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Integrated Drive Systems

More Power for Pumps

Chemical production processes also demand maximum availability and process safety for pumps. The pumps must be suitable for use in potentially explosive environments and must also be tailored exactly to requirements. At BASF in Antwerp, Belgium, Integrated Drive Systems (IDS), the modern drive concept from Siemens, provides the perfect solution.

Global chemicals group BASF has a portfolio comprising five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions, and Oil & Gas. BASF Antwerp is the BASF group’s second largest plant worldwide and the largest integrated chemical production center in Belgium. One of the products made there is tert-Butylamine, an additive used in the rubber industry. Ammonia and isobutene are required for its production. An integrated production network needs all the processes involved to be fully available, because if any part is obstructed, a chain reaction will affect the entire production process – potentially even bringing it to a standstill. A key element in interconnecting multiple production areas is the conveying of secondary products from one process step to the next. The intermediate products ammonia and isobutene are initially compressed by two volumetric pumps from 20 to 260 bar pressure and then conveyed by a shared pipeline to the next process step.

Reliability in the face of increased demand

Two criteria were key to the search for a replacement for the outdated motors and volumetric pump drives: First, the new systems had to be approved for use in the potentially explosive areas of a chemical production plant. And second, both pumps would need to work optimally at constant speed, as well as being capable of attaining peak values and being synchronized to each other.

Those requirements led BASF’s process engineers to Siemens. Siemens was not only able to supply the motors and associated drives, but also offered BASF a coordinated complete solution: Integrated Drive Systems (IDS). IDS enhances the efficiency, reliability, and productivity of plants.

For the tert-Butylamine production plant, the Siemens project team first calculated speeds as well as continuous and peak torques. The motor they chose was the robust and durable Loher Chemstar. The drive solution selected was the energy-saving, maintenance-friendly Sinamics G150. Provided that extra encoders are installed on the motors, the drives enable the data required by the controller to be transmitted at a later time in order to optimally synchronize the pumps.

Installation during live operation

To avoid interrupting production, the pump units were shut down in sequence in order for the drives to be replaced. By also signing a Siemens Industry Services maintenance contract, BASF has safeguarded its state-of-the-art system solution for its full lifecycle.

Picture credits: BASF SE