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An open systems approach allows Lyondell Petrochemical to store massive quantities of process data from a wide range of sources gathered from three different operating systems. This data can be accessed by engineers and managers through an easy-to-use graphical interface that runs on the personal computers already in use.
In the past, only several hours of high resolution point data was stored and it could be accessed only through a complex manual downloading process. The key to the success of this project was an open systems strategy involving the TCP/IP networking protocol, X windows graphics standard and SQL database query language.
Lyondell Petrochemical was formed from parts of two ARCO companies, ARCO Chemicals and ARCO Petroleum Products in 1985. Lyondell has an olefins plant in Channelview, Texas, a polyolefins plant in Bayport, Texas, and is a majority owner in a refinery in Pasadena, Texas. The company has about 2,500 employees. Several years ago, the company recognized it had a problem in retaining historical process data from control systems at manufacturing facilities and that this problem was particularly severe at its Channelview facility.
The Channelview plant processes are controlled by a plant-wide network of Modcomp minicomputers using a proprietary protocol. These minicomputers interface to various instrument systems …