07 Oct 2019
PAC Automation were tasked with carrying out the refurbishment of a 20 year old control system on a multi-zone kiln furnace for a capacitor manufacturer.
The client currently operates ten multi-zone gas chamber kiln furnaces, which run on legacy control equipment. The furnace controls are built into the machine, which consist of 12 control sections and a further two standalone control panels. The project aimed to retrofit all new controls on the existing system. The system operates at a temperature of 1200°C (+/-1°C), therefore the control specification was precise.
PAC Automation, in collaboration with PAC Control Panels & MCCs, manufactured 14 back-plates off-site, which were designed to fit the existing control sections. This would save time on the customer's site and minimise disruptions.
Heating controls where provided by Eurotherm EPack analogue thyristor stacks. The EPack controller uses innovative technology to manage the process and provides higher energy efficiency.
The functionality of the EPack controller, coupled with the heat treatment knowledge of PAC Automation Engineers, means we can monitor the element current against voltage in each heating zone. This allows for early detection of a failing element, helping to reduce production downtime and ensure product quality.
We used the new Omron NX PLC with modular I/O and safety throughout the machine. The system has a total of 46 temperature control loops, which were needed to control to +/-1°C. Omron's new state-of-the art and dedicated PID control modules eliminated the need to have multiple controllers located around the machine.
All controls are monitored via a Eurotherm 6180XIO video chart recorder and a GE Cimplicity SCADA system, which all ties into the client's network, allowing their critical process to be monitored anywhere, anytime.
PAC Automation successfully delivered the upgraded machine to a high standard and within specification. This has led to further machine upgrades with the client, who have a total of 30 kiln furnaces worldwide. PAC Automation are going to deliver the new control system on all of the machines.
To discuss your specific automation requirements, talk to one of our team today: we’re here to help, whatever your project.