Roche New Jersey gets energy control upgrade


When replacing old co-generation turbines and boiler controls to increase process availability and energy efficiency for Roche, Honeywell was also able to meet the customer\'s requirements to integrate various control systems for the plant

When replacing old co-generation turbines and boiler controls to increase process availability and energy efficiency for Roche, Honeywell was also able to meet the customer's requirements to integrate various control systems for the plant

Founded in 1896 and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the multinational drug and diagnostics developer, Roche has a long history in the healthcare sector and, as a result, has several plants around the world.

The company's New Jersey pharmaceutical plant has been operating since the 1920s, for example. In more recent times, the drugs group decided it needed to upgrade the facilitiy's co-gen and steam plant. The co-gen turbines had to be replaced due to high maintenance costs, poor availability and poor energy efficiency.

In conjunction with the turbine replacement, Roche wanted to upgrade the Hiway controllers and Universal Stations on its boilers to Honeywell's Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) to improve integration with the co-gen turbines, enabling more efficient operations and maintenance.

Due to the reliability of the TDC 3000 control, Roche wanted to protect its investment in control strategy and wiring. In addition to minimising downtime and controlling costs, a key challenge was integrating third-party systems, including GE and Allen Bradley PLCs.

After investigating several options, Roche decided to migrate from several different systems and controllers to Experion using Honeywell's project services. The project included the co-gen re-powering and the conversion of four power boilers to Experion. Controls for both parts of the project had to optimise steam and electricity production while minimising downtime.

The first requirement of the project was to replace older GE co-gen turbines due to their high maintenance costs and poor availability. The second part of the project included replacing the boiler controls. Roche also wanted to integrate all systems in into one consolidated control system using Experion, with a long-range plan to eventually integrate all control systems at the New Jersey facility into one platform.

Several factors influenced Roche's selection of Honeywell for this project:

  • Positive experiences with the company's maintenance and training
  • Positive experiences with its technology over many years, including Data Hiway, Universal Stations and PlantScape
  • Experion's ability to integrate with Honeywell's Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) system
  • Ease of migration with multiple systems and platforms
  • By using the zero footprint migration kits, no major rewiring or loop checking is required, resulting in significant time and cost savings

The project plan was to utilise the Experion Server-TPS to communicate with TDC 3000, allowing a seamless integration and exposing operators to the Experion software. Existing boiler controls were migrated one by one to the new system controls. The co-gen turbines were then integrated into the system. The steam plant was tuned using both boilers and co-gen for optimal operation.

The project began in November 2003 with system development, followed by site installations and operator training. In June 2004, two new co-gen turbines started up. Systems were checked in August and September and by November 2004, the steam masters and boiler controls were retuned.

Teamwork was key to the success of this project. Roche engineering, IT and project management staff worked with Honeywell sales support, project management and system engineering teams in New Jersey and Georgia. "Honeywell has a great team of people who provided us with the experience and information we needed," said Phil DeSpirito, project manager, Roche. "With this project we saved time and costs, and eliminated wiring concerns, all of which were important to us."

The project included gathering data from multiple systems that were installed over the past 20 years. Roche realised that the documentation did not accurately represent the control schemes developed over the past few decades. Honeywell extracted the necessary data and collaborated with Roche on the system specifications for hardware, software and graphics. The solutions supplier also configured and programmed the software and hardware, and designed the I/O interfaces and cabinets.

Future plans for the New Jersey site include integrating Experion and EBI across the plant and moving all controllers and systems to one dedicated network. "Honeywell is part of the master plan for this facility," said DeSpirito. "More Experion installations are in progress."