SCADA Network Solution offers integration solutions for industrial automation and networking. They strive to design and implement applications that enable their customers to be more efficient, safer and better organized. Using a mix of controllers—including Unitronics PLCs—SCADA systems and industrial communications, SCADA Network Solutions provides state-of-the-art results for all their clients’ needs. One of these clients needed better temperature control for eight furnaces used in steel production. The customer wanted to improve their cascade and step control for these furnaces, as well as implementing to a system that offered better support than their existing solution.
The furnaces require timing and temperature control that can change for each step of the process, which can be up to thirty steps long. They also needed a boost feature, to adjust the temperature 55 degrees Celsius up or down from the set point depending on the initial temperature of the product.
SCADA Network Solutions designed a control system using a Unitronics Vision570, a powerful PLC with an integrated 5.7-inch touchscreen HMI panel. They added a mix of digital and analog I/O, including Thermocouple inputs for temperature control. SCADA Network Solutions used the Vision570 to piggy-backed PID control, implementing boost control to improve the consistency of the furnace zones. This system enabled the customer to achieve accuracy of plus or minus 1.5 degrees Celcius at 1000 degrees.
Johan Wolmarans, SCADA Network Solutions director, explains the appeal of Unitronics, saying “the PID blocks are so well developed, hence the success of this project.” The programming and installation was simple and user-friendly, but the end result was still a powerful, reliable temperature control system. Wolmarans and his customer were also impressed by the Vision570’s versatility; for no additional cost, Unitronics offers advanced software utilities including OPC server and data logging capabilities. These features made it easy for the customer to interface the system with a SCADA platform to improve the system’s efficiency and analysis.