Today’s email barrage brought Bill Lydon’s Dozen Automation and Control Trends. I haven’t compiled a “Dirty Dozen”, but this news from ABB Process Automation surely reflects a trend you’ve seen coming for some time. That is application specific solutions. The first I saw were specific packages for MES. Now libraries for specific applications of control and automation. I’m thinking these should be valuable to you. If you’ve found them less than helpful, you might send me a note.

ABB has launched its latest release of ABB Ability Sugar Library enhanced with new functionalities to serve as a control engineering inventory for sugar manufacturers. It will help to reduce engineering costs and development timelines, simplify expansions and eliminate errors in engineering and improve quality and reliability in operational use.

The release features a range of specifically designed templates for sugar process applications in beet and cane sugar industries. It fulfils all process area requirements including raw material handling, purification, crystallization and sugar handling, and now evaporation and filtration. Customizable templates will result in engineering efficiencies. For operators, efficient monitoring of process helps to optimize resources and energy usage.

A high-performance human-machine interface (HMI) has been designed for fast detection and resolution of process disturbances, with alarm messages. In maintenance, teams will gain the right information at the right time, with tracking and trends visually available. The auto-reconfigurable dynamic, high-performance HMI visualizations provided in the library for selected operations will greatly reduce the commissioning time and will also help plant engineers and operators to focus on continuous improvement.

Looking for another entrenched trend? Try sustainability. It’s everywhere these days.

Among sustainability advantages, ABB Ability Sugar Library features a steam economy mode that ensures no more steam than required is generated during the evaporation phase. It is also collected and reused for the crystallization phase, saving any fuel used to make the steam and therefore reducing production costs. The solution is built from knowledge attained through collaboration with major process and equipment suppliers and sugar manufacturers. This ensures that the latest process control philosophies are incorporated within the library. It comprises components for control and supervision, with each a complete functional unit ready for use and able to be adapted to specific user needs.

Sugar manufacturers can take advantage of ready-to-use templates with control schemes for not only vacuum pans and associated Brix control, but also for all other critical process areas including purification, evaporation and raw material handling along with associated process equipment. Library provisions include efficient boil up curves with customizable algorithms. Operators will experience improved control for steam economy, better shape and homogeneity for crystals, with alerts and data logging capabilities throughout.

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