About the customer
Our customer is a market leader in the area of advanced process solutions for crystallisation and concentration applications in a number of major industries. For example, freeze-drying concentrates.
A large American customer required delivery of an item of plant that had to comply with American regulations. Among other things, this meant that the machines had to satisfy the UL508a safety standard for industrial control panels. The plant in question processes and then freezes liquid coffee. The next step is to separate the ice from the coffee, resulting in a coffee substrate. This product is processed further in other items of plant. An important characteristic of this ‘freezing’ process is that it preserves the aroma of coffee. In this processing industry, control panels are made from stainless steel. In addition, specific guidelines apply to the way in which the software is structured; it has to be set up in accordance with customer specifications.
We built five control panels, four of which were carbon copies of each other.
In addition to producing the hardware, the customer also asked us to write the software. The end-customer had very specific requirements regarding the software: we had to comply with the company’s in-house software standard. For example, the PLC control routines had to be programmed in Allen Bradley’s ControlLogix program and the HMI Scada application in Wonderware. Thanks to our many years of experience, we succeeded in fulfilling this requirement. A further challenge was that the complete software package had to be tested on a test rig at the customer’s site, without the associated plant. This required the use of various simulation techniques.
Manufacturing a control panel according to the UL508a standard requires extensive knowledge of the standard itself and how it is applied in practice. VHE has that knowledge and experience: we are a certified ‘UL508a-listed panel shop’ and therefore eminently capable of successfully completing assignments like this. Our software engineering department is familiar with a wide range of software packages and all kinds of industrial applications. The result: control panels that satisfy all the requirements.