CAS-OB PROVOX Replacement
Customer: Steel Manufacturer
Project Type: Control system upgrade from Provox to Rockwell Automation
Project Scope: The CAS-OB facility is a batch process which provides steel refining prior to the caster. The CAS-OB was controlled and operated through an existing Fisher Provox distributed control system (DCS), in conjunction with a Square D – Sy-Max PLC. The DCS controlled the analog portion of the process and provided the Operator Interface for the CASOB operations while the PLC controlled the discrete portion of the process. In addition, an existing Level 2 (Alpha) computer at the BOF facility provided the heat recipe interface. Matrix Technologies partnered with AK Steel to replace the Fisher PROVOX DCS system with a new Rockwell Automation ControlLogix PLC and GE Proficy iFIX HMI system.
This system had a high level of importance, complexity and was critical nature of the functions it provides in the steelmaking process. The new CAS-OB HMI/SCADA system utilizes a virtual environment for reliability, expansion, and a centrally managed server system.
This hardware provides the infrastructure necessary to run the functional virtual server sessions that include the iFIX SCADA, Historian and Remote Desktop Server for thin clients. The virtual environment is based on VMware vSphere version 5.5. The new control system also includes an iFIX Emergency SCADA server and HMI. This emergency SCADA provides an alternate means of interface for the CAS-OB operations should the virtual infrastructure fail.
Matrix also modified the existing Level 2 Fortran programs to communicate with ControlLogix instead of PROVOX. The BOF Level 2 Alpha sends the ladle heat list and alloy addition calculations to the ControlLogix PLC.
Engineering Challenges: Replacing aging technology that is poorly documented is always a risky proposition, and requires a great deal of preparation and care in defining the replacement schedule and approach.
Products and Technologies Used: GE Proficy iFIX, Rockwell Automation ControlLogix PLCs, VMWare