Tubosider reports huge improvements with new machine control system 04 March 2011

Improved capacity, better tolerances and reduced scrap are being reported at Tubosider UK on its multi-stage rolling mill.

The mill makes helicoil pipes, and the improvements follow the installation of ABB control systems and variable-speed drives – installed to upgrade the machine when its electrics were