Oil Blending at Shell - an impressive multi-vendor plant (Germany)

Shell's oil blending plant in Hamburg produces more than 350,000 tons a year of a wide range of oil-based products and is the largest Shell plant of its type worldwide. During a general modernization of the oil blending plant, Deutsche Shell AG decided  to upgrade the entire monitoring and control system to meet increased customer requirements. The plant extends over an area of about 1 square kilometer and contains a network of 150 storage tanks with capacities of up to 700 m3. The plant blends around 60 base oils and 200 additives to produce around 630 different types of oil.

Deutsche Shell AG decided to base the new automation concept on modern distributed communication technology. The main control room uses the Total Plant Batch software and  a Honeywell SCAN 3000 visualization system. These systems are connected to Simatic S5 PLC's using Industrial Ethernet. The Commuwin 2 engineering tool from Endress and Hauser which connects directly to the PROFIBUS is used for the configuration of the E&H transmitters. In total, the plant contains more than 9000 instruments and sensors from 8 different manufacturers, all of which are interconnected through PROFIBUS-DP, PA and   AS-Interface.
Local control of blending uses Siemens master PLC's and a PROFIBUS network which connects to the Honeywell SCAN 3000 visualization system in the main control room. The around 500 analog measurements which are needed in the plant (e.g. liquid levels and temperatures) are networked through PROFIBUS-PA. The PROFIBUS-PA network (H1) is connected to the faster PROFIBUS-DP network (H2) through segment couplers. 90% of the measurement points, which include level switches and more than 2000 valves, are networked through AS-Interface which connects to the higher-level DP network using standard gateways.

A noticeable result of the plant upgrade is the total lack of central I/O hardware, since all devices are installed remotely and only need to be connected to the main control room using two-core PROFIBUS cable. This resulted in cost savings of around 50 % during installation, since wiring mistakes were minimized and cabling could be done quickly and easily with the PROFIBUS two-core wiring system. Plant startup was much faster since all test and commissioning work was carried out centrally from the main control room.
Companies who participated in the automation of the plant were Endress & Hauser, Honeywell, Pepperl & Fuchs, Siemens, and others.