PRODUCTION DIGITALIZATION OF THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY DISCUSSED AT SCHEKINOAZOT PLANT[19.03.2019]
On March 15, a joint meeting of the Department of Chemical Engineering Complex and Bioengineering, the Department of Digital Technologies of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and technical specialists of chemical companies and developers of measuring instruments was held at the premises of the Shchekinoazot company. Participants discussed the topic of production digitalization of the chemical industry as a tool to increase efficiency.
The event was organized by: the Department of Chemical Technology and Bioengineering of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Department of Digital Technologies of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, FGUP RDC Khimvest of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the AVTOMETKHIM Association, OJSC Shchekinoazot.
Viktor Leonidovich Evtukhov, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Svyatoslavovich Dozhdev, Director of the Digitalization Department of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, Alexander Georgievich Mazhuga, Rector of the D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Vladimir Konstantinovich Savchuk, Director of the FGUP RDC Khimvest and other individuals participated in the discussion.
Among representatives of the chemical industry were: OJSC Shchekinoazot, PJSC PhosAgro, JSC MCC EuroChem, PJSC Sibur Holding, JSC UCC URALCHEM, PJSC Nizhnekamskneftekhim, OJSC Minudobrenia (Rossosh), JSC LindeAzot, JSC SC Titan, D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, OJSC Plastic, LLC POLYPLASTIC Group. Also present were manufacturers of devices and sensors: R&D Enterprise Elemer, ElMetro Engineering, Centravtomatika, Ekokhimpribor, ASUEngineering, Elemer, Elmetro, ER-Telecom, SC ERIS, software developers ProSoft and DRWeb, the South Ural State University, the TUSUR University, Metrix Net.
The participants discussed various aspects of digitalization in the chemical industry, measures of state support for the digital transformation of the chemical industry and the involvement of universities as digitalization participants. They also discussed modern capabilities of developing virtual cloud-based automated process control systems, trends in industrial automation, development of innovative software and hardware systems for automated process control systems in the Russian Federation, approaches to digital transformation, etc.
Several people presented their reports.
Sergey Zemlyaninov, Deputy Technical Director for Automation and Communication Equipment and Shchekinoazot Chief Metrologist, shared the experience of implementing modern digital technologies at the company:
“Our corporate group has an integrated workflow system (basically, the digital image of the company) comprising two subsystems that operate in a single information space:
- Management of material and financial flows (sales, supply, payments, inventory control, financial instruments, accounting, elements of tax accounting);
- Calculation of the planned and actual production cost.
Separately — corporate processes control loop based on EDMS.
Informational environment — an abuse-free control loop (protected both from the inside and outside).
Work is underway on the development of a comprehensive system that covers three loops: operating activities (including KPI and cash flow planning), management accounting (including budgeting), regulatory accounting (including IFRS and tax accounting). Thus, a digital environment is created for supporting the system of making key business decisions. Furthermore, this approach boosts enterprise value and reduces management costs.
Integration with legally binding document flow and electronic data exchange with external contractors form the basis for creating transparent processes for the external environment. The system is based on software from local developers (we remove localization risks, manage the cost and qualification of specialists).
When constructing new facilities, our company uses cutting-edge technologies and equipment. To cope with the tasks set, new technologies and equipment require modern solutions in the area of automated process control systems (APCS).
Modern automated process control systems are being successfully implemented at Shchekinoazot as part of the first stage of digital production development. More than 80 % of all of the company’s equipment has been switched to APCS management over the past 10 years. These systems enable to centralize the collection of information and the issuance of control actions from both individual sensors and actuators, as well as from dynamic equipment control subsystems, and provide this information to the operator for making global management decisions. The use of digital control systems has helped reduce the number of operators and human-factor risks.
In addition to the first stage of digital production development (the development of modern APCS), the second stage of development is being successfully implemented at Shchekinoazot. It consists of creating digital production twins based on modeling, advanced production management systems, etc., in the Industry 4.0 concept.
At the moment, the key focus of our digital production development is digital modeling. It’s a concept of a digital production twin, that is, the creation of a production process in a virtual model that includes equipment, operations and personnel.
When a new production unit is launched, a computer simulator complex (CSC) is being developed along with the APCS. This is done not only to comply with the requirements of paragraph 2.11 of the “General rules on explosion safety for explosive- and fire-hazardous chemical/petrochemical plants and oil refineries”, but also to create a digital twin.
The digital production model is very similar to the actual production process and equipment. It helps work out different operating practices before starting a production run. In addition, all automatic controls and cascades can be configured on the model, and these settings can then be applied to the actual production.
While simulating the production “life cycle”, we make various upgrades and improvements. The digital model enables to implement and work out all sorts of production changes before making a final decision on their implementation.
The APCS project implemented at CSC is portable and can be used during the real production process, i.e. there is a full integration between the model and the real production.
OJSC Shchekinoazot works with leading international companies in this field: Honeywell, Yokogawa, Emerson ...
Guests toured the Shchekinoazot multimedia museum.
They were told about modern digital solutions used at Shchekinoazot and were invited to visit the production site. Participants of the meeting got acquainted with Shchekinoazot new high-tech production units and digital technologies used at the new integrated methanol-ammonia complex.