Corus Automation Solutions wins excellence award

24 January 2007

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Corus Automation Solutions wins excellence awardCorus Automation Solutions, which is part of Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES), has been awarded a Project Excellence Award 2006 from Pantek for a recent turbo blowers control system upgrade project at the Corus plant in Scunthorpe. Only four out of 60 companies invited to this year's 'Pantek WonderWorld 2006 Project Excellence Awards' received such an accolade.

Corus Automation Solutions, based at Redcar and Scunthorpe, worked closely with industrial automation systems supplier Pantek and the Corus Turbo Blower House personnel at Scunthorpe. The project involved replacing the plant's original 50-year-old control systems and a mix of SCADA packages. CNES was able to take a global view of the Corus Turbo Blower project requirements by using Wonderware's Industrial Application Server (IAS) model, before going ahead with a phased implementation that satisfied current requirements as well as future expected growth.

The close working partnership between CNES and Pantek included provision of software, consultancy, support, training and Advantech industrial PC hardware. Also, as early adopters of IAS in the UK, CNES recognised that the IAS architecture lent itself to a long-term 'scaleable to business growth' deployment at Corus.

Corus Automation Solutions has in-depth expertise in all aspects of electrical and control engineering, including drives, software design, project management, installation and commissioning. The range of services offered includes: DCS; PLC systems; PLC programming; SCADA; operations control; instrument control; motor control centres; project management; full electrical CAD facilities; and after-sales service.

Mike Seddon, Senior Projects Engineer at Corus Automation Solutions, comments on the recent turbo blowers project: "The project itself involved converting a mix of ABB and Honeywell legacy control systems at Corus Scunthorpe. The turbo blower house holds five large turbo blowers, which feed air into four blast furnaces for iron production, so it is critical as far as plant control systems are concerned.

"The remit was to convert from a mix of two, top-end SCADA systems [an ABB legacy system and a modern but unsuitable Honeywell system], which interfaced with a number of new control systems such as PLCs, compressor controls, monitoring systems and so on, into the Wonderware 'Industrial Application Server' model."

The Industrial Application Server is an infrastructure for simplifying the development, deployment, maintenance and administration of distributed automation applications. Mike Seddon explains: "Corus Energy Operations particularly liked the way we converted from a legacy system while still allowing for future expansion of the IAS architecture into other areas of the Corus plant. The next stage, for example, will be to integrate the legacy ABB Mod300 control systems and expand the new architecture across six boilers that provide steam to the furnace blowers.

"On the blowers project, the software enabled us to develop a single control strategy and graphical user interface for one blower, then replicate this quickly and efficiently onto the other four blowers. It saved us a significant amount of time and testing. The centralised development environment means we all share the same data and upgrades are more efficient."

According to Mike Seddon, the benefits of using the IAS architecture and Intouch HMIs are already clear. The software provides a framework for simplifying the development, deployment, maintenance and administration of distributed automation applications. It also enables manufacturers to develop applications that realistically model the components of a plant; decrease engineering, ownership and maintenance costs for information and automation systems; and to create systems that evolve as the plant's needs for increased monitoring and MES (manufacturing execution systems) functionality emerge.

The Industrial Application Server's distributed, peer-to-peer architecture, re-usable templates and remote deployment and maintenance capabilities, make supporting SCADA applications remarkably efficient. Large oil and gas, power distribution and water/wastewater systems are easier to manage as a result of the Industrial Application Server's impressive scalability. It also optimises network communications over slow and intermittent networks, which significantly enhances application deployment and communications.

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