BP Gent


Innovation makes BP Gent model factory.

In the Ghent port area, BP produces lubricants for, among others, hydraulic applications, gearboxes and, above all, motor oil for the automotive sector, mainly under the premium label 'Castrol'. A new production line was developed in the company, under the internal code name Necto. This is a newly developed basic additive that guarantees better operation of engines specifically in the automotive sector. The basic concept of the production unit in Ghent will now be copied worldwide in a number of other core sites of the company. More info: BP Gent | Who we are | Home


Gent is an innovative pioneer.

Through a well-planned investment policy, BP Gent was awarded the first pilot plant of BP's recent innovation, called Dual-Lock, with the aim of further industrialising it. This strategic base product for a complete new line of lubricants is exported from Gent worldwide to China, USA, India and Thailand.

ATS partner for years

ATS Group had an important share in the realisation of the line:

"I have been in the automation business since the 1980s. I've known ATS since then, first as a competitor and then as a partner when I was working at Volvo. When I finally started at BP, ATS was already the favoured party here too, so it was easy work for me. The long relationship also gives the advantage that they know immediately if a problem arises, because there are complex installations here. A lot of safety rules and standards have also been tightened up in recent years. As a company, it is almost impossible to keep up with all these new developments. If you can fall back on a partner who takes care of all that, it gives you a form of security. Moreover, it creates confidence in our company on the part of the management here, something that also plays a part in the awarding of new projects."

Tom Stichelbout, manager projects & engineering BP Gent.

From conveyor to automation

Christian Delabarre has been the face of ATS within BP for more than 25 years. He explains the share in the plant:

"The new line was installed in an old wing of the company, where there were very few facilities. We installed the high-voltage cabin and transformers, did the power calculations, installed the lighting and fire detection, took care of the supply lines and the control of the installation, and we also built the vacuum manipulator. The barrels have a temperature of 60°C, so manual handling is out of the question here. We distribute manipulators under the Tawi brand ourselves via our subsidiary Logitrans, so we have that knowledge in-house."

Fellow project leader Alexander Werrebroeck picks up on it:

"The conveyor belts, too, are made in-house at our subsidiary Marganne. They have their own design office and take care of the mechanical production. We took care of the electrical engineering, panel building, cabling and software in Merelbeke. In this case, we developed a conveyor belt that can buffer the contents of a lorry. There is also a lift system to transport the pallets in height and a drawbridge so that forklift trucks can pass easily. Furthermore, we were involved from the pilot phase in the design of a First in First out conveyor in a hot box for heating the very viscous base product in the drums on pallets at a temperature of just 60°C."

Risk analysis with Pilz

Alexander Werrebroeck points out a peculiarity in this project:

"Safety is an absolute top priority for ATS and BP. As a specialist in machine safety, we delivered here an installation that was fully CE-approved, so the customer did not have to take any action in this regard. Since 2018, ATS has entered into a 'Preferred Partnership' in this area with Pilz, an absolute specialist in safety. This partnership was put into practice for the first time in this project by using new technology in the PSS 4000 safety PLC. We created an advanced switch-off matrix, in which a number of actions are indicated that have to take place when a certain event occurs. We can convert this switch-off matrix, which results in a code for the safety PLC. Since this advanced switch-off matrix is readable for both our safety specialists, project managers and programmers, an estimation error is detected more quickly and a programming error is almost impossible."

ATS Group

ATS Group Logitrans

ATS Group Marganne

ATS Group

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