Control System Retrofits and Upgradation

The most commonly used approach is upgrading in steps or phases.

  • Phase 1: Supervisory layer component upgrade

Supervisory layer components involving HMIs and communication network elements between control systems and HMIs are upgraded in phase 1. This lets the end user to become acquainted with the operations of new system. Having the old HMIs run in parallel with the new HMIs is beneficial because it gives the operators a chance to become familiar with the new system.

  • Phase 2: Control system upgrade

Phase 2 involves upgrading DCS control hardware. This is a critical phase and has to be planned in more detail as compared to phase 1. It may include downtime depending on upgrade limitations and DCS configuration.

  • Phase 3: I/O modules upgrade [Optional]

Phase 3 involves upgrading I/O modules and relevant hardware in a DCS. It may also involve downtime based on I/O module configuration and upgrade limitations.

Whatever the reason for replacing a control system, there are 3 major steps that we take to ensure the success of the change out.

Phase 1: Determine how the existing system functions.

Before we can begin retrofitting a controller, we must first fully understand how the existing system works. This requires a certain amount of documentation and knowledge, including:

  • drawings such as P&IDs, mechanical, process or electrical
  • an understanding of any hardwired safety circuits
  • identifying the existing I/O on the controller and the function of each device connected to the I/O
  • capturing HMI screens and determining what each active element (such as a pushbutton) does
  • a list of all setpoints and alarms that have been programmed into the existing system
  • an understanding of all data that may be sent to the SCADA system
  • a clear and concise Functional Specification that explains the details of how the system functions and the expected product throughput of the system. If written properly, this document can also be integrated into an Operator’s Manual.
  • a Control Narrative that verbally describes the sequence of operation of the machine or system
  • list of applicable personnel, environmental and machine safety standards that apply

In most cases, all of this information is not readily accessible. That is not the fault of the owner, as he may never have received that information in the first place.

In any event, if any of the items listed above are not available, we will perform an audit of the existing system so that we have the required information.

This serves a dual purpose. If the owner, does not have that information, he is usually very happy to get it. Also, it gives us the information we need to proceed to the next phase.

Sometimes, this first phase is completed in a couple of days. Other times, it may take a few weeks or even months. We have been involved in projects where there was very little documentation, resulting in us interviewing the machine operators to find out how the system worked.

Phase 2: Create new drawings, write the control program and generate the necessary HMI and SCADA screens

Of course, if we are installing a new controller new drawing will be required.

We will sit down with the owner and go over the new drawings, the new program, the screens, alarms, SCADA data collection and safety concerns. We want to capture any issues that may present a problem in the final phase.

During this phase, our primary goal is to make sure that the system operates as defined in the Functional Specification. However, we certainly understand that the owner might want to make enhancements to increase productivity, decrease downtime or otherwise improve performance. We are more than willing to accommodate any changes to the original operation.

Phase 3: Retrofitting and Start-Up

We work with the owner to determine who will actually remove the old controller and install the new one. Perhaps the owner wants his personnel to perform the work, or maybe he would prefer that the work be done by contractors.

As physical situations vary, sometimes a new controller can be installed in an existing enclosure. Other times, a new enclosure is required. In either case, we will provide drawings and define a step-by-step procedure for installing the new controller.

With the owner, we will determine how much downtime is available to replace the existing controller with a new one. We understand that production demands must be met and we will accommodate those demands. This may require making provisions to operate the equipment manually during the controller changeout. In large systems, it probably would be best to divide the systems into sub-systems, so that the entire system is upgraded a section at a time.

We will define the acceptance criteria for the project. Typically, this is as simple as going through the Functional Specification and confirming that the system operates as stated. However, there may be other variables, and we want to make sure the client’s needs are met.

After we have a clear plan for the start-up, we will monitor and assist in the physical retrofit, load the new program and test the system to the defined acceptance criteria.

Precautions to be taken while Control System Retrofits and Upgradation

  • Turn the system off and any connections.
  • Disconnect the system and any attached peripherals from AC power, and then remove the battery.
  • Disconnect any telephone or telecommunications lines from the system.
  • Make use of a wrist grounding strap and mat when operating inside any computer system to prevent electrostatic discharge damage.
  • After eradicating any system module, cautiously position the detached component on an anti-static mat.
  • Use shoes with nonconductive rubber soles to assist decrease the risk of being shocked or critically injured in an electrical accident.
  • Keep away from water at all times when operating electricity. Never touch or try repairing any electrical equipment or circuits with wet hands. It improves the conductivity of current.
  • Don’t utilise gears with damaged insulation, frayed cords or broken plugs.
  • Always use insulated tools while working.
  • Electrical hazards include exposed energized parts and unguarded electrical equipment which may become energized unexpectedly. Such equipment always carries warning signs like “Shock Danger”
  • Always utilise proper insulated rubber goggles and gloves while operating on any electrical circuit.
  • Never try repairing energized equipment. At all times verify that the gear or equipment is de-energized using a tester.
  • Never use an Aluminium or steel ladder if you are working on any receptacle at height in your home.
Written by CoreSystems

How is Retrofitting and Upgradation of Control System Done


Control Panel Retrofitting And Upgradation

This involves replacement of the old circuits or elements, within the existing system, with a new element.  Typically, a retro fit is carried out on an existing control system which is of good condition and has a considerable time remaining until its end of life.

