BP refinery achieves large response time reduction

When installing a new DCS system, the BP Refinery Rotterdam in Europoort  decided to use Profibus as communication system. This decision considerably facilitated replacing all of the 200 positioners that was done at the same time. Thanks to Profibus the intended reduction of response times has been fully achieved.
This project is almost unique in the world. Never before have so many positioners been replaced with 1200 new actuators beeing involved. According to the user, the choice of Profibus was a smart investment because thus they got the certainty that the response time   of their new Auma actuators will meet the plant´s tough criteria. Speed of data communication is an key issue that requires special attention at the plant. This is the case in view of the large quantity of devices and the huge cable lengths that are used.

BP refinery Rotterdam, Europort


BP has fourteen field control systems that are interlinked through Ethernet and linked through Profibus remote I/O controllers with 14 x 80 actuators. Using Profibus has led to a saving of 6000 hard-wired I/Os! The complete infrastructure at BP is redundant; the segment length has been limited to 1000 metres; 187.5 kB/s is being guaranteed as baud rate. Other components are Ethernet switches, materials for tests and monitoring, Procentec Profihubs, Phoenix Contact repeaters and Trebing + Himstedt gateways. The 1200 Auma actuators have been provided in an Ex d housing.

The decision to use Profibus was not least based on the tough requirement from the process for very short response times. The condition was that a 30 actuator signal had to be followed within 9 seconds by a return signal from all those 30 actuators. Profibus ensured that these BP criteria could be met. The return signal was received within 2 seconds only.
User´s experiences and expectations

  • Very important is the short response time because this is a precondition to optimize all proccesses in our widespread plant.
  • As important is that the whole control fit in within the definition of the plant life cycle of at least 20 years. Profibus provides huge savings within this context.
  • Our infrastructure is very big; we have 120 kilometres of cable. The ease and the speed with which the connection work can take place are additional great advantages.
  • Actuators can first be tested in our laboratory and then connected.