Sasol is a global energy and chemical company that produces fuel, oil, gas, polymers, chemicals, and fertilizers. The company has a large market for waxes that are used for an array of applications including adhesives, construction boards, cosmetics, packaging, pharmaceuticals, polymer processing, rubber, and tires.
A burner management system (BMS) is the last line of defense in preventing the catastrophic failure of boilers, fired heaters, and other industrial heating systems. In the Sasol plant’s wax work-up production process, the old burner management system for a distillation column furnace reached its end of life and had to be replaced. Running continuously with scheduled shutdowns occurring between two to five years apart, this furnace was very critical to the production and its failure would cause a production loss of up to $150,300 per day.
Sasol selected Emerson and its local business partner, Aveng Automation and Control Solutions (A&CS), to migrate the old system to Emerson’s DeltaV SIS for Burner Management during the plant’s annual scheduled shutdown this 2014. The solution ensured that it would be integrated seamlessly into the plant’s DeltaV distributed control system, which Sasol adopted in 2012. Moreover, it fulfilled Sasol’s objective to be in full compliance with the South African National Standards (SANS) accreditation 329, which sets the safety standards for industrial thermo processing equipment.
“Safety is a top priority and a core value at Sasol,” said Willie de Beer, Senior Control Technician from Sasol Wax. “Emerson’s demonstrated technology leadership and project expertise, together with Aveng’s excellent local support, ensured a smooth migration process that was completed quickly and ahead of schedule. Through their support, we were able to deploy an advanced system to protect our people and assets from burner hazards.”
Emerson’s Burner Management application allows the furnace to go safely through all relevant states, from start-up, to operation and shutdown when needed. It comes with IEC 61508 TÜV certified function blocks that simplify logic configuration, testing, and troubleshooting. An intuitive, graphical control environment conveys critical information in a single glance so operators can understand furnace conditions in real-time, place burners and igniters in and out of service safely and fast, and initiate other timely actions to maintain safe operating conditions.
“We are very happy that we have been able to help Sasol achieve the state of the in art burner management,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer for Emerson. “This project demonstrates our DeltaV SIS system’s flexibility to meet BMS needs, increase visibility to plant processes involving fired equipment, and reduce engineering and complexity in system planning, design, configuration, and testing.”