We talked to Dave Ludgate of DL Electrical Engineering about how he’s used Weintek HMIs with the Productivity PLC range.
Dave, tell us a bit about yourself…
I left school at 16 and went straight into an electrical apprenticeship and progressed from there. I’ve always been interested in new stuff, so the minute I saw PLCs I was hooked. The beauty of the PLCs is that you wire the inputs and outputs and the magic all happens inside. I went back to college and took City & Guilds for electronics and never looked back. I lectured at Northampton College for a year on Electrical Regs for inspection and testing. I started working in Control Panels when Oakham School asked me to look at the control panel for part of their heating system 20 years ago. I’m based near Rutland, I started DLEE in 2006, and for the last 6 years I’ve concentrated mostly on building control panels. Since then, my business has grown from building small control panels for heating systems, to big ones for 2MW Biomass Boilers, things the size of a double decker bus – the Control panels are 1m by 1.2m, and they control all the ancillary equipment – the valves and pumps and so on – for the boiler. They’re very regulated on emissions, and the panels are used (for example) to control lime dosing on the water to make sure the emissions meet the set standards.
“I was working recently on a Control Panel for a recycling plant which came from the US, and the Allen Bradley PLC in it needed modifying”
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I like travelling, especially cruises and I love long walks in the countryside. This year has been difficult for anyone to make travel plans, but we’ve managed to get to south Wales, which was beautiful.
How long have you been a customer of Lamonde?
I went to an exhibition in Coventry years back and saw the amazing kit that Lamonde had there, I’d never seen software like it.
“I’m happy to recommend Lamonde as a supply partner, without question.”
Tell us about a recent application that Lamonde has helped you with?
I was working recently on a Control Panel for a recycling plant which came from the US, and the Allen Bradley PLC in it needed modifying, but the software alone for the modification was £1600. So instead I bought a new Productivity 2000 plc with all the IO cards it needed, for around the same costs, and the software was included free which minimized the costs for the client.
On a different job I was asked to look at an old Trend unit controlling the heating systems at Oakham School. The repair cost was enormous, so instead I replaced the lot with Productivity 1000 PLCs and a Weintek MT8050iE HMI. The whole cost was less that it would have been to repair one, particularly as in the Productivity range the software comes free. With the Weintek screens, the draw for me is the amazing value for money, yet again free software and the graphics look as good as any I have seen.
How did we go the extra mile to support you?
The beauty of working with Lamonde is Duncan’s experience – he’s a mine of knowledge, I’ve never contacted him and NOT got the right answers. Especially in the early days when I was first working with the Productivity range and I had lots of questions, he was really supportive and helpful. I’m happy to recommend Lamonde as a supply partner, without question.