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voestalpine: Hot tip

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"What a PC can only handle with expensive measurement value acquisition cards is easy for the considerably lower priced B&R solution. We were able to implement communication between the PLC and control computer easily with the help of Automation Studio."

Hermann Hötzendorfer, EMSR System Engineer at voestalpine

voestalpine, Austria's largest steel manufacturer, uses an interesting measurement data acquisition system application to demonstrate that, in many cases, such a system can be implemented using a standard PLC. Considerably lower component costs, robust construction and a reduced amount of engineering are decisive advantages. A nice side effect: The company can further develop the solution cost-effectively and integrate additional functions as needed.

Flexibility, openness and transparency were decisive criteria for voestalpine when implementing seamless surface temperature measurement of the fireproof material in the furnace. The company therefore also wanted to utilize B&R's proven products for this project.

Compared to the previous method, the automated measurement data acquisition system records more data in a shorter amount of time without manual intervention and also allows measurement while pushing out the material. Immediately after measurement, the process control system receives the data using TCP/IP via wireless LAN. The core of the measurement system consists of a CP360 CPU and analog input modules from B&R's System 2005 control platform. This B&R PLC can handle the 516 measurement points in the furnace with the corresponding data flow and high measurement speed without problems. The "packaged" data records are passed on to the host computer and stored in an SQL database. The PLC opens and closes the ports on its own, which increases transfer stability. Thanks to Automation Studio, implementation was also no problem. The engineers at voestalpine were able to easily integrate even more functions thanks to the openness and flexibility of the B&R System 2005 control platform.

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