I/O System Excom Creates Space in the I&C Rooms

At Chevron Phillips Chemicals International NV, Turck's excom is replacing the I/O level with Ex isolation and is consequently saving a lot of space in the I&C rooms

The I/O system used on the Honeywell control system in Chevron Phillips Chemicals International NV (CPChem) Belgian plant in Beringen had been discontinued by the manufacturer. CPChem identified Turck's excom as the I/O system best suited to replacing the previous system. Turck Mechatec prepared the fully prewired control cabinets with excom racks und special marshalling panels for CPS, which could be commissioned on site very quickly. Today, excom saves considerable space in the I&C room because it integrates the separate Ex isolation that previously took up a lot of space. The fact that all I/Os are operated in the same way, regardless of whether they are in Zone 1, 2 or the safe area, is another benefit.

  • CPChem plant in Beringen, Belgium

  • Ready to connect: Turck Mechatec prewired the control cabinets with excom to special marshalling panels

  • It was only necessary to fit the large connectors in order to implement the field connections

  • Sarah Gyssels, Engineer at Chevron

At petrochemical company Chevron Phillips Chemicals International NV, Turck's excom today replaces the previous I/O system and the Ex isolation in the same housing. This creates space in the I&C room for plant expansions and for innovative technologies. The plant in Beringen belongs to Chevron Phillips Chemicals International NV (CPChem) since the end of 2011. It was founded in 1991 by the Finnish refinery Neste. The Beringen plant focuses on the manufacture of polyalphaolefins (PAO), which are used in synthetic oils and lubricants. These oils are primarily used in the automobile industry and other industrial sectors.

Pilot project

CPChem first of all rolled out a pilot project with one control panel, in which the I/O cards were replaced with an excom rack. This was for the intrinsically safe signals for field devices in Zone 1 or 2.... As the pilot project proved to be successful, follow-on projects with excom were planned. Initial finding of the pilot project: Excom saves a lot of space. Other systems require a separately located Ex isolation for the signals in Zone 1. With excom, signal processing and Ex isolation are integrated in a single housing. After the pilot project, it was clear to CPC that they only required three control cabinets with excom to replace five control cabinets with devices of the old system.

After the successful pilot project, CPChem replaced a total of 172 I/Os in 2015. In the follow-on project in 2017 other I/O cards for 720 signals were connected via excom.

Fast connection to the existing control system

The time available for installing the I/O technology was short. Although the Beringen plant has a turnaround with a length of maximum 14 days every two years, more than just the physical installation had to be completed within this time frame. The new devices also had to be commissioned and their interaction with the overall system thoroughly tested.

It was a great advantage that Turck could supply fully prewired control cabinets, which were fitted with both excom and special marshalling panels that CPChem had previously used. Turck's own service provider for custom solutions, Turck Mechatec, assembled the control cabinets prewired and ready to connect with the marshalling panels. This considerably shortened the installation time for CPChem since it was possible to retain all the field cabling.

One system for all signals

The entire migration of the I/O cards for the non-intrinsically safe signal has to be completed by 2019. By then, all the 2000 I/Os will be connected through excom.

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