Power and automation redefined

Recently, Eurotherm by Schneider Electric celebrated 50 years in business, during which time technology has significantly moved on. René Meuleman discusses what is available now and what will be next.
Article originally published in Glass Worldwide, September 2016

 

Established in 1965 as a developer and manufacturer of temperature and electrical power control, the company’s specific mix of products soon became an excellent portfoliofit for glass manufacturing. Since then, many interesting products and systems have been developed and supplied to customers and system integrators specifically looking for precision control and glass application expertise. Over the years, as the latest technology came along, Eurotherm utilised it in up-todate products and inevitably, older production lines were made obsolete.

REPLACEMENT SOLUTIONS

Eurotherm T640 process controller was a popular product for over 20 years

Eurotherm T640 process controller was a popular product for over 20 years.

 

Due to their high reliability, some obsolete models are still in operation. One of the most well-known instruments frequently found in glass applications is the Eurotherm T640, which was introduced in 1991. Since becoming unavailable three years ago, the company has introduced solutions to replace it. Based on precision control, they benefit from redundancy for high availability of the system and strategies for operational efficiency.

E+PLC100 combines control, recording and HMI in a single box solution for smarter automation.

 

Modern HMIs, communications and data analysis technology offer simplified operator interfaces (including mimics of old T640 display if required), connectivity with Industry 4.0 and IIoT technology, performance benchmarking and automatic reporting of KPIs. After years of reliable service, customers looking to replace T640-based systems are invited to contact Eurotherm or meet the company at glasstec 2016 to discuss the most appropriate solution for their application.

TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS

Although a lot has changed over the last 50 years, Eurotherm’s core values have remained the same and the company is still highly focused on providing its glass industry customers with precision control solutions, combined with high quality service from a dedicated team of glass specialists.

As the latest technology becomes available, even though some customers find it difficult to justify replacement of stable but old technology, they should not underestimate the benefits of replacing out-of-date instrumentation. Think about the advanced features, functionality and added value. Could energy be saved if power was measured and controlled more precisely? Could process efficiency be optimised 24/7 through data capture, analytics and benchmarking?

Could the problems of an ageing workforce be solved through more intelligent automation and simpler operator interfaces? These are some of the questions Eurotherm’s R&D team has thought about during the last 50 years. The result is a broad range of instruments and systems, from basic PID and SCR controllers, up to sophisticated, distributed redundancy DCS systems and advanced SCR controllers, with state-of-the-art HMI, SCADA and MES systems on top. An offering that covers all kinds of applications, from simple single loop heater control, to the high precision control and data analysis needs of specialist R&D laboratories and high end manufacturers.

Specialised control methods in EPack Compact SCR power controllers reduce energy costs.

 

Two recently introduced family members are the EPack SCR controller range and the E+PLC100 open source precision controller. In combination, these two instruments form an ideal solution for single loop integrity temperature and SCR controlled electrical heating applications. Both will be on show on Eurotherm’s glasstec 2016 exhibit (Hall 15, Stand No E03), where the glass applications team will be happy to discuss individual customer requirements. Another topic will cover the benefits of being part of Schneider-Electric, including the advantages of a ‘one-stop automation and power shop’.

FUTURE TECH WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT

Eurotherm continues to stay one step ahead of the competition and remains at the front end of innovation, while recognising that customers are not always in a position to keep pace due to the clock speed of furnace repair and refurbishment. The service and support department tries to keep ‘no’ out of its vocabulary as much as possible, understanding the importance of keeping existing, sometimes obsolete systems and products running until the next opportunity for replacement. When it is time to upgrade, the team will be happy to advise on next generation solutions and how customers can profit from added value features.

Eurotherm will soon introduce energy saving ways to control glassfibre applications, plus a standardised electrical boosting power supply solution that simplifies global supply chains. Based on the results of experimentation and different ways of thinking, these innovations redefine how power and automation methods are applied in glass manufacturing. Eurotherm’s team of glass experts welcomes questions and feedback from customers on these subjects and all future needs at glasstec.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
René Meuleman is Global Glass Business Development Manager at Eurotherm by Schneider Electric
New power knowledge white paper

The benefits of two-leg versus three leg power control, in three phase heating applications

Download here

Why Eurotherm Glass Solutions?

Visit the Eurotherm Glass Manufacturing microsite

Contact a Glass Solutions Expert

Schneider Electric. All rights reserved.© 2017