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Refinery to benefit from improved alarm system

03 December 2010

Hima-Sella has received an order for, and commenced construction of, a high integrity alarm system for a major UK refinery. Due for installation in Q1 2011, the system will replace and improve upon the functions of another vendor’s system, for which support is no longer available.

Refinery to benefit from improved alarm system
Refinery to benefit from improved alarm system

The replacement system is being built around a HIMA HIMax programmable electronic system (PES), which offers protection to SIL 3. It will interface with nine legacy alarm systems (each with up to 120 alarms) around the refinery and a workstation for displaying the status of each alarm. The system also includes dedicated workstations for use in the refinery’s two independent process streams.

Eddy Turnock, Hima-Sella’s sales & marketing director, commented: “We’re particularly proud of this project as it follows on from the refinery’s acceptance of a Functional Design Specification we were asked to produce earlier in the year, which exemplifies Hima-Sella’s ability to help customers identify their overall requirements and then to develop optimum solutions. In addition, while we’ve installed HIMA HIMax systems in the UK before, the system cabinets have typically been constructed by HIMA in Germany. This project marks the first time we’ve built the system here in the UK.”

HIMax employs HIMA’s XMR architecture, where the ‘MR’ stands for Modular Redundancy and the ‘X’ denotes that it can run with up to four Central Processor Units (CPUs); as opposed to fixed Triple or Quadruple Modular Redundancy (TMR and QMR respectively). Also, each CPU is dual (1002D) processor-based, so the system can still operate at SIL 3 with just a single CPU.

Each I/O module within HIMax also has its own set of microprocessors, giving it the integrity and diagnostic capabilities to meet SIL 3 requirements; and the testing at I/O-level releases the capacity of the main CPUs, allowing faster and larger systems to be achieved. In addition, HIMax has virtually unlimited expansion potential.

Turnock concluded: “The high integrity alarm system we’re building for the refinery will provide non-stop operation and greater levels of redundancy and fault tolerance than the system it replaces. Also, the addition of the workstations in the process trains makes for a far better fit to the refinery’s operational requirements.”

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