FREE copy of the Uptime Elements Implementation Guide once you subscribe to Reliability Weekly

In September 2014, Heide Refinery used two weeks of planned downtime at its pyrolysis plant to migrate to new safety systems. The technology selection emphasized plant availability and a high level of investment security, while extensive preliminary testing guaranteed a smooth changeover.

When Heide Refinery, Germany’s northernmost processor of crude oil, undertook an extensive DCS replacement project, it also replaced the pyrolysis plant’s reliable 20-year-old safety technology with new HIMax systems from the same manufacturer, HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH.

Plant availability is especially important to Heide Refinery. In the pyrolysis plant, process changes or conversions of the modes of operation are undertaken frequently. These changes or conversions need to happen quickly and easily during plant operation, without impairing plant safety.

Heide Refinery also wanted a state-of-the-art, future-safe safety platform with a long product lifecycle, that can be easily extended

“With the HIMax safety system we are investing in the future,” said Thomas Romahn, MSR Technician at Heide Refinery “In the new project we again chose HIMA because we have had years of positive experience with the company. HIMA safety controllers that process a total of approximately 7,500 I/Os have been in use at the refinery for more than 40 years,” he added.

Integration of the safety systems in the operating and observation level of the previous process control system, TDC 3000, and of the new Experion PKS system, both from Honeywell, were implemented via MODBUS RTU and MODBUS TCP/IP. The coupling to both control systems was extensively tested before the installation so that commissioning would run smoothly. The pyrolysis plant is being progressively converted to the new control system.

Three redundant HIMax systems are in use as ESD, BMS and F&G systems. A HIMatrix F35 system functions as pump controller. Overall, the safety controllers in the pyrolysis plant process approximately 2,000 signals. For the migration, most of the existing marshaling racks were retained; this measure reduced procurement costs, as well as installation, wiring and test efforts.

In addition to the hardware and software solution, HIMA also provided an extensive range of services, including detail engineering, training, PLS integration and commissioning. The safety experts also provided support with the specification, concept development and TÜV acceptance. “As project manager, I supported the migration process from concept development to commissioning. The project engineer, Karsten Schwerin, was the direct contact on site for our customer the whole time. Thus we ensured that all quality standards were complied with, and that the project ran smoothly,” said Phillip Schmidt of HIMA.

About Heide Refinery
Heide Refinery is an enterprise of the Klesch Group and employs approximately 500 people. The company has a processing capacity of 4.5 million tons of crude oil per year. The refinery, built in 1940, produces classic mineral oil products, such as automotive gas, diesel fuel and aircraft fuel. In addition, it produces light heating oil as well as base materials for the chemical industry.
About HIMA
HIMA is the world’s leading specialist for safety-related automation solutions. HIMA solutions provide maximum safety and maximum availability and can be integrated into any automation environment. During the past 45 years, more than 35,000 HIMA systems have been installed in over 80 countries to protect the equipment of the world’s largest companies in the oil, gas, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and power generation industries. In the fields of rail, logistics and machine safety, HIMA solutions are leading the way to increased safety and profitability. The HIMA LIFECYCLE SERVICES concept gives customers an overview of all the requirements of “functional safety” allowing them to always make the right decision at the appropriate time.
For more information about HIMA, please visit:

Upcoming Events

August 8 - August 10, 2023

Maximo World 2023

View all Events
80% of newsletter subscribers report finding something used to improve their jobs on a regular basis.
Subscribers get exclusive content. Just released...MRO Best Practices Special Report - a $399 value!
Defect Elimination in the context of Uptime Elements

Defect Elimination means a lot of things to a lot of people. Uptime Elements offers a specific context for defect elimination [DE] as a success factor on the reliability journey [RJ].

Internet of Things Vendors Disrupting the Asset Condition Management Domain at IMC-2022

Internet of Things Vendors Disrupting the Asset Condition Management Domain at IMC-2022 The 36th International Maintenance Conference collocated with the RELIABILITY 4.0 Digital Transformation Conference [East]

Asset Management Technology

The aim of the Asset Management technology domain is to assure that IT/OT systems are focused on creating the value from the assets and that the business can deliver to achieve organizational objectives as informed by risk.


TRIRIGAWORLD AWARDS honors excellence in space optimization and facility management, A event to further advance asset management

IMC-2022 Who's Who: The World's Best Run Companies

The International Maintenance Conference (IMC) provides a fresh, positive community-based curated experience to gain knowledge and a positive perspective for advancing reliability and asset management through people, their managers, the strategy, the processes, the data and the technology. The world’s best-run companies are connecting the workforce, management, assets and data to automate asset knowledge that can be leveraged for huge beneficial decisions.

Uptime Elements Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis is a problem solving method. Professionals who are competent in Root Cause Analysis for problem solving are in high demand.

Reliability Risk Meter

The asset is not concerned with the management decision. The asset responds to physics

Why Reliability Leadership?

If you do not manage reliability culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening!

Asset Condition Management versus Asset Health Index

Confusion abounds in language. Have you thought through the constraints of using the language of Asset Health?

Seven Chakras of Asset Management by Terrence O'Hanlon

The seven major asset management chakras run cross-functionally from the specification and design of assets through the asset lifecycle to the decommissioning and disposal of the asset connected through technology