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Hampshire chemical manufacturer GEO boosts production with automation from Siemens

By Steve Banbury
13 August 2021

Chemical manufacturer GEO Specialty Chemicals, based in Hythe, Hampshire, has increased production, flexibility and control through a ‘game-changing’ automation solution from Siemens Digital Industries.

GEO develops and manufactures over 300 high-purity chemical products for more than 1,000 customers in the coatings, adhesives, medical, water treatment and construction markets.

After investing in a new production facility in 2018 to enhance and extend its existing capabilities for high-purity specialty monomers, GEO found it needed to increase production capacity to meet growing demand, and develop and optimise recipes in-house rather than bring in third parties at a vast expense.

As a top tier COMAH site handling inventories of high-hazard chemicals, GEO also needed to ensure the highest level of safety controls, alarms and interlocks.

Working with Siemens Digital Industries it created a new production plant inside its existing building, deploying a complete solution based on integrated hardware and software, reconfiguring the plant and embedding the blending process into the new design. 

Tony Short, GEO IE&C Engineer said: “With the new solution, (...) this has resulted in considerable cost saving, freeing up money to invest in improving systems and processes even more.”

The partnership also includes a three-year service contract and remote connection to the plant. “Given Covid and the challenges of the pandemic this remote connection has been invaluable and helped ensure the plant has continued to run seamlessly.”

Steve Leech, Business Manager, Process Control Systems UK & Ireland, Siemens Digital Industries, said: “This is a great example of how control systems and instrumentation give access to the much-needed data that allows us to make an informed decision. The clarity it provides on material usage or how you can substitute something that has been used historically to maximise efficiency and sustainability is proof to the success of digitalisation.”