Nyrstar converts DCS to Rockwell Automation PlantPAx

NYRSTAR Hobart has awarded a $2.5 million order to Rockwell Automation to replace a distributed control system (DCS) with the PlantPAx process automation system.

The conversion will be undertaken at Nyrstar Hobart’s zinc smelting operation in Tasmania.

According to Nyrstar Hobart, the current DCS was determined to be too expensive to upgrade. Hardware was failing and repairs were becoming expensive and requiring longer lead times.

By converting the DCS to PlantPAx, Nyrstar hopes to achieve better integration between different process areas, improved diagnostics, increasing plant uptime and more accurate plant performance reporting.

According to research performed by the ARC Advisory Group, the global process industry loses approximately $20 billion annually, or about five percent of annual production, due to unscheduled downtime from aging DCS systems

Rockwell Automation won the order by developing a three-year phased integration with a back-up option that uses custom input/output cabling to ensure process continuity, coupled with technical support for the existing installation.

NHP Electrical, a Rockwell Automation authorised distributor, provided long-term committed support to the project.

The order includes project management, application engineering, system cutover engineering, hardware and software.

Nyrstar Hobart’s Australian facility is one of the world’s largest zinc smelters with a capacity of 280,000 tonnes. It produces zinc and zinc alloys that are exported primarily to Asia. The existing DCS operates process control for roast-leach purification electrolysis, acid plant and water treatment.