Testing and Sampling Case Studies

Case Study 130: Gas Recovery System Industry Sector: Testing Equipment • Gas Recovery System

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley SLC 500
  • Allen Bradley MicroLogix 1500
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus
  • Rockwell RSView32 SCADA

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a control system that purified contaminated ground water. The system consisted of three wells. Water was pumped from two of the wells.  Flow from the wells was monitored.  The flow rate could be regulated either by fixed flow rate or by monitoring the level of the wells and adjusting the flow to keep the level of the wells at a fixed setpoint. The operator selected the desired method of control. A chemical was added to the water and it was pumped back into a third well. The flow rate of the chemical was paced to the flow rate of the water.  Data was collected which included well levels, water flow, and chemical flow. The data was stored in Excel format.

Case Study 127: Platinum Recovery Industry Sector: Testing & Sampling • Platinum Recovery System

New Technology Applied:

  • AB SLC 500
  • AB PanelView Plus

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a control system to process discarded catalytic converters to collect the Platinum for resale. The installation provided the user with the ability to automatically start the line in production mode, controlling the delivery of the pre-crushed material to the Hammer Mill to optimize the loading of the unit. In addition, complex calculations were incorporated in the control system to perform lot size and sample size requirements for a given order. The system then monitored the weight of the accumulated lot and automatically shut the system down when calculated weight was reached. Other functionality included was:

  1. Maintenance alarms for individual system components based on hours of operation and the amount of processed material processed.
  2. Real time and historical trending for key variables of the process.

A second process train was added to the original system to allow the user to optimize system utilization and limit the downtime to a minimum. This addition incorporated hardware and control strategies to provide the ability to process two lots of material at the same time, thus maximizing the throughput of the system.

Project Outcome:
Enabled the customer to maximize the production capabilities of the installation and provide the ability to effectively schedule operating personnel to limit operations dead time.

Case Study 112: Automated Testing Industry Sector: Testing & Sampling • Hardness Testing Machine

New Technology Applied:

  • AB SLC 500
  • AB PanelView Plus

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed an automatic machine that tested the hardness of railroad wheels. The wheels were of different sizes and with different model numbers. The information about the wheels was received from a DCS system. The DCS provided data on wheel diameter, model number, serial number, along with the minimum and maximum allowable hardness ranges. When the wheel arrived at the testing machine, the machine head was lowered into position. A mill was used to clean the surface of the wheel to be measured. The hardness head was then engaged. When the hardness was determined, the value was sent to the PLC serial port as ASCII characters. The ASCII characters were evaluated to determine the hardness number. If the value was in range, the part was passed and sent out. If the hardness failed, the wheel was retested a second time. If the wheel still didn’t pass, it was marked with paint and sent out as a reject.

Project Outcome:
By adding this system to their production line, the end user was able to guarantee product quality and maximize profitability.

Case Study 116: Pressure Vessels Industry Sector: Testing & Sampling • Repeater Pressure Testing Control System

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley SLC 500
  • Rockwell RSView32 SCADA System

Scope of Work:
Staneco Corporation designed a control system to do high pressure testing for Trans-oceanic fiber-optic repeaters. The repeaters were put into a high pressure vessel. The outside of the vessel was pressurized to 10,000 PSI with a mixture of air and helium. The inside was monitored using a helium leak detector. Multi-stage pumps had to be used to attain the required pressure; this pressure had to be held for a selected time. Since the plastic content in the repeater could be damaged if the pressure changed too quickly, the pressure had to be reduced over several hours.

Project Outcome
By utilizing the new control system, repeaters could be tested more quickly allowing production to meet increased sales demands.

Environmental Case Studies

Case Study 118: Scrubbers Industry Sector: Environmental • Stack Emission Control System

Technology Replaced:

  • Square D 784 PLC System

New Technology Applied:

  • Modicon Quantum Redundant System

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation replaced outdated PLCs with new Redundant Modicon Quantum PLCs for air pollution and dust collection equipment at a power plant. The system was programmed utilizing existing loop drawings along with additional input from client’s engineering staff. The hardware was replaced in a manner which allowed for minimum down time. The existing field wiring was unchanged. Because the new PLC equipment was so much smaller than the original, Staneco came up with a design that added terminal blocks in the same physical locations as the original I/O. These terminals were located on sub-panels along with the new PLC hardware. The terminals were wired to the new PLC I/O. The entire assembly was installed on the existing panel. When the old I/O was removed, the original field wiring was landed back on the new terminals without disturbing the field wiring. This allowed the change to be made in the short outage window.

Project Outcome:
Since the old PLC hardware was obsolete and replacement hardware becoming harder to obtain upgrading the system was essential to the plant’s operation. The new system provided additional fault monitoring and greater data collection making the process easier to troubleshoot and monitor.

Case Study 130: Gas Recovery System Industry Sector: Environmental • Gas Recovery System

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley SLC 500
  • Allen Bradley MicroLogix 1500
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus
  • Rockwell RSView32 SCADA

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a control system that purified contaminated ground water. The system consisted of three wells. Water was pumped from two of the wells.  Flow from the wells was monitored.  The flow rate could be regulated either by fixed flow rate or by monitoring the level of the wells and adjusting the flow to keep the level of the wells at a fixed setpoint. The operator selected the desired method of control. A chemical was added to the water and it was pumped back into a third well. The flow rate of the chemical was paced to the flow rate of the water.  Data was collected which included well levels, water flow, and chemical flow. The data was stored in Excel format.

