Quinn Glass has installed an integrated control system to operate furnaces and associated hot end plant in its new £75 million facility in Co.Fermanagh, NI.
The system will fulfil the needs of the glass manufacturing plant by supplying high levels of automation and use distributed intelligence.
The system chosen for the plant, which is capable of producing up to 600 tonnes of bottle glass each day, was the Siemens SIMATIC PCS7, which was configured and commissioned in partnership with Process Control & Automation Ltd(PCA). The system includes 5 operator stations, almost 3,500 I/O points, a furnace, forehearth/distributor and utilities control. A Profibus fieldbus network provides communication at plant level while data from the operator stations is carried across an Ethernet TCP/IP network which will eventually link in to Quinn’s own MIS system.
One benefit claimed for the implementation of the system is the flexibility compared to a PLC based system. An example highlighted by Paul Carter, PCA’s project manager for the installation, is the number of I/Os involved. Using PLCs a 3,500 I/O system is feasible whereas with the installed system this represents a medium sized installation. Integration was also an important factor; the system provides an integrated automation regime across waste gas plant and furnaces and batch plant control systems, allowing operators control over all hot end utilities from a single position.
Siemens Automation Tel: 0161 446 5878; Fax: 0161 446 5232