Solvay increases its maintenance productivity up to 15 percent

Tags: maintenance and reliability

Solvay’s plant in Tavaux, France, has applied technology supplied by Emerson Process Management to bring about maintenance department productivity gains of between 10 and 15 percent. The Tavaux plant, the largest chemical plant in the Solvay group, has installed Emerson’s AMS Suite predictive maintenance software to better manage field devices.

As the total number of devices at the plant increased to 15,000, with more than 20 percent of these being complex instruments, plant staff looked for ways to capitalize on diagnostics to empower better business decisions. AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager, together with Emerson’s DeltaV digital automation system, present real-time plant-floor information to workers across the enterprise to improve reliability by identifying potential plant upsets before they occur. 

Emerson’s AMS Suite enabled Solvay to create a complete database of device information in less than one day. It has also enabled the number of sophisticated and powerful instruments and valves being managed on site to be increased significantly without increasing staffing levels. Maintenance staff members now use AMS Suite to manage the calibration of devices, and document and trend the calibration information. 

“During the start-up of the EPICEROL production unit, the process to produce Epichlorohydrin from glycerine, Emerson’s AMS Device Manager ensured the complete automation system, including DeltaV, were configured right the first time, allowing us to save valuable time during set-up,” said Giacomo D’Andrea, Solvay’s service manager for automation/instrumentation and electricity. “AMS Suite is of great value when commissioning and it is also our daily tool for identifying, standardizing, configuring instruments and saving reference values.”

A critical part of the plant is the chlorine service, and Solvay is using Emerson’s AMS ValveLink, a SNAP-ON application to AMS Device Manager, to monitor the control valves. These valves are fitted with Fisher FIELDVUE DVC6000 digital valve controllers, which enable a “partial stroke test” to be performed every month without shutting the plant down or bypassing the valve. Partial stroke testing enables higher reliability of the valve and reduces manpower required for full testing. This procedure has already successfully detected an anomaly on a valve that is critical for the unit, allowing plant personnel to fix the issue before there were any plant upsets.

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