Case Study 102: Stack Emission Control Industry Sector: Environmental • Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley CompactLogix
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus HMI

Project Description:
Staneco designed controls for two thermal oxidizers used at a corn-to-ethanol plant to remove organic chemicals from discharged air. The oxidizers consisted of multiple gas burners which heated combustion chambers containing ceramic pellets. When the process gas is passed through the pellets, the organic chemicals are oxidized, neutralizing them. In order to prevent overheating of the ceramic pellets, a series of dampers were switched based on either time or chamber temperature. As the chambers were switched, some gas escaped unprocessed. To remove these gases, a purge operation was included to re-circulate the untreated gasses. The motors were controlled over Devicenet which included two VFDs. Temperatures and operation of the valves are monitored and alarmed. Data was made available to the plant DCS system.

Project Outcome:
System met and exceeded the required emission acceptable limits. The process also helped minimize fuel consumption.

Case Study 103: Scarfing Industry Sector: Environmental • Scarfing / Crusher Conveyor System

Technology Replaced:

  • Antiquated Relay Panel

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley MicroLogix
  • Allen Bradley Component HMI

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a crusher conveyor control system to replace an existing relay panel. The system consisted of conveying material through a series of conveyors and hydraulic crushers. Crushed material was then conveyed and separated by size and conveyed to different piles. Speed of the conveyor was controlled by VFD based on operator input. Safety interlocks were applied to prevent any possibility of injury. The system was able to operate in automatic, remote and manual modes. HMI displayed alarm conditions and location of fault events.

Project Outcome:
The combination of the PLC and HMI provided a more modernized system which increased throughput and minimized downtime while meeting all safety requirements.

Case Study 104: Air Pollution Controls Industry Sector: Environmental • Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers

New Technology Applied:

  • Siemens Simatic S7-300
  • Siemens Simatic HMI MP 277

Project Description:
Staneco designed controls for two thermal oxidizers used for treatment and abatement of malodorous emissions at a waste treatment facility. The oxidizers consisted of multiple gas burners which heated combustion chambers containing ceramic pellets. When the process gas was passed through the pellets, the organic chemicals are oxidized, neutralizing them. In order to prevent overheating of the ceramic pellets, a series of dampers were switched based on either time or chamber temperature. As the chambers were switched, some gas escaped unprocessed. To remove these gases, a purge operation was included which re-circulated the untreated gasses. Temperatures and operation of the valves was monitored and alarmed.

Project Outcome:
Malodorous emissions were eliminated meeting local requirements.


Case Study 109: Air Pollution Controls Industry Sector: Environmental • Carbon Dioxide Recovery System

New Technology Applied:

  • Siemens PCS7

Project Description:

Staneco Corporation designed an experimental control system for a government study to remove carbon dioxide from a coal fired power plant stack exhaust. The system controlled the flow and temperature of amines to absorb and release the carbon dioxide.

Project Outcome:

Various types of amines were tested to find the most effective.

Conveying Case Studies

Case Study 103: Bulk Industry Sector: Conveying • Scarfing / Crusher Conveyor System

Technology Replaced:

  • Antiquated Relay Panel

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley MicroLogix
  • Allen Bradley Component HMI

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a crusher conveyor control system to replace an existing relay panel. The system consisted of conveying material through a series of conveyors and hydraulic crushers. Crushed material was then conveyed and separated by size and conveyed to different piles. Speed of the conveyor was controlled by VFD based on operator input. Safety interlocks were applied to prevent any possibility of injury. The system was able to operate in automatic, remote and manual modes. HMI displayed alarm conditions and location of fault events.

Project Outcome:
The combination of the PLC and HMI provided a more modernized system which increased throughput and minimized downtime while meeting all safety requirements.

Case Study 106: Pneumatic Industry Sector: Conveying • Pneumatic Conveying Systems

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley ControlLogix
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed controls for multiple baghouse systems and hydrated lime injection systems used at multiple coal-fired power plants. The hydrated lime system had multi-point injection points and was used with fluid bed boilers. Hydrated lime is a proven alkaline reagent used to remove SO3 from the flue gas. Both pressurized and vacuum conveying was implemented. Blower motors, feeders, and rotary airlocks were controlled and monitored. Alarm conditions were monitored and control interlocks utilized allowing the system to operate safely.

Project Outcome:
Systems provided an effective and cost-efficient way to reduce emissions from the fluid bed boilers. The use of control interlocks and alarm monitoring kept the systems operating safe and increased the equipment’s performance.

Case Study 108: Manufacturing Industry Sector: Conveying • Conveyor Dryer

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley CompactLogix
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus HMI

Project Description Applied:
Staneco Corporation designed a PLC panel with burner and motor controls for an industrial dryer. The drying process consisted of several stages which were heated by natural gas burners. Each stage had exhaust and combustion blowers which were started automatically by the PLC. The burner ignition was controlled by Honeywell flame relays. The material was carried through the dryer by a conveyor with VFD speed control. The temperature of the dryer stages was controlled by PID control loops in the PLC.

Project Outcome:
The ability to monitor many variables and store product recipes allowed for greater quality control and increased throughput.

Case Study 113: Material Handling Industry Sector: Conveying • Material Handling System

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley ControlLogix
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus HMIs

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a system to deliver 400 to 1600 pound rolls of paper to printing presses using an in-floor chain conveyor. The system consisted of carts holding rolls of newspapers that traveled through the press room until a press operator needed a roll of paper; at which time the operator pressed a button diverting the new roll to the press. At the press the roll was removed, the empty cart detected and sent back to an area where it could be refilled. Filled carts were automatically merged back onto the main line. Special carts were used to remove waste such as the roll covering and empty spools. Full waste carts were diverted to the waste area, emptied, and automatically merged back to the main line. The critical functions included controlling the cart stops at the merge area and implementing a shutdown if a collision was about to occur at the merge point.

Project Outcome:
The implementation of the system reduced cart collisions thereby increasing operational safety and allowing quicker reloading of the presses.