Following the successful completion of a project last year for a major manufacturer based in Slovakia, Elite were asked to further enhance and expand the client’s control system. The original control system in the new state of the art plant, produces the syrup that is used for the manufacturing of kitchen sinks.
The original control panel design, PLC software programming and designing of the HMI Screens were carried out at Elite’s site in Livingston, with a site visit to Slovakia needed for the on-site commissioning.
The commissioning phase for the system expansion proved to be quite a challenge due to the critical nature of the existing process. Any code modifications or additions had to be performed in a 2-hour window, as this was the maximum permitted downtime.
The entire expansion project lasted around 3 months from initial development to commissioning.
The original hardware used for this work was based on Rockwell’s standard and safety Compactlogix PLC’s.
Linked via Ethernet, these PLC’s were expanded to accommodate the additional control requirements.
Due to the existing installation being an Elite-developed solution, the development for the expansion became much more streamlined and this definitely helped the control expansion to run smoothly.
The successful outcome of this work means that our customer has now doubled their manufacturing capabilities when compared to the previous layout of the plant.
Following many years of operation, the Siemens S5-based PLC used at out clients’ site was becoming ever more difficult to maintain. Replacement parts were also becoming more and more difficult to source, due to the length of time the PLC had been deemed as being obsolete. In addition, fault finding on the old system was very problematic. Upon an occurrence of a fault, it was very difficult to determine the root cause of the issue. Due to the critical nature of the system, there typically wasn’t time to request Elite to attend site and help to determine the cause. Elite was asked to provide a more modern, upgraded solution incorporating a new PLC and HMI.
The solution implemented has incorporated the use of a Siemens S7-1500 Series PLC. This was programmed using the latest Siemens TIA Portal software with integrated Advanced Safety features.
The existing PLC code was migrated in stages from STEP5, to STEP7 Classic, and then to TIA Portal. In addition, the HMI was further enhanced and programmed to receive system messages related to the exact cause of fault events. These were then presented for display on the alarms mimic.
Our client has achieved the goal of their project, and can now identify various faults with ease given the capabilities of the modernised system. In addition, due to the relevance of the upgraded system, all spares can be sourced with ease and cost effectiveness. It should also be noted that the reliability of the system has also been improved significantly.
Elite is once again proud to offer a ground-breaking solution to one of its key customers and look forward to new challenges in the future.