics for plastics and coatings. The expansion of Emerson’s DeltaV distributed control system, which is already used to control other parts of the plant, will ensure continued efficient production and enable BASF to standardise its control architecture, helping to reduce integration complexity and operator training costs.

A key part of the project is to expand automation security protections. This advanced technology, developed with Emerson to address cybersecurity threats, has been applied at other BASF manufacturing plants. By modernising its automation systems, BASF can take advantage of new capabilities embedded in Emerson’s automation systems that help fortify plant operations against cyber threats.

Emerson will also provide approximately 8,000 hours of on-site engineering services, a separate virtualised system to reduce hardware capital and operating costs and lifecycle support services. One thing is for sure; this partnership, between two heavyweights of the engineering world, demonstrates BASF and Emerson’s ambitions to take automation in the chemical industry to new heights.

For more information, visit www.emerson.com.

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Emerson Automation Solutions

Emerson Automation Solutions is the automation innovator with the depth of expertise and breadth of technologies to take on our customers’ toughest challenges and bring predictable success anytime, anywhere.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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