A sample of retrofitting might be upgrading a feeder MCCB circuit from Four Hundred Ampere Thermal Magnetic MCCB to six hundred thirty Ampere with Electronic Trip.  This would be done for additional load to the building and also provides better electrical co-ordination between control panels.

Another intention for a retrofit can be damaged or worn out circuit breakers or substituting outdated protection or control relays.  Replacing these will mean panels will have better performance and protection.

Basic retrofits pose very little disturbance to site and using a staged retrofit for several circuits permits the user to have higher control of shutdown periods and site allocations.

This service begins with a visit of our team on site to evaluate your needs. We then proceed with the pre-assembling and pre-cabling of your control panels at our facility, after which we install them at your plant.

 

Benefits of Retrofitting and Upgrading of Control Panels

  • Your upgraded and retrofitted system will have more capabilities than it did before.
  • Production will overtake your previous benchmarks.
  • The equipment will be more reliable than it ever was.
  • You can revive on labor expense as the automation can handle more duties than when the system was first built.
  • Save energy
  • Reduce downtime due to scheduled maintenance
  • Report operating data and productivity information in real-time
  • Increase reliability
  • Troubleshoot problems quickly with detailed diagnostic information

 

Who Needs Retrofitting and Upgradation?

The average life-span of a building today is around 30 years.  Often, the electrical wiring in a building remains the same even if renovated. This means that many businesses are operating with insufficient electrical support for their modern electrical appliances.  The steady increase of consumer electronic use and energy consumption means that these electrical systems could become easily overloaded.

  • Are your computers protected by a dedicated circuit?
  • Do your lights flicker?
  • Are your breakers constantly tripping?
  • Do your fuses blow regularly?
  • Whether your panel box makes a crunching noise or not?
  • Are your electrical service conductors overheating?
  • Are you making additions to your business or do you have new construction?
  • Do you need more outlets?
  • Did your Insurance require that you make an Upgrade?
  • Do you use multiple extension cords?
  • Do your electronic devices run on less than full power?
  • Do you require a 240v circuit?
  • Do you need to add a sub panel?
  • Do you need a power surge arrestor?
  • Are your outlets two pronged (non-grounded)?
  • Is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) required?
  • Do you want an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it may be a warning sign that it is time to upgrade or retrofit your electrical panel today.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of workplace fatalities in 2007.  Fortunately, many of the dangers associated with older electrical systems can be prevented simply by upgrading or retrofitting the electrical panel.

Upgrading the electrical panel helps to ensure that your electrical system is equipped to meet your energy needs and protect your employees and property.  If you operate in an aged building, CoreSystems can inspect your building’s electrical wiring distribution system to find out what exactly your electrical service panel needs. Upgrading or replacing important components can help prevent electrical emergencies before they occur. Call Mr. Electric today to upgrade or replace your electric panel today!

Written by CoreSystems

Benefits of Retrofitting and Upgrading of Control Panels


Control System Retrofits and Upgradation

Retrofitting refers to the addition of new technology or features to older systems. At CoreSystems, we understand that your control system may not be in great working order. CoreSystems has the ability to upgrade and retrofit modern technology and equipment to your existing system.

Why is Retrofitting and Upgradation of Control System Necessary?

Retrofitting provides you with the ease of use and reliability of fresh new equipment at little of the expense. Many times, it is very cost effective for the customer to retrofit a machine with new controls rather than buy a new machine. Spare parts are readily available and less expensive than outdated components.

Modern HMI (Human Machine Interface) technology can store machine parameters, saving thousands of dollars in setup and changeover time and can display alarm conditions, making troubleshooting and service easier. Every industrial control panels are completely wired and checked before delivery, thus decreasing start-up time. All retrofit solutions include updated electrical schematics.

By upgrading to a better system, it gives CoreSystem the ability to monitor your building remotely and allows us to prevent, diagnose and assist in solutions to problems without having to be onsite.  Therefore, saving down time and money for our clients.

Many times, it is very cost effective for the customer to retrofit a machine with new controls rather than buy a new machine. Raise your uptime by fixing consistent, current industrial electronic systems. With better control and accuracy, you will have less waste, reduced labor costs, and better data acquisition from every unit in your line.

 

What is Done During Retrofitting and Upgradation of Control System?

Make an objective review of the situation and decide on your target schedule. Hopefully, you haven’t waited until the last minute and you have at least a 6 to 9-month window for an average size system conversion. The bigger the system, the additional time you will require to plan, develop, prepare, program, install, integrate and test the replacement system.

You then need to assess your current information:

  • Do you have the PLC program or is it an OEM system that is proprietary with no back-up copy?
  • Whether you own AutoCAD drawings, current wiring diagrams, training manuals, operator manuals, or any document that recognizes the system architecture?
  • In what condition are the computers and panels?
  • Are the wire labels well marked and legible? What is the operating system?
  • Is there a demarcation point, such as a separate termination block, where the field wiring is landed?
  • What is the business case for the upgrade? Is there cost justification?
  • The more information and documentation you have will directly reduce the time “recreating” the system program and application.

To perform engineering commissioning and work included in an upgrade in a short time, all gears are not upgraded in block; in its place, a phased upgrading is performed. In regards to the phased upgrading, the upgrades of all the equipment are split up and performed in several set inspection periods; consequently, the required capital investment per inspection is reduced. Even though performing the upgrade can reduce the total amount of investment, optimization is attained depending on the inventiveness of the upgrading sequence.

The following three points are evaluated in three separate steps:

  1. Level of importance of equipment

The upgrade is arranged to begin from equipment that is moreover really hard or impractical to function the plant in the case that parts in that equipment gets old and operate wrong.

  1. Rebuilt dimensions of gears other than that upgraded

To upgrade existing equipment, temporarily upgrading equipment that is to be upgraded in the next. There are numerous ways that can be selected for by the end user while determining an upgrade. Most of the DCS OEMs have already designed their upgrade paths accordingly. One of the easiest way is to substitute every current DCSs at the same time—along with all human-machine interfaces (HMIs), input/output (I/O) modules, control hardware etc. This way may appear simpler to arrange, but it possess few factors like reduced efficiency of operational staff as they have to switch to newer systems in one go, longer downtime and so on inspection period or later is wasteful; therefore, an upgrade sequence that gives rise to a little temporary work as possible is set up.

  1. Finishing upgrading work and enough testing in the arranged inspection test interval

An upgrading sequence that permits finishing of upgrading work and satisfactory testing in the predetermined inspection test period was exhibited. Because unlike simple upgradation, the phased plan requires proof testing of elements that are newly accepted in widening of the automation scope. There are episodes in which old and new networks survive together. Hence, prevailing pieces of gear and the gateways for conveying their communications should be established as a short-term equipment until the whole upgrading is finished.

Written by CoreSystems

Why is Retrofitting and Upgradation of Control System Necessary


Field service automation is utilized to handle resources in various industries:

  • In telecommunications and cable industry, technicians who install cable or run phone lines into residences or business establishments.
  • In healthcare, mobile nurses who provide in-home care for elderly or disabled.
  • In gas utilities, engineers who are dispatched to Investigate and repair suspected leaks.
  • In heavy engineering, industrial and manufacturing, mining.
  • In property maintenance, consisting of irrigation, landscaping and home plus office cleaning.
  • In HVAC industry, technicians have the expertise and equipment to investigate units in residential, commercial and industrial environments

 

How is Field Service Automation Done?

There are 3 different ways we can perform field service automation:

  • Mobile: Field service is mobile by nature. Usually, someone has to be physically present on site to finish a work order or property pick-up. The technology that best supports field service workflows is usually the technology that’s built to travel. As an alternative to entering data at the office again, numerous field agents now work from smartphones and tablets, renew job statuses while they do the work, obtain digital customer signatures on their mobile devices or print invoices and forms on a mobile printer.
  • Software-as-a-Service: In current years, the preface of software-as-a-service pricing models has caused FSM to become an achievable chase for even tiny service companies, which provides them an option to contend against bigger corporations. Examples might include window cleaners, landscapers, or plumbing and HVAC technicians. As an alternative to paying for a costly upfront license and even costlier IT infrastructure, businesses can give a monthly subscription fee to access cloud-hosted FSA software. SaaS deployment also enables greater mobility, since the system is accessible from any device with a web connection, rather than an allotted physical network.
  • Integration with back-end systems: Especially for teams who work directly with customers, field service doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Their task is to hand-deliver a solution—whether that be equipment repair, installation, or regular maintenance—in a way that is helpful and convenient for customers. Your agents can only do part of the job, if they don’t have access to the right information, accounts, and back-end systems, which leaves customers incompletely satisfied. That’s why many companies are now adopting solutions with built-in access to other core systems like customer relationship management (CRM), inventory, and accounting. With better integration, field agents can deliver true end-to-end service.

Ideas for implementing automation in field service:

  • Automate scheduling

Various aspects of service scheduling and staffing can be completely automated. When service and dispatch professionals put in requests for desired work hours, software can bump these recommendations up against customer needs, finding opportunities for greater efficiency. In addition, alerts and real-time updates can keep leadership abreast of scheduling improvements.

  • Streamline work order management

Human error is unavoidable when it comes to pricing, invoicing, and closing out costly jobs. Consider streamlining work order management through automation software. Various tools can provide work estimates to customers, forecast based on previous numbers, and send automated payment or invoicing reminders to all parties involved.

  • Simplify dispatch

Field service personnel managers recognize how difficult communication can be. Keeping track of techs, and job completions are key to a dispatch manager’s daily grind. Dispatch automation and route optimization software can simplify dispatch by delivering real-time route information, tech activity while on-site, and notices when jobs are completed.

 

Main Challenges Faced During Field Service Automation:

  • Making the System Responsive
  • Keeping Things Moving
  • Assuring Ease of Use
  • Incoherent employee communication
  • Complicated scheduling and dispatch
  • Remote inventory management
  • Customer and work order management
  • Employee tracking and performance
  • Over-worked and under-skilled resources

Field service will turn out to be an increasingly competitive industry, as customers become more choosy about the services and products they pay for. An establishment’s skill to deliver fast and effective results through a mobile workforce may be the factor between leading or trailing their competitors. Field service management software is no longer a secret weapon wielded by enterprises; it’s a necessary tool for survival, and one of the best gifts you can give your agents.

Written by CoreSystems

How is Field Service Automation Done


Field Service Automation or Field Service Management is just any system that is intended to keep trail of the different components of field operations.  These components typically include inventory management, vehicle tracking, scheduling, customer portals and more. Field service management is the method of organizing all your field service procedures to improve efficiency and productivity.

For today’s enterprise field service organizations, managing the schedules and deployment of hundreds of technicians, tracking thousands of parts, covering dozens of warranties is something that analog methods can no longer keep up with. A modern field service facility needs stages of automation for planning the right technicians for the right job as well as return, parts and repair allocation

 

Why is Field Service Automation Important?

Automation is the buzzword to improve efficiency and reduce cost at the same time. This is true for almost all facets of work, and more so for field services, which has a historical reputation for delays, inefficiencies, and high costs.

Field service is often the place where enterprise information systems, labor controls, and productivity tools falter. The opaque nature of the work, far removed from the office or shop floor is the chief cause for blame. While cells phones offer visibility and connectivity, its effectiveness is limited. Technology is, however, changing the situation, transforming field service through new improved paradigms.

When you direct a human out to the field, you come across numerous variables, like their what kind of transportation they use, attendance, what route they use with the transportation, data requirements, their mobile connectivity etc. that it turn out to be nearly impracticable to keep trail by someone sitting in house by themselves. What additionally complicates things is that all these costs add-up in ways that in the end distort your bottom-line and customer satisfaction.

To be fair, emails and spreadsheets were the way that most organizations dealt with every process, not just field service management (FSM). However, where FSA undergoes the most is that it comes across with more variables than any other procedures. When you send a human resource out to the field, you deal with so many variables (like their attendance, what kind of transportation they use, what route they use with the transportation, their mobile connectivity, data requirements, etc.) that it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of by someone sitting in-house on their own. What further complicates things is that all these variable costs add-up in ways that ultimately cripple your bottom-line and customer satisfaction.

 

What is Done During Field Service Automation?

Field service automation is a scheme for organizing field operations through a mobile or similar system. At a basic level, this entails scheduling service orders, dispatching agents, and tracking vehicle locations and job status. A proper software solution will assist automate these chores and offer mobile access through a cloud-based platform. FSM is prevalent in numerous industries, but particularly those that employ mobile agents or contractors, such as waste management, utilities, telecommunications, public sector transportation, and even in-home healthcare.

FSA solutions can differ widely based on industry and intention of usage, varying from best applications for order scheduling to all other product suites for enterprises. In general, you can expect to see some or all of the following capabilities in a standard platform:

  • Scheduling and order management
  • Vehicle/technician location tracking
  • Job status updates
  • Route optimization and GPS navigation
  • Time tracking and driver logs
  • Knowledge and asset repositories
  • Parts and inventory management
  • Integrated invoicing/payment processing
  • Customer portals
  • Regulatory compliance measures

Field service management(FSM) allows operations manager and business to stay in safer control of the situation. The following are some processes that happen after Field service automation is done:

  • Automated scheduling of service calls, deploying the right technician at the right site, within the shortest time.
  • Real-time tracking of field service technicians, to give an accurate picture of the expected arrival time of the technician at the field site, reducing uncertainty and ambiguity, and sparing the need for clients to make follow up calls and clarifications.
  • Ability for supervisors and other stakeholders to monitor movement of technicians in real time, to resolve any bottleneck, slack, or other glitches in real time, pre-empting disruption of work
  • Enabling field service technicians to connect with the command and control office in real-time for better insights on the nature of the job, any required assistance with experts, and for follow-up, sparing the need to make duplicate visits, and also for doing a more accurate job
  • Increased accuracy and precision, as forms are populated automatically wherever possible, and delivered to all stakeholders and regulatory agencies at the correct time, in the correct format, automatically.
  • Self-initiation of appropriate reminders and alerts, whenever manual interference is necessary.
  • Automatic replenishment orders for spares and other stock, avoiding stock-out situations which may delay field service.

Such interventions eliminate wastage, paving the way for lean operations, with reduced operations cost and maximum returns on investment.

In the field service space, the goal now is to be proactive, as opposed to reactive. It’s not just good enough anymore to be able to solve a maintenance or repair issue after a piece of equipment has already been broken, as companies are looking for ways to keep their equipment in good working order, to begin with, while also identifying problems before they happen.

That’s where field service automation comes into play, as the deployment of field service technicians before a break occurs is what companies are looking for. It not only keeps equipment in good working order but limits the amount of downtime and the number of service calls they would require.

In CoreSystems, automation can be achieved many ways to ensure equipment is running at its peak efficiency. Automated scheduling of preventative maintenance is the first line of defense, as either through a contract or work order, maintenance can be scheduled well in advance and be scheduled with the right technician with the right skills to complete the task. With the field service app, maintenance checklists and any parts needed can be directly sent to the technician, giving them all they need for the job.

 

Written by CoreSystems

Why is Field Service Automation Important, and What is Done During Field Service Automation


Benefits of Field Service Automation

  • Delight Customers
  • Generate Revenue Faster
  • Interactive Scheduling
  • Efficient scheduling and dispatching (including redirecting technicians to customers based on expertise, location, and availability)
  • Providing a singular window of visibility into all resources (including integration with backend systems like CRM, accounting, and inventory management)
  • Comprehensive data analytics that provide insights into customer behavior and the ability to make better predictions
  • Technician location tracking with real-time job updates and vehicle tracking with GPS route optimization
  • Customer portals that facilitate real-time communication with technicians via messaging
  • Automation Means Accuracy
  • Integrated payment processing and invoice generation
  • Regulatory compliance at every stage

 

When Do You Need Field Service Automation?

If you are utilizing various types of data and intricate spreadsheets to cope up your field service business or even heavy-duty software, it is the phase to reconsider field service. CoreSystems from GE Digital’s field service automation software helps enterprise businesses improve efficiency and decrease costs.

CoreSystems’s cloud-based field service solution guarantees customer satisfaction. It helps to achieve business agility and increased productivity. Our field service automation provision to:

  • Assign exact field tech with the correct parts and task
  • Avert warranty leakage and drive service revenue
  • Monitor repairs, returns and parts across the field service network
  • Provide anytime and anywhere access to field techs with CoreSystems Mobile
  • Offer self-service tools to customers
  • Attain analytics that provide immediate inputs on dashboards and reports.

With CoreSystems, perfecting field service becomes a breeze.

The concept of Internet of Things has changed the field service automation model to one where machines are expressing the field service software when there is a matter that wants to be addressed. When equipment is working outside normal parameters, it pre-emptively prompts a service call and schedules a maintenance request. This results in lower administration costs and improves uptime of a vital piece of equipment.

CoreSystems FSA can provide the automatic updates needed to keep a business running smoothly. Service managers can configure and create reports on service to foresee problems or identify recurring problems with pieces of equipment. The flexibility of the Business Intelligence feature can give managers insight into the business in real-time, offering a way to be proactive in their services and business decisions, as opposed to reacting to trends that can be identified through automation.

CoreSystems’s many integrations with accounting software, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP and NetSuite, offers time-saving automation. Data entry completed in either software can connect with CoreSystem to create client profiles that can be used by dispatchers when creating work orders. These automations can go straight from the field, as service technicians can sign off on work orders that, through the integration, can create invoices that are immediately sent to the customer.

Field service automation is about many different things in unique areas that, combined, can speed up multiple processes of the work order, assigning a schedule and billing, while keeping a focus on being proactive in maintenance schedules, as opposed to reacting to a problem after it has already caused downtime.

Written by CoreSystems

When Do You Need Field Service Automation, What are the Benefits of Field Service Automation


Current control systems employ a PLC or Programmable Logic Controller as a way to control motors, valves and many other gears used in a procedure. Computer based Human Machine Interface(HMI) products offer the measures by which process personnel interact with the PLC control system. A well-designed combination of PLC’s and HMI’s can be a solid foundation for your process automation needs.

 

What is Done During PLC and HMI Programming?

PLC or Programmable Logic Controller from the I / O signals is responsible for the control of the entire machine or equipment. Its programming, in addition to meeting production requirements, must also be structured and accessible to provide fault diagnostics quickly and accurately.

A Programmable Logic Controller program is generally written on a computer and then downloaded to the controller Most PLC programming software offers programming in Ladder Logic. Ladder Logic is the traditional programming language. Due to its visual nature Ladder Logic is simpler to employ than many other programming languages. Some PLC manufacturers supply control programming software.

When operators don’t have easy access to a PC nor laptop close to the installation or the machine, is hard to face the task of creating some backups by downloading or uploading the PLC program or modification. For this reason, there’s a method to upload/download the PLC program directly from or to a USB through the Human Machine Interface.

There are a few key features that set PLCs apart from industrial PCs, microcontrollers, and other industrial control solutions:

  • Input and Output– The PLC’s CPU stores and processes program data, but input and output modules connect the PLC to the rest of the machine; these I/O modules are what provide information to the CPU and trigger specific results. Input output can be digital or analog. Users can match and mix a PLC’s Input output in order to obtain the correct configuration for their application.
  • Communications – A PLC is also connected with other types of systems. Users might want to export application data recorded by the PLC to a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, which monitors multiple connected devices. PLCs propose a range of communication protocols and ports to make sure that the PLC can communicate with these other systems.
  • HMI – In order to intermingle with PLC in real time, users need a Human Machine Interface. These operator interfaces enable users to review and input information to the PLC in real time, by providing interfaces with simple displays, with a text-readout and keypad, or large touchscreen panels.

A manufacturing line must first be working with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) so as to be integrated with an HMI. It is the PLC that takes the information from the sensors, and transforms it to Boolean algebra, so the HMI can decipher and make decisions. This is where PLC and HMI interface.

The programming of HMI as its name says, is responsible for the provision of interface with the machine. Thus, from network communication with the CLP, Programming of HMI provides a series of information to operators and other users of the system, such as: fault diagnosis; Production reports; Status of equipment; Manual controls etc. An HMI Programming application need an intuitive and friendly function and its resources must be rightly employed according to the customer needs.

Choosing an HMI:

An HMI is a considerable purchase thus it is vital to know correctly what is needed of it. An HMI is used for three primary roles:

  • The place of LEDs, On/ Off buttons, etc. is replaced by the pushbutton replacer. The elimination of these mechanical devices is possible because the HMI can provide a visual representation of all these devices on its LCD screen, while performing all the same functions.
  • The Data Handler is utilised for applications that need monitoring and stable feedback. Most of the times these Data Handlers come arranged with large capacity memories.
  • The overseer is the last of the HMI three types. These are centralized systems that watch and regulate whole sites or complexes of large systems expanded over vast areas

 

At CoreSystems we create programming solutions for HMI and PLC devices separately designed for every customer. CoreSystem team with numerous years of experience in creating solutions in cutting-edge sectors such as the cooling, chemical and machinery industries, offers each project with fresh characteristics to make sure a straightforward and visual user communication with the process.

Features like remote connectivity that is through mobile, tablet or PC or the sending of alarms makes it simple to obtain the control and analyze various processes anyplace and at any time. Technical support services are also provided. This support, along with our connectivity solutions, ensures assistance is provided instantly and remotely in the event of any incident. We work with PLC brands which offer a guarantee of reliability and robustness over a long period of time.

 

Why chose PLC and HMI Programming?

Programmable Logic Controllers propose businesses the chance to really modify their mechanical processes. PLC delivers automated solutions by initiating operation based on a system of inputs and outputs, and thus performing as the “brain” of the control system.

Other common programming languages used include:

  • Structured Text
  • Sequential Flow Chart or SFC, very similar to a traditional flowchart
  • Instruction List
  • Function Block Diagram

PLC programming is extremely valuable. Advantages or benefits of PLC are:

  • Minimize the monotony of simplistic work tasks
  • Simplify wiring and reduce material costs
  • Generate dynamic and complex procedures that out-of-date techniques like mechanical relay-based control just cannot control
  • Offer cost effective solutions to even the minor and major manufacturers looking for solutions to process control, complex assembly, manufacturing and testing applications.

HMI is the best choice because of its user-friendliness of the graphical interface. The graphical interface contains color coding that allows for easy identification. Advantage or benefits of HMI are:

  • Alarms/Warnings
  • Reliable Messaging
  • Easier Overall Management of Plant
  • Accurate Testing with Simulation
  • Cost Reduction
  • Improved Communications

 

CoreSystems blends the right components with customized design to build quality automation solutions.  Our aim is to generate successful and well documented programs that merge well with present system logic.  Our widespread system control knowledge of current development platforms and our history permits us to offer proven technologies that can progress your process efficiencies.

 

Written by CoreSystems

What is Done During PLC and HMI Programming?


When You Should Select VFD?

Choosing a variable frequency drive over other device often depends on your application. Devices like, soft starters are smaller and less expensive when compared with VFDs in larger horsepower applications. Larger VFDs take up more space and are usually more expensive than soft starters.

Even though a VFD is costlier in advance, it can offer energy savings of up to fifty percent, thus giving more cost savings over the life span of the equipment. Speed control is another advantage of a VFD, because it offers consistent acceleration time throughout the entire operating cycle of the motor, not just during startup. VFDs can also offer stronger functionality than other devices, as well as digital diagnostic information.

It is important to note that a VFD can initially cost two to three times more than other devices. Therefore, if constant acceleration and torque control is not necessary, and your application requires current limiting only during startup, a cheaper device like soft starter may be a better solution from a cost standpoint.

 

Benefits of VFD are:

  • Energy Savings: Creating variance in the speed of the motor provides energy savings.  In several motors VFDs are used to reduce the energy used by the motor. Meaning a 30% decrease in the motor’s speed leads to an almost 65% reduction in energy used.
  • Lower Demand Charges: By lowering the amount of energy your building uses during its peak demand period, you will lower your demand charge, which is another significant part of your electric bill.
  • Longevity of Equipment: A VFD provide a soft start to the motor and permits it to rise up and down.  A soft start meaning that the motor speeds up progressively than all at once, utilizing smaller energy than a general motor’s start off.  These variations to motor function decreases the wear and tear on the parts of the motor, prolonging the life of equipment.
  • Lowered Repair Costs: There will be lesser repairs and replacements required on parts and equipment, as wear and tear to the motor and equipment are decreased through a soft start and the ability to adjust speed as required
  • Diagnostic implications: Many VFDs can be connected to facility management systems to help compile information about the system.

 

Where is VFD Panel Installed?

There are both physical and electrical installation basics to be aware of when using a VFD.

  • When mounting the VFD on a back panel, be sure to check the specifications.
  • It is common for multiple devices to be installed in one location, but all VFDs need proper air flow, so check the installation instructions carefully when laying out a control panel.
  • Mount the drives vertically.
  • Some drives can be mounted with no clearance, but it’s common to have a minimum side-to-side spacing of 50 mm or more and to have vertical clearance above and below the drive of 100 mm to 150 mm.
Written by CoreSystems

Chosing VFD Over Other Drives and VFD’s Benefits


There are both physical and electrical installation basics to be aware of when using a VFD. When mounting the VFD on a back panel, be sure to check the specifications. It is common for multiple devices to be installed in one location, but all VFDs need proper air flow, so check the installation instructions carefully when laying out a control panel. Mount the drives vertically.

  • Electrically, proper run/stop control of the VFD is important. Many manufacturers do not recommend using contactors or disconnect switches on the line or load side of a VFD for run/stop control of the ac drive and motor, except for emergency situations. Opening a contactor at the line or load side of a VFD while the motor is running can cause failures in the inverter section of the drive or reduce its life.
  • With any motor control circuit, proper overcurrent and ground-fault protection is required at the input of the device. A normal VFD takes single-phase voltage, but it isn’t planned for usage with single-phase motors. Although a standard three-phase induction motor works with a VFD, a three-phase inverter duty motor should be used.
  • There are many more factors, features and functions to consider when using a VFD, so study the catalogs and manuals and then get with your vendors. With constant-speed or constant-torque applications, like compressors, conveyors or mixers, there might be easier possibilities. However, whether replacing a dc motor or varying the speed and acceleration of your conveyor, fan, blower or pump, go with the VFD option. It’s often the best choice, if installed properly.
  • Cooling: VFD control units must be placed in positions where the highest ambient temperature doesn’t surpass 40˚C. This is a common temperature rating for most units. If higher ambient are expected, derating of the variable frequency drive may be required.
  • Supply line power quality: The supply to the VFD input mustn’t change minus or plus ten percent as most VFDs will trip through a protective error. This voltage steadiness must be taken into consideration while operating conductors to the VFD and voltage drops must be found out for long runs.
  • Electrical connections: The installation and sizing of VFD load and line conductors must obey the NEC or similar appropriate local codes.
  • Grounding: For dependable and safe functioning, all VFDs should be correctly grounded. This usually demands for a grounding conductor to be taken back to a single point grounding position, generally chosen to be at the service. Along with that, a grounding conductor should also be carried back from the motor to the VFD’s inner grounding terminal.
  • Fault protection: Numerous VFD have short-circuited shield, in the form of fuses, previously fit by the manufacturer. This is usually the case on larger hp units. Minor units need external fuse shielding. In any of these case, the sixing and choice of these fuses is vital for shielding a semiconductor in the event of an error.
  • Motor protection: All motors require overload protection. The utmost customary practice is the utilization of a motor overcurrent relay system that would shield all 3 phases and shield in contradiction of single-phasing.
  • Humidity and moisture: in both electrical and electronic equipment, large corrosive atmospheres and humidity are worrisome. VFD units must be mounted in a non-corrosive position at any time, with ambient humidity ranging between zero to ninety five percent noncondensing.

 

Precautions While Installing VFD are:

  • Do add a line reactor when line power source is more than 10 times the kV-A rating of the drive.
  • Use different conduit for output power, input power and control wiring. More particularly, when linking the VFD’s control wiring and power, the following guidelines should be followed:
  • Install the input ac power wiring in its own rigid steel conduit.
  • Install the output motor wiring in its own rigid steel conduit.
  • In its own stiff steel pipe, mount the control wiring. Low voltage dc control wiring and one-hundred-and-twenty-volt ac control wiring must be in different conduits. Both twisted pair and shielded wire are sufficient when wiring to the VFD’s control board. Two and three-wire connections are recommended. For many drives, the minimum wire size is 18 AWG.
  • Make sure that all ground connections are fitted and grounded properly. The shield must be attached to ground at only 1 end of the cable to prevent ground loops. When connecting the shield at the VFD end, connect it to the chassis ground lug.
  • Separate control and feedback wiring from power wiring by at least 12 inches.
  • In installations with multiple VFDs, input power wiring for all VFDs can be in the same conduit, and the control wiring can be in the same conduit, but the output wiring for each motor must be in a separate conduit. The only exemption is that if 1 VFD is utilised to control multiple motors, the end wiring for all the motors can be in the same conduit.
  • Use the drive on a grounded system. Never use a floating ground. Few manufacturers don’t suggest working with a detached input on any newly created drives. If there are no interruptions on the line, the drive should function properly, but critical common-mode error can lead to nuisance tripping or other serious issues.
  • Don’t insert a contactor amid the motor and the drive
  • If the contactor is absolutely necessary, an early-break auxiliary set of contacts on the device should be interlocked with the VFD’s external fault input or stop input.
  • Don’t rotate the input power farther than once every 2 minutes
  • Do not use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) if the drive is equipped with a filter.

 

How is VFD Panel Installation and Commissioning Performed?

The process of setting up the parameters of the drive adds additional time for commissioning and installation, and is most easily completed by copy/paste tools which have many positive functions such as:

  • The ability to copy the parameter set from one drive to the next
  • Able to store parameters to maintain the parameter set for a different application configuration
  • Can be used to easily replace downed or failed drives

These tools can easily decrease how complex the processes of installation, commissioning, and troubleshooting may become.

  • VFDs are fitted at Fan Pump motors.
  • Fan pump motor is liable for providing stock to the Head Box
  • Head Box requires a control of either head or level
  • Control of a level or pressure in Head Box is done by VFITD
    A signal is fed to the VFD and with the help of a comparator, an signal is created depending on the shifting of present value from the recommended value. The controller in the VFD, then, increases/ decreases the speed based on the signals generated

Input AC Power

  • Circuit breakers feeding the VFDs are recommended to be thermal-magnetic and fast acting.
  • They should be sized as 1.5 times the input amperage of the drive. Refer to the table below.
  • Each VFD should be fed by its own breaker. If numerous drives are to be united on the same breaker, every drive must have its own protection measure from the breaker.
  • Input AC line must be ran through pipe from the breaker panel to the drives. Using a single conduit, AC input power to several VFDs can be driven, if necessary.
  • The VFD should be grounded on the terminal marked PE.

Output Power

  • Motor wires from every VFD to its individual motor should be ran through a different steel conduit far from incoming AC power wiring and control wiring to prevent crosstalk and noise between drives.
  • If the gap among the VFD and the motor exceeds two hundred and fifty feet, an output reactor must be utilised amid the VFD and the motor. The sizing of output reactor must be done accordingly.
  • If the distance between the VFD and the motor is between 500 and 1000 FT, a dV/dT filter should be used.
  • No contactor must be fit amid the motor and the drive. Functioning such kind of a device at the same time when the drive is working can cause harm to the power components of the drive.
  • When a detach switch is fit amid the motor and the drive, it must only be activated when the drive is in a STOP stage.

Programming:

An example of programing is given below:

The Drive should be programmed for the proper motor voltage.

  • The Drive should be programmed for the proper motor overload value
  • To enter the PROGRAM mode to access the parameters:
  • Press the Mode (M) button. This will activate the password prompt (PASS).
  • Use the Up and Down buttons to scroll to the password value and press the Mode (M) button. After entering the right password, the display will show that the PROGRAM mode has been opened or assessed at the starting of the parameter menu.
  • Use the Up and Down buttons to scroll to the desired parameter number.
  • After the wanted parameter is located, press the Mode (M) button to exhibit the current parameter adjustments. The parameter value will start blinking, denoting that the current parameter adjustments are being shown. The value of the parameter can be changed by using the Up and Down buttons.
  • To store the new setting and also exit the PROGRAM mode, press the Mode (M).
Written by CoreSystems

What is Done During VFD Panel Installation and Commissioning?


What is VFD?

A Variable Frequency Drive is a kind of motor controller that operates an electric motor by changing the voltage and frequency provided to the electric motor. Other names for a VFD are variable speed drive, adjustable speed drive, adjustable frequency drive, AC drive, Microdrive, and inverter.

For AC motors, VFD have been the invention that brought back into prominence, the use of AC motors. The AC-induction motor can have its speed changed by changing the frequency of the voltage used to power it. This indicates that if the voltage given to an AC motor is fifty hertz, the motor operates at its valued speed. If the frequency is increased above 50 Hz, the motor will run faster than its rated speed, and if the frequency of the supply voltage is less than 50 Hz, the motor will run slower than its rated speed. According to the variable frequency drive working principle, it’s the electronic controller specifically designed to change the frequency of voltage supplied to the induction motor

 

VFD Installation

Whichever system is considered, they only want to run at peak load i.e. one to ten percent of the functional time, so a VFD can decrease the amount of energy being unused throughout the over ninety percent of the leftover time.

Presently, VFDs are being constructed into numerous other systems, but, they can also be inserted to some present systems through a retrofit.  If retrofitting a system with a drive, check with a professional to balance the drive with the motor and the already existing system and motor.  Making sure they are properly matched is very important in making sure you gain the highest efficiency possible.

Why is VFD Used?

The VFD, often called an ac drive or inverter, takes a single- or three-phase signal and varies the speed of a three-phase ac induction motor. This is its main benefit. Running a motor more slowly can save significant energy, and speed changes may be useful to the application. Another big benefit is adjustable acceleration and deceleration. A smaller amount of acceleration can unstiffen the mechanical forces at starting /of the motor and reduce inrush current. The VFD also has built-in overload protection and motor start/stop control functions.

Variable frequency Drive, better known as VFD Control panel is a complete enclosure that helps to protect numerous electronic components and also VFD in the first place. Exposing VFD dust and windy environment can affect the drive to a great extent and that is why it is important to get VFD Panels installed.

One of the main reasons why VFD control panels have become so important is because they help to keep all electric components in one single place. In fact, it is treated as a comprehensive control solution for harmonic filtering, bypass and various other electric solutions. Over the years, control panels for VFD have gone under the scanner for improving the efficiency, but the ones that are used now are completely safe and highly functional.

Written by Praveen

What is VFD and Why is VFD Used

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