Electrical Design Engineer George Albery talked to us about using a DirectLogic 06 PLC with a Weintek HMI to modernise a boiler control system.
the DL06 platform has proven to be reliable, easy to use and cost effective
Tell me about yourself – where are you located, what’s your background?
I’m an electrical design engineer at SAACKE Combustion Services Ltd, located in Hampshire. I got into the electrical industry after I left school, completing a level 3 NVQ in electrical installations before working for a domestic electrician for a number of years. I was then taken on as an engineering apprentice at SAACKE, where I gained experience of mechanical assembly as well as electrical panel building, in addition to completing my level 3 NVQ in electrical engineering. I then progressed into the electrical design department, continuing my studies to complete an HNC in electrical and electronic engineering, and I’m currently working toward an HND, with plans to undertake a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering next year. In my current role, I am responsible for the electrical panel design for burner and boiler control systems, as well as software and systems integration.
- What do you do when you’re not at work?
When not at work, I enjoy mountain biking and photography.
- How long have you been a customer of Lamonde, and how did you hear/find out about us?
Personally, I’ve been a customer of Lamonde for the past 3 or so years, however SAACKE have been a customer for much longer than this.
- Tell me about a recent application that we’ve helped you with
There have been many projects which Lamonde have assisted with. Over the years, Duncan has offered plenty of useful advice and tuition via email, phone, and remote access software, which has really helped to utilise the full potential of the products we use.
Recently, I have been modernising our Boiler Sequencer Control System, which uses a DirectLogic 06 PLC and Weintek iE Series HMI supplied by Lamonde. The updated system provides efficient load sharing between steam boiler plant, automatic plant failure backup, as well as control for a common feedwater pump farm and gas booster set. It also provides a detailed overview of the boilerhouse, by acquiring data from each burner/boiler control panel via Modbus TCP.
The ability to import images to the HMI software has also had a big impact in the modernisation of the Boiler Sequencer system.
SAACKE have used the DirectLogic 06 platform for well over ten years, it has proven reliable, easy to use and cost effective, therefore we’ve had no reason to consider upgrading to a newer system. The DirectSoft programming software is very user friendly, providing a vast level of control functions without being overly complex.
Likewise for the Weintek HMI, we have used these HMIs for all our PLC-based applications for many years. They are cost effective, user friendly, and offer a decent range of control functions. The software is intuitive and allows clear and concise control and data display pages to be created.
Certain features have proven invaluable, particularly the ability to execute read and write functions via Modbus TCP, directly from the HMI. This saves a lot of time compared to writing these functions into the PLC code, as well as saving a considerable amount of memory within the CPU. The ability to import images to the HMI software has also had a big impact in the modernisation of the Boiler Sequencer system. This has allowed us to import 3D renderings of steam boiler plant and display this directly on the HMI, which really adds to the aesthetics of the display.
- How did Lamonde go the extra mile to support you, and if/why you’d recommend us to other companies?
Lamonde have always provided us with excellent service, parts are always delivered quickly and on time, and Duncan is always on hand to offer his assistance when I need it (which has been a lot in the past!). In the rare instances when we’ve had an issue with a component, Duncan has done his utmost to resolve the problem, which has got us out of some sticky situations in the past.
I’d have no hesitation in recommending Lamonde, their products and their services to other companies.