Emerson Helps Alcan Increase Production Capacity by 12% | Automation.com

Emerson Helps Alcan Increase Production Capacity by 12%

August 042003
Alcan expects savings of $1 million a year using Emerson's dynamic analysis process.

AUSTIN, TEXAS (August 4, 2003) - Emerson Process Management was recently selected by Alcan to help improve processing operations within their world-class Alumina and Specialty Chemicals facility at the Jonquiere Complex in Quebec. The plant produces Specialty Hydrates, which have to be manufactured with very stringent quality requirements - a process that leads to challenging dynamic process control applications. Previous loop-tuning work had been undertaken with little business impact. Emerson's team then applied their dynamic analysis process to reduce variability and Alcan experienced significant production increases.

In February 2003, Alcan engaged the services of Laurentide Controls and Emerson's Process Solutions division with the objective of improving the washing and drying operations within the plant.

Using Emerson's EnTech(TM) Diagnostic ToolKit, the team quickly realized that process optimization would more likely be achieved by a revision of the process control strategy and design than by loop tuning.

Following the implementation of the initial modifications in the mill's PROVOX(R) system, Alcan recorded a 60% reduction in the dryer temperature variations, as well as a 12% production increase. In financial terms this production increase will be worth over 1 million dollars a year.

The control loops were re-tuned in a very conservative manner by utilizing the systematic Lambda method. The reduction of variability at its source (before it reaches the PID controller) allowed for a much more robust tuning and reduced resonance to a minimum.

The next phase of work will have a different aim. The overall objective is a 15% reduction of natural gas usage per ton produced. In the interim, it is likely that Alcan will install advanced control tools such as Model Predictive Control (MPC) to further enhance their operations.

About Alcan

Alcan is a multinational, market-driven company and a global leader in aluminum, packaging, and recycling with 2002 revenues of US$12.5 billion. With world-class operations in primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum as well as flexible and specialty packaging, Alcan is well positioned to meet and exceed its customers' needs for innovative solutions and service. Alcan employs 53,000 people and has operating facilities in 41 countries.

About Emerson Process Management

Emerson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com), an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services.

Emerson brands include PlantWeb(R), Fisher(R), Micro Motion(R), Rosemount(R), DeltaV(TM), Ovation(R) and AMS.

About Emerson

St. Louis-based Emerson (www.gotoemerson.com) is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers in process control; electronics and telecommunications; industrial automation; heating, ventilating and air conditioning; and appliance and tools. Sales in fiscal 2002 were $13.8 billion.

PlantWeb, Fisher, Micro Motion, Daniel, Rosemount, DeltaV, and Ovation are marks of Emerson Process Management. All other marks are property of their respective owners.


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