Stocksbridge Billet Mill consisted of 13 separate pulpits. Individually controlled by skilled operators, the pulpit environment was cluttered and in need of an overhaul, with instruments extremely labour intensive and connected to obsolete systems from the 1950s.
The objective was to move to one new ‘super pulpit’ with only eight multifunctional operator chairs in a clean and safe environment. Large wall-mounted monitors would enable operators to view all the necessary machinery in a modern, state-of-the-art facility.
The 40” and 42” mills, Scarfer and two saws have dedicated chairs, while the others are selectable to different equipment, giving more flexibility and redundancy. Images of machinery relevant to the chair are displayed from multiple cameras throughout the mill, changing automatically depending on which equipment it’s controlling.
The main PLC system is based on a Siemens 319F safe processor located in a separate air-conditioned room, next to the SCADA server rack systems. The remote I/O panels in each old pulpit consist of several racks of Siemens ET200M modules operating into the existing 110v control circuits. The super pulpit chairs also have a rack of Siemens ET200 I/O modules fitted in panniers.
All remote I/O panels are connected to the PLC system via Profinet which also carries the ‘profisafe’ communication protocol for safety & emergency stop functions.
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