Thesis for the Degree of Master of Science


Year 1998
Carlos Quiroz

Automation and Information System for a Chemical Research Reactor

The aim of the thesis was to build an automation and information system for a new research reactor, currently being constructed at the Industrial Chemistry Laboratory. In the literature part the trends in automation technology and their utilisation for research reactor systems are surveyed. The design of the automation system takes into account the special requirements of the research reactor and the need for well-organised research data management.

The automation system was built using the Wonderware FactorySuite 2000 software package and custom-made applications. The real-time control part of the system consists of compact laboratory control devices, a Schiele Systron I/O system and a dedicated real-time control PC running Wonderware InControl. The InControl application contains an automatic shutdown procedure to ensure the safety of the reactor. The supervisory control part contains Wonderware InTouch software, which provides human machine interface to the process and executes the reactor operation recipes.

The reactor operation recipe system was built in order to automate the chemical research work. Operation recipes can be created for manipulating the set points according to a research plan.

The research data information system was built around the Wonderware IndustrialSQL Server database. The database stores recipe data, real-time process data, and calculated data. A Microsoft Excel application was built to retrieve reactor experiment data into a spreadsheet.

The automation and information system is flexible enough for implementing future enhancements, such as new reactors, instruments, and data analysis applications.

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