Performance Improvements in Alcohol and Sugar Production Processes (Brazil)

Monday, January 23, 2006


Maracaj Sugar & Alcohol Mill, part of the Nova America Group, has recently commissioned a full automation solution to achieve performance improvements in their alcohol and sugar production processes. Using PROFIBUS, the application involves classified areas and as a result is considered to be one of the most important automation projects in this market sector.

GANA (Automation Group of Nova America) studied the choice of fieldbuses before the automation project was defined and PROFIBUS was selected for the project.
The solution is based on GE Fanuc Series 9030 PLCs. All transmitters and valve positioners (a total of 116 field devices) are from Smar. The field devices include pressure, level, flow and temperature transmitters, converters and, one of the most important field devices in this segment, a Density/Concentration transmitter, responsible for online measurements of density, concentration, brix, INPM, percentage of solids, etc.

PROFIBUS DP networks are up to 450m long. PROFIBUS PA networks are 250m on average although there is one segment of 400m. One IM157 and one DP/PA coupler connect each PA network using Intrinsically Safe Barriers with seven field devices per barrier. 116 PROFIBUS PA devices and 132 AS-interface valves from 3 different companies complete the configuration. The use of IS barriers is not unusual in this market segment.


Advanced Diagnostics with PROFIBUS


According to Maracaj important points in choosing PROFIBUS were the advanced diagnostics and system tools. GANA rated PROFIBUS as the best option for the PLC platform. Any doubts about using new technology were soon dispelled by the reliability and interoperability of PROFIBUS. Said Fabiano Andr? Lourenco, Instrumentation Supervisor and Paulo Roberto Vidal, Automation Leader: 'We knew that we would get great support from smar during the startup and that operations would be excellent. This is one of the most important plants in the sugar and alcohol world and we are satisfied with the results'.