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INEOS Selects SIL3 Over SIL2

Only requiring SIL2 compliance for phenol and acetone production, this company opts instead for SIL3 via HIMA’s HiQuad H41q/H51q processors.

With a production network that spans across 70 facilities in 14 countries, INEOS is the world’s third largest chemical company, as well as a petrochemical, specialty chemical and oil product manufacturer. Likewise, its INEOS Phenol subsidiary is the largest phenol and acetone producer in the world. In 1999, INEOS Phenol commissioned a chemical plant in Theodore, AL.

Today, the Theodore facility employs more than 125, producing phenol and acetone, which are frequently found in products ranging from automotive components to pharmaceuticals to insulation to DVDs to household appliances to paints and more. With this in mind, safety specifications for the plant design dictated the need for SIL2 compliance. INEOS Phenol selected SIL3-certified HIMA HiQuad H51q and H51qe Series processors to meet these requirements.

Pictured above is an aerial view of the INEOS Phenol facility in Theodore, AL—the subsidiary is the largest global producer of phenol and acetone.

The HIMA Hook
HIMA is the only independent safety system manufacturer to focus solely on highly redundant systems. A chemical plant explosion in the 1950s prompted customers to ask the company to develop a TÜV-certified “fail-safe” electronic control system. Since then, HIMA has claimed many firsts, such as the PLANAR electronic circuit system (1970) and the TÜV-certified H50 programmable controller (1986).

Today, HIMA has the largest installed safety system customer base in the world, yet still supports its first systems, which were installed more than 35 years ago. With integration facilities in the Americas, Middle East, Europe and Asia, the company develops solutions for process automation and plant safety, including, but not limited to, TÜV SIL3-certified solutions for:

  • Emergency shutdown.
  • Fire and gas applications.
  • Burner management.
  • Turbo machinery control.
  • High-integrity pressure protection systems.
  • Pipeline automation and leak detection.
  • Turbine control and protection.
  • Single- and multi-stage compressor control.
  • High-integrity pipeline protection systems.

Additionally, HIMA’s systems are highly available, which means that redundancy is built in to ensure that there are no false or spurious trips. All of the company’s products provide several connection protocols to every distributed control system (DCS), in addition to independent open integration. Essentially, this means that any DCS can be connected to HIMA.
These systems’ success is based principally on three factors:

  • Absolute reliability.
  • Scalable availability due to HIQuad technology, which enables system fault tolerances to be adjusted individually—this means that cases of redundancy can always be set up for specific applications.
  • High flexibility to adapt to individual application requirements.

INEOS Phenol’s Theodore, AL plant (pictured above) has been using the HIMA HiQuad system since its inception in 1999.

The HIMA Sinker
INEOS Phenol has been using the HIMA HiQuad system since its inception. To date, the company has been very satisfied.

“The HIMA HiQuad H51 solution has been a cost-effective and reliable solution that is extremely easy to configure, monitor and troubleshoot,” explains INEOS Phenol Senior Process Controls Engineer Jimmy Oldson. “Plus, it has the highest level of fault tolerance. We haven’t had a single plant shutdown because of a spurious trip since the system was placed online in 1999.

“The key benefit of the system is its ability to make online program modifications and determine whether it’s safe to reload the changes to a running process—there are very few (if any other) products on the market that can do that. Now we have the flexibility to make minor configuration changes, compile them and load them without having to shut down the process.”
In fact, HIMA’s automation process safety solutions have performed so well for INEOS Phenol that they have become a global standard for the company.

“I prefer the HIMA system over all of [the other solutions I’ve considered] in terms of ease of configuration and continued uptime,” admits Oldson. “Another INEOS Phenol U.S. plant I oversee has a controller [manufactured by a different supplier], and I can’t make program changes and reload them with enough confidence that I will not shut down the running unit. For this reason, we are considering replacing the system with a HIMA HiQuad.”

For more information, please contact HIMA Americas by calling 713.482.2070 or visiting