The Background.

Booth Welsh having been working with AkzoNobel for over 5 years, playing a key role in the design, development and commissioning of 4 high volume paint production lines at 2 brownfield sites in China and the new site in Ashington, Northumberland.

Booth Welsh was initially approached by AkzoNobel, based on the breadth of services that could be offered, including Systems Engineering, E&I design, panel manufacturing through to commissioning support. Due to the success of the initial project in China, and the knowledge within the Booth Welsh team, AkzoNobel wanted to retain the expertise and knowledge gained to support and lead the design and development of the automation system for the high volume production lines involved in their most advanced and sustainable paint plant in the world. The scope of the Ashington project was greater and more complex than China, not only covering paint production, but also paint transfer into filling buffer tanks, delivery to the filling lines and associated cleaning. The PCS7 Batch automation system was also to be integrated with the MES.

Shades of paint

Million litres per year

Litres of paint per minute

I/O count

The Client: AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel, a leading global paint and coatings company and a major producer of speciality chemicals.

With a portfolio including well-known brands such as Dulux, Cuprinol, Polycell and Hammerite. AkzoNobel has over 45,000 people with a presence in around 80 countries.

"We have been impressed with the commitment and professionalism exhibited by Booth Welsh during every stage of the project, right through to production. Booth Welsh have fully supported AkzoNobel during critical stages of the project providing key design input and Engineering Excellence to deliver an operational facility."

The Solution.

Booth Welsh engineers were engaged to develop the automation user requirement specifications, oversee software development and support testing and commissioning of the high volume production lines, to be based on the PCS7 automation system already developed for the plants in China. The system was also to be integrated with SIMATIC batch and MES, with Siemens being the main integrator.

Siemens were selected by AkzoNobel to develop the automation software across site. Booth Welsh developed the User Requirements, providing the basis of the automation design for Siemens. We continued to work together throughout the development life cycle through to product trialling, ensuring that the detailed design was in accordance with the requirements and resolving technical issues as they arose, working towards a common goal. Sustainability was a key objective of the plant and maximum recovery of product and minimisation of waste were key factors in the design. Therefore an optimized production process and subsequent cleaning to address these requirements needed to be developed during the design process. To meet the sustainability requirements, we developed the automated production cleaning philosophy across the plant to facilitate intelligent cleaning, based on product cleaning characteristics, product routing and the production schedule. Cleaning of the water based production system alone required the tracking of over 100 individual sections to ensure cleaning was correctly executed. This approach has reduced / eliminated cleaning between batches, increasing production availability and reducing waste. We have continued to support the plant through water commissioning and product trialing and are extremely proud to say that the first ever high volume solvent based batch, produced in this way by AkzoNobel, was “Right First Time”; a great team effort.

Key areas requiring specific development were:

1. Product transfer to buffer vessels, minimising cross contamination between product types

2. Paint transfer from multiple buffer vessels to multiple filling lines

3. High Pressure cleaning of buffer vessels

4. Cleaning of all production and transfer routes, minimizing waste

5. Batch recipe development

The Benefits.

Transfer of learnings and experience between projects.

Continuity of knowledge throughout the project, from conception, design, through to commissioning and product trialling

Ability to meet resource level requirement changes.