Fox Petroli, a specialist in bio-diesel, has optimised and expanded the ­production process at its Vasta Plant in Italy by investing in Progea Movicon SCADA offered in Ireland by Products4Automation

The company is developing new forms of fuel that provide greater protection to the environment and its new bio-diesel, Biofox, is obtained from rapeseed oil, to reduce harmful emissions from car engines.

The overall automation, control and monitoring system for Biofox was developed by factory automation solutions specialist the ESEA Group to monitor and supervise the plant. The plant is divided into nine process sectors corresponding to nine reactors that produce bio-diesel, using a reaction process that begins with the main raw material: rapeseed oil.

Due to the super-criticality of the plant, a reliable and expandable solution was required that was quick to develop and integrate and easy to maintain. Fox also specified a redundant and mission-critical architecture, to ensure service and data storage continuity. ESEA chose Movicon SCADA software, as the best solution.

By using the Movicon Supervisor’s purposely designed graphical screen pages, operators can control and monitor all the operations and processes in bio-diesel production, from warehouse storage, refining and reactor processes to stockpiling of produced materials, easily from the factory control room.

The operators supervise the whole system with maximum security and guaranteed continuity, thanks to the three redundant Movicon supervision stations, networked using Ethernet.

The supervision system is said to deliver simplified production recipe management to enable workers to easily identify and manage all the process working parameters, a further plant management improvement. It also provides sophisticated historical and analysis management that guarantees traceability (tracking) of each sector’s process by recording data, not only of events, but also all of the production processes and parameters recorded during production time. The data recording, to an MS SQL Server database system, takes place at preset five-minute intervals, according to specific needs and process times. It relates to quantities of raw materials used (rapeseed oil and alcohol) and the final product quantities attained (bio-diesel and glycerol), generated from each of the reaction systems.

Trending is also a major feature of the Movicon system; allowing the viewing and analysing of different time scales of the plant production.