HART Communication Foundation Announces Recipients of 2005 HART Plant of the Year Award | Automation.com

HART Communication Foundation Announces Recipients of 2005 HART Plant of the Year Award

October 282005
Austin, TX (October 2005) — The HART® Communication Foundation (HCF) announces that the Sasol Solvents and O&S SMG Operations plant in Sasolburg, South Africa, has been selected as recipient of the 2005 HART Plant of the Year Award. The award is given annually to recognize the people, companies and plant sites around the globe that are using the full capabilities of HART technology in real-time applications to improve operations, lower costs and increase availability.

The Sasol plant uses HART Communication for full-time monitoring of 3,500 HART-enabled instruments and control valves. According to Sasol E/I Manager Johan Claassen, one of their main project objectives was to move from a “run-to-failure” maintenance philosophy to a predictive maintenance strategy. The goal was to lower fixed costs and to avoid or prevent unscheduled plant shutdowns by using device diagnostics to warn of pending problems.

“The biggest benefit of using the HART protocol is the capability to access on-line device diagnostic information from our intelligent HART-enabled devices and control valves,” says Claassen. “We have realized more than $2 million (USD) in documented savings to date and will continue to enhance our use of HART and to expand on its benefits going into the future.”

The Sasol Solvents group of plants produces commodity chemicals, mainly solvents used in paints and inks. The process converts propylene into n-butanol, iso-butanol and crude acrylic acid and produces derivatives such as glacial (high purity) acrylic acid, ethyl acrylate and butyl acrylate.

“If I had to use one word to describe the HART Communication Protocol, it would be ‘brilliant’. HART is the next technology phase after pneumatic, electronic 4-20 mA and DCS,” says Classen. “HART improves the way we do maintenance. It helps me do my job better because I can login in the morning and get a health status on all my instruments. It frees up my time to do things I just couldn’t do before.”

“We congratulate Sasol for taking the capabilities of their HART-enabled instrumentation beyond configuration and calibration to improve operations and optimize asset productivity,” says HCF Executive Director Ron Helson. “Their success not only benefits their company but also serves as a powerful model for industry users worldwide on the benefits of using the advanced capabilities of HART technology.”

The Lonza biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Visp, Switzerland was selected as a 2005 HART Plant of the Year Finalist. The 100-year-old facility produces 75% of the world’s Niacin and is using 1300 HART-enabled devices in an all-digital mode. The plant uses HART Communication to improve loop accuracy, to speed up device configuration and to better document and validate the device configuration.

The HART Plant of the Year is a unique award in the process automation industry. It is the only public award presented to end user companies to recognize ingenuity in the application of HART Communication technology. The award showcases end user companies and their suppliers who have demonstrated creativity in using the full capabilities of HART Communication technology.

The HCF encourages nominations for HART Plant of the Year from all world areas. Nominations are accepted through May of each year. Previous recipients are the BP Cooper River Plant in Wando, South Carolina and the Clariant Antioxidants Plant in Gersthofen, Germany (2004), the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in Detroit, Mich. (2003), and the DuPont DeLisle manufacturing facility in Pass Christian, Miss. (2002).

The HART Field Communications Protocol is the global standard for smart process instrumentation. Seventy percent of all smart process measurement and control instruments installed worldwide each year use HART Communication and the global installed base of HART-enabled devices is the largest of all communication protocols at more than 15 million. Key features of this unique open standard communication technology are: 4-20mA compatibility, ease of use, low risk, and cost-efficient implementation for both users and suppliers.

The HART Communication Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organization providing worldwide support for application of HART technology. Established in 1993, the Foundation is the technology owner and standards setting body for the HART Communication Protocol. Major instrumentation manufacturers and users around the world support the Foundation. Membership is open to anyone interested in the use of HART technology. For more information, go to www.hartcomm.org.
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