Fieldbus in pulp & paper

What is said to be the largest installation of Foundation Fieldbus technology in the pulp and paper industry is under way at Celulosa Arauco y Constitucion SA’s pulp mill near Valdivia, Chile. The new mill, slated for start-up in 2004, will produce 600,000tpy of bleached softwood and hardwood market pulp (from pine and eucalyptus logs) and will employ a Foundation Fieldbus-based digital control architecture with more than 3500 fieldbus instruments. Fieldbus Foundation president, Rich Timoney commented: “The Arauco project is evidence that fieldbus technology has moved beyond the early adopter stage to a standard in pre-bid specifications.” Arauco is building a second mill near Rata, Chile, with automation engineering slated to begin in 2005. Arauco expects the Valdivia project to cost USD 1.2 billion and has awarded contracts worth USD 5.3 million to Emerson Process Management for process automation equipment and deployment. “Capital and engineering savings from installing FF technology as part of a field-based digital plant architecture, are very high,” says Mike Aurzada, director of pulp and paper systems for Emerson. “Wiring costs are typically reduced more than 50%, while drawings, control-room space and commissioning savings can be reduced by 90% or more. The total project costs incurred by these factors can be reduced by 75%,” he says. The Valdivia effort is part of Emerson’s “Partnering for Pulp & Paper” initiative, in which automation solutions, tailored for this industry, are said to improve operating margins by 1-3%.

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