SMAR and Profibus: Proven Success in Biofuel / Bioenergy Production

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brazil has made tremendous progress in consolidating the technical production of biofuel originated from sugar cane, particularly ethanol. Significant investment from joint local and international capital has driven the involvement of various industrial segments. The Brazilian ethanol market is expected to account for production exceeding US $15 billion through 2012.

The automation segment’s particular focus was to consolidate digital networks, especially Profibus, with its two variants DP and PA. This is due to a number of factors including the importance of low-cost technology for implementation, data protection, ease of operation and maintenance, and complete integration between field instrumentation and the so-called intelligent MCC. Presently, more than 50% of the new sugar and ethanol plants are designed with Profibus technology.

SMAR and Profibus: Proven Success in Biofuel / Bioenergy Production

One new project for Tropical Bioenergia S.A. includes approximately 1000 nodes in Profibus distributed by 15 SMAR DFI302 DF73 controllers. This installation utilizes the SYSTEM302-7, a hybrid digital control system with decentralized architecture, and has enabled the facility to duplicate its production as early as the second phase of installation.

On September, 2007, Santa Elisa Distillery signed a contract with SMAR for the complete automation of four of their new plants. Santa Elisa is owned by the Santelisa-Vale Group, a major sugar ethanol producer in Brazil and abroad. SVG was elected the best Brazilian company of 2006. This agreement involves the supply by SMAR of its control system, the SYSTEM302-7, in addition to complete field instrumentation with Profibus technology, process controllers and control panels. It also includes the infrastructure of a COI (Center of Integrated Operations) similar to the successful SMAR system implemented at Santa Elisa, which has been continually referred to by automation and control media.

Included in the supply for Santa Elisa are more than 3200 SMAR Profibus PA field instruments and four supervision and control systems. The installation is designed to operate with digital control technologies, with an open and distributed architecture that also includes 21 DF73 DPV1 CPUs per unit. Add to this the AS-I technology for control of the on-off valves and sensors. Two of the four contracted units – Ituiutaba and Itumbiara, are scheduled to start grinding operation in July 2008. The subsequent two units, Campina Verde and Platina, will start up in May 2009.

Another facility owned by the Santelisa-Vale Group and Maeda Group – Usina Tropical, is located in Edéia, Goiás state and will be included with the agreement. This contract was signed in June 2007 with grinding operations beginning in 2008, and involves the similar project scope and conditions to the four facilities under contract SVG.

All of the above projects are integrated with Studio, a SYSTEM302-7 component that allows complete management of the project’s software requirements, with user-friendly interface. The SYSTEM302-7 is an open automation control system with several diagnostics features, high failure tolerance, numerous Flexible Function Blocks, connectivity with OPC and other protocols. It includes a series of other features that make it a complete control system as opposed to a simple communication bus with proprietary integration.

SYSTEM302-7 is the choice of a number of major sugar ethanol plants due to its comprehensive process control functions, which make it possible to collect valuable information for accurate and timely decisions to guarantee operational excellence. The automation system’s open technologies seamlessly integrate with the hardware, while permitting connectivity of software and hardware from various manufacturers. Users are free to choose their preferred devices or even build their own system should they determine.