Cooling Water Control Boosts Production

1407Cooling Water Control Boosts ProductionPCT Engineered Systems of Davenport, Iowa, builds the BroadBeam brand of electron beam machines that can be used for everything from cross-linking plastics to drying inks, curing adhesives and sterilizing surfaces. Because the machines produce up to 350,000 V, the company uses a cooling water system to test the units before they are sold. Booming business led the company to expand its facility in 2013.

PCT's presentation at this year's Siemens Industry Automation Summit highlighted how the company used a new automation scheme to boost its production of electron beam machines.

With its expanding business, PCT found that its existing water circulation system couldn't handle higher the production rates because the unit was outdated, undersized and had only one water circuit. "We needed a reliable, automated system with a larger capacity that could supply enough water to let us test from one to 12 machines at a time," said Tim Riess, PCT electrical and controls engineer.

To address the problem, Riess said the company built a more advanced system that separates process water from cooling water, includes a water-to-water heat exchanger and features a sophisticated pump control system.

The process water circuit of the design consists of a 2,000-gallon tank, one low-volume  pump and three variable-speed, high-volume pumps. The cooling water circuit has a 5,000-gallon tank, two circulation pumps and a 370-ton cooling tower. The two circuits meet int the middle at a large heat exchanger.

PCT's design used a Siemens controller with digital, analog and thermocouple signal modules, a 22-inch touch-screen HMI, ac drives to control the pumps, and motor starter controllers with voltage and current monitors, as well as soft starters.

Through Siemens' TIA Portal, the company programmed the HMI via its Step 7 V12 and WinCC Advanced V12 software, and the other components with Starter and Simocode ES software.

The control scheme has the individual water circuits controlled independently. PID loops control two of the process water circuit VFDs, ensuring that when the water demand from the manufacturing facility increases, the pumps provide more water, with the third pump acting as backup as necessary. Automatic control maintains process water at constant pressure.

For the cooling water circuit, automatic control maintains process water below set temperature. The operator interface for both main circuits allows changing of set points and other variables available on the screen.

The benefits of the new water circulation system include easy diagnostics via the PLC display, remote access to the HMI, and HMI networked data logging, Riess said, adding that the automated system requires little supervision and works so well that in addition to upping production, it let the company build an extra-large version of the electron beam machine.

More News:

  • Patent Dispute Settled Between Rockwell Automation and Beckhoff Automation

    Rockwell Automation's linear motor business, including its recent Jacobs Automation acquisition, has developed a substantial portfolio of patents comprising over 100 issued patents on linear motor technology alone.

  • Mergers, Acquisitions Alliances and Noteworthy News in Robotics

    Iten Industries, manufacturer of advanced composite components and materials headquartered in Ashtabula, Ohio, is now offering additive manufacturing and 3D printing services.

  • U.S. Economy Looks Up for Manufacturing Industries

    The August PMI is led by the highest recorded New Orders Index since April 2004, when it registered 67.1%.

  • ASME Forum Ignites 21st-Century Engineering

    Founder and president of HMI/SCADA software developer Iconics, Russ Agrusa, said the company is focusing on how to harness big data on any device and in any class of applications, and turn it into predictive analytics in manufacturing and business intelligence.

  • New Customer Care Center for Endress+Hauser

    To help customers keep up with today's challenges, Endress+Hauser's new, state-of-the-art Customer Center is suited to greet visitors with a top-notch certified training facility with multiple classrooms and its largest yet PTU controlled by Rockwell Automation's PlantPAx system for real-world process simulation with over 120 measuring points.

  • The Rise of Aluminum in the Industrial Sector

    It is not just price that makes aluminum appealing when put alongside copper in the production of items like electrical wires and cables, though.

  • Maverick Acquires CQS Innovation Expanding Process Expertise in the Life Sciences Industry

    The acquisition expands Maverick's size and scale as a global organization with 19 office locations and 500+ engineering professionals. In addition, Chris Roerig, current president of CQS Innovation, will join Maverick as industry manager for life sciences.

  • ISA Offers Cybersecurity Certificate Program

    The program consists of passing a course on using the ANSI/ISA-62443 standards to secure industrial control systems. The course is available in the classroom or online. Students must also pass a written exam in the classroom or online.

  • Fieldbus Groups 'Unite'

    The combined power of both organizations will aim to protect the investments that end users in process automation have made in HART and Foundation fieldbus communication technologies.

  • Guess Who Just Turned 125 Years Old?

    ABB recently celebrated its 125th anniversary in Finland.

All news »

What are your comments?

Join the discussion today. Login Here.


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments