AUTOMATION FOR F&H DARWIN BATCH PLANT CONTROLLER

All the Data, All the Time
Mal does a lot of work at F&H Darwin’s Asphalt Batch Plant and recently identified an opportunity to significantly improve productivity and product quality using automation for their current manual batching process. So he got in touch with us to take a look at the operational systems in place and make some improvements.

After reviewing their operation, we decided to implement a number of automation and risk management measures by way of both hardware and software upgrades – including a PLC and Beijer HMI Screen.

The features of this system include:

  • Having a pre-programmed range of different recipes to choose from to make their different asphalt mixes
  • Display showing real time weight in silos
  • Smarts within the primary controller that automatically compensates bitumen addition based on actual dry material weight. For example, if 2% more aggregate was added, the bitumen amount added will adjust as required
  • Alarms that identify if too much of one ingredient is added
  • Automatic in-flight compensation adjustment to ensure a continuously accurate mix
  • Safety interlocks with silo doors and skip proximity switches to reduce employee and operation risk
  • Ability to pause mix part way through a batch cycle
  • Batch and material Tolerance weight settings
  • Dry and wet mixing times
  • Two speed aggregate filling to get the best of both speed of filling and accuracy
  • Accumulative display of required and actual production tonnage and automatic cycling of batches until required production is reached
  • Alarm history
  • Database record of product used that can be exported to a csv file

Here’s an infographic showing the HMI Screen with active recipe and settings shown.

Fig 1. HMI Screen showing active recipe and settings

You can also modify the settings or Recipes by selecting their respective push buttons.

Fig 1b. HMI Screen with Recipe and Settings hidden.

It is expected that F&H will see a considerable improvement in batch quality, see productivity improvements and understand the implications of the risk management measures our system provides. It will be good to touch base with F&H in a few months to see how the system is stacking up and get their feedback. We are really happy with the outcome so far.

Think we might be able to improve the operations or productivity of your Factory or Plant? Why not get in touch to discuss how N2P Controls can improve the profitability of your business.

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