Heat Treat / Aerospace

Application Note: Furnace Retrofits for Control and Remote Visuals at an Industrial Gas Facility

October 18, 2022 | Application NotesHeat Treat / Aerospace

See Job Note pdf here!

Problem: An industrial gas company had ten ovens with 1980’s technology. None of the ovens were networked together and there were no drawings for most of the ovens. Over the decades, multiple minor wiring modifications had turned each enclosure into a bird’s nest of unintelligible wiring. When something went wrong, it took maintenance hours to troubleshoot. 

Each of the ovens had the following specifications:

34″ x 22″ x 44″ Chamber

2350 degrees F Max Temp +/-20 degrees F Uniformity

Electric Heating Elements with Solid State Power Controllers

48KW @ 480/3/60 60 Amps

Vertical door with Electric Gear Motor

Solution: NSI worked in conjunction with L&L Furnace of Aston, PA to upgrade the entire control system.  The chosen solution involved supplying controller / recorder solutions with the Eurotherm Nanodac, adding power monitoring with the M-System 53U power meter, networking all the ovens together and displaying all SP’s, PVs and alarms on a centralized 15” Weintek OIT, generating a powerful local notification system using the M-System IT60SRE Modbus TCP driven stacklight, and providing a cloudbased historian and remote alarming using a SCADACore Viacell edge device.  Everything was then tied together with Eurotherms’ ‘out-of-the-box’ oven SCADA system.  All of this had to be done for a budget that wouldn’t break the bank.

The Nanodac is a large I/O count, cyberhardened two loop controller with built-in setpoint profiling, function block programming, encrypted data logging and Modbus TCP communications.

Three CT’s were added to each oven and connected to the M-System 53U power meter, which has a Modbus RTU interface.  This was connected to a Lantronix converter, thus providing a Modbus TCP interface, allowing massive amounts of power data to be extracted, stored and analyzed.

The Weintek display is used as a central operator station to show profile status, alarms and current oven temperatures for all ten of the ovens.

The M-System IT60SRE Modbus TCP stacklight was delivered with four lights. Each light can be off, solid or flashing and all driven by Modbus commands.  This gives the operator a wealth of available messages using combinations of lights and light states and all done with just power wiring and a Cat5 cable.  This again, reduces installation time, materials and subsequently cost.   

The SCADACore Viacell communicates to all ten Nanodacs over Modbus TCP and sends status, temperature and alarm information to the cloud.  This is used as a back-up historian and to alert supervisors to any alarms.

The Eurotherm Oven SCADA system automatically recognizes the Nanodac controller and all relevant parameter addresses are pre-programmed.  With its pre-built graphical interfaces, this means that a complete SCADA system can be developed in a day and commissioned over a second day thus reducing the project costs drastically.

During the installation process, all the surplus wiring was removed, remaining wiring tidied up and traced.  ‘As-built’ AutoCAD drawings were then developed and delivered to the customer as part of the sign-off package.

End Result: The customer is now able to see both temperature controls and energy meters from every networked furnace from their control room.  Within the first month, they were able to quickly see broken heater elements such that they did not have to start / restart oven runs multiple times.   

Contact us today if you have old furnaces or ovens with controls that need to be networked and upgraded!

See Job Note pdf here!

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