Exit Line Automation and Controls Upgrade

An American industrial company specializing in aluminum products contacted E Tech Group to upgrade their exit line automation and controls. The line had previously been running on vintage reliance analog drives from the 60’s.

Project

The project was divided into two phases: hardware design (including design work for a new Portable Control Room) and a phase to build, install and, commission.

Documentation and drawings presented a challenge in this project. With a 50-year-old system and an inconsistent approach to drawing updates and documentation, E Tech used biweekly conference meetings to keep the team informed on status and request additional drawings and information from operators and maintenance personnel as needed.

Solution

E Tech designed and commissioned a new PCR, Siemens drives, encoders, process automation controllers, and IO panels. PanelView terminals were installed for operator interface and display. The elongation control system was replaced with modernized controls. To enable seamless integration of the new technology with the line’s older equipment, E Tech interfaced the new controls with existing legacy analog drives and hardwired relays to confirm that the new system operated in lockstep with the legacy control system prior to commissioning.

E Tech’s engineers wrote the drive interface to be transparent to operators and maintenance personnel with a focus on long-term maintainability and improved troubleshooting capabilities.

Results

Startup and commissioning were completed ahead of schedule. As such, the project came in under the installation and commissioning budget originally quoted. Because of the transparency to the operators, the integration was seamless.