The flexibility of the SIMA control system allowed AUMA to meet the customer’s requirement to group the valves into four plant areas. Redundant communications and an independent emergency shutdown system are also features of the project.
The 15 tanks at the Mina al Fahal tank farm store crude oil, fuel oil, and refined hydrocarbon products. For the upgrade project, AUMA supplied SAEx .2 multi-turn actuators with ACExC .2 actuator controls. All 74 devices are centrally controlled by the SIMA master station. The actuators are installed in four main areas of the site: manifold and tank farm; sprinkler tank valves; bunker area; and pump house. AUMA set up the SIMA master station to provide a choice of mimic views based around these locations.
Redundant Modbus communication on a ring network ensures that all the actuators remain accessible even in the event of a fault or cable break. To enhance safety at the tank farm, the actuators are also fitted with separate emergency shutdown (ESD) inputs.
Commissioning was completed on time in August 2017.
In March 2017, customer representatives also visited AUMA’s production site in Wenden, Germany, to witness factory acceptance tests (FAT) for the SIMA master station. The FAT process takes place on a dedicated test bench and is largely automated, with all results displayed on screen and saved for later retrieval.
The visitors were impressed by the modern facilities, high quality and high degree of automation in Wenden, which is one of six AUMA production facilities in Germany. AUMA frequently opens its doors to customers for factory visits and acceptance tests.