Hart Plant of the Year Goes to Sasol

And the winner is: the Sasol Solvents and O&S SMG Operations plant, a maker of solvents used in paints and inks, located in Sasolburg, South Africa.

With more than $2 million in documented savings attributed to effective use of Hart communications technology, the Sasol plant is recipient of the 2005 Hart Plant of the Year Award.

“These guys have done a tremendous job, and probably the best I’ve ever seen in documenting the benefits of using Hart communication and what it means to this plant,” said Ron Helson, executive director of the Hart Communication Foundation (www.hartcomm.org), in announcing the award during the recent ISA Expo 2005 show in Chicago. The annual Hart award goes to end-user companies deemed to have demonstrated ingenuity in the application of Hart, a field communication protocol designed for use with smart instruments.

The Sasol plant uses Hart communication for continuous full-time monitoring of 3,500 Hart-enabled instruments and control valves. The technology has enabled the plant to move to a predictive maintenance strategy, resulting in lower fixed costs and fewer unscheduled plant shutdowns, said Sasol Engineering Manager Johan Claassen.

The Hart Communication Foundation also recognized the Lonza biopharmaceutical plant in Visp, Switzerland, as a Hart Plant of the Year program finalist. The Lonza plant—which produces Niacin, a B-complex vitamin—uses Hart communication to improve loop accuracy, speed up device configuration, and better document and validate the device configuration.

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