Smar Automation Ensures Record Crop for Brazilian Sugar Plant

December proved to be an exceptional month for Usina Vertente, a sugar facilty in Brazil. The plant´s final crop was a recordbreaker in sugar cane pressing in the entire history of the agro-business sector. With slightly less than a six-month harvest period, the mill produced over 69 thousand tons of VHP export sugar, more than 23 million liters of hydrated ethanol and more than 21 million liters of dehydrated ethanol, produced from one million tons of crushed sugar cane.

With Smar´s support, Vertente is the first sugar plant to implement total automation in its production process utilizing the LC700 logical controller, intelligent supervisory systems and computerized network. “This whole structure is operated from a single room – the Integrated Operation Center (COI) – which sends commands to intelligent offices that are interlinked with the LC700 via Internet, and control all the field devices, including intelligent positioners, sensors and monitors”, says Paulo Ribeiro, Araçatuba office manager.

Ribeiro explains that Smar´s work was of paramount importance for Vertente´s achievement, as the automation applied helps to prevent errors and quickly detects problems to find their immediate solution, thus reducing losses”, he adds.

According to Vertente´s director, Maurílio Biagi Filho, the plant was rapidly constructed and has yet to attain full automation capacity. He believes that further results will be realized with the 2005 crop, when all the adjustments and improvements are finalized. “No matter how fast this unit was mounted, 2004 was a very successful year, with a mark that we intend to equal this year. Our estimate is for a 1.3 ton crop”, he indicated.