Nitric Acid Production Facility

JR Simplot

Customer Background

JR Simplot Company, one of the oldest agribusinesses in the U.S., operates a high-quality fertilizer plant in the central valley of CA. Built in the 1950s, and operated by J.R. Simplot Company since the 1990s, Enterprise Automation first began servicing the facility as controls integrator in 2006. As an aging facility that has gone through multiple operators, EA has been involved in numerous control system retrofit and expansion projects on site.

Project Background

At the heart of the Helm facility lies the Nitric Acid plant. Ammonia is turned into nitric acid which is then used to create fertilizers. This process runs nearly non-stop with three dozen fans, pumps, and blowers to support it. As part of plant improvements, the motor control centers (MCC) were upgraded. Due to the complexity of the MCC upgrades, the replacements were broken into multiple phases to coincide with annual turnaround maintenance.

EA Solutions

During each phase, EA helped Simplot migrate motors to the new MCC while re-evaluating control and implementing SCADA standards. Control changes included new VFDs for speed control and duty-standby motor roles. These changes utilized existing PLC code and HMI graphic standards. After extensive internal testing, the program modifications were deployed and the motors commissioned within the brief two-week turnaround window.

Key Insights

  • Abbreviated startup, standardization

Key Technologies:

  • CitectSCADA
  • Wonderware Historian
  • AB ControlLogix
  • AB Intellicenter

Project Metrics:

  • EA’s Services Value: $200k
  • Project Length: 2 years 
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