Case Study: Board24 – Remote Monitoring & Control with CCTV and Fire Alarm Integration

We needed to find a way for the engineers on the Baler to see if the fans were running and to stop them remotely.  We also wanted to be able to see the status of the Baler from the fan end of the system without running over to check.

Board24 is an FSC Certified manufacturer of recyclable corrugated sheetboard. They set high standards in terms of our product quality and environmentally friendly approach. They produce corrugated board which is 100% recyclable, 100% biodegradable and made from 90% recycled or recovered paper.

We talked to Mark Crawford, Electronics Project Manager, about Board24’s waste handling system.

How long have you been a customer of Lamonde?
Since around 1995. We had an old baler and it had a DirectLogic PLC which Lamonde managed to fix for us, so we stayed with them after that.

Tell us about a project we’ve helped you with recently?
We were looking at a project to monitor the status of our waste handling system which consists of a compactor (Baler) and 4 large waste-conveying (chop/blow) fans which are part of our box-making operations. The Baler is approx. 120m from furthest fan, and when we have a problem with the baler we have to turn the fans off; up until this project someone had to go running across the plant room to stop the fans if there was a problem – and that delay in stopping could cause the fan ducts to block, which would then take several hours of downtime to unblock them.

We needed to find a way for the engineers on the Baler to see if the fans were running and to stop them remotely. We also wanted to be able to see the status of the Baler from the fan end of the system without running over to check.

We’d used DirectLogic PLCs before, so that’s where we looked first. We had considered linking two DL05 or DL06 to two Weintek MT8071iE HMIs to form a bridge between the PLCs.  The DL405 offered remote I/O but it was over specified and cost-prohibitive for the scale of the I/O required. Functionally, we just needed the fans be stopped if the Baler had an issue.  As the response time was not an issue, we could have used simple macros or data transfer objects in the HMI to transfer words/bits as required, but we asked Lamonde for recommendations for an alternative method to achieve remote I/O at a cost effective price. The Master and remote stations would only need around ten inputs and ten outputs, but future expansion had to be accommodated too.

It worked beautifully, thanks! We haven’t had a problem with it since it was installed and developed.

We originally asked Lamonde about the possible options from the DL range, and for the remote I/O. Duncan suggested an alternative in the cMT and iR range of remote I/O as options; and as we already used CODESYS for other projects it fitted nicely for us. So, we bought a Weintek cMT HMI with the CODESYS PLC licence along with an iR-ETN remote I/O coupler and the digital modules we required.

We initially started with just one (new) Fan. We fitted the cMT HMI as the local start/stop for that fan, directly to an iR Series I/O module in the same panel and it worked! That gave us the confidence to expand, and since then we’ve now added a further 2 remote stations, one in the Baler house and one at another fan control station (which handles 3 fans). At the Baler end, where one of the remote iR is, we’ve also fitted an MT8090XE HMI, which we use to show the status of the remote fans and allow the engineers to stop the fans.

To connect the iR I/O we’re using ethernet Cat5 cable, so in order to overcome the Cat5 distance limitation (max 100m), we’ve positioned the cMT centrally to reduce the distance.

Further to getting that to work, we’ve now added CCTV monitoring and control on the part of the same waste system, where we have two shredding machines. We only want to use one at a time but they’re 100m apart, and it was difficult to know if they are in use or not.  We recently found that the MT8090XE HMI offers a driver for CCTV cameras; so, we now have one at each shredding machine so each can see their opposite number and see if it’s working or not.  Through another iR-ETN pair on the same network as the cMT, we’ve developed for the operator at each machine to be able to request control of the other machine remotely, and to turn on and off as required (using the video to see if it’s in use).

Finally, we’ve integrated all the fan systems with our fire alarm system, so that if an alarm sounds the fans stop automatically, reducing our fire risk.

Did the solution we provided meet your requirements?
It worked beautifully, thanks! We haven’t had a problem with it since it was installed and developed.

What did Lamonde do particularly well that stands out in your memory?
Duncan’s product knowledge is exceptional, and he’s always been very quick to support us when we’ve had technical issues. Most parts that Lamonde carry are available ex-stock and delivered next day in most cases. We love your power supplies too, they’re really robust and cost-effective. I’ve already recommended Lamonde to other companies and will continue to do so.

Get in touch with us on +44 20 3026 2670 or email [email protected] to discuss how our solutions will work for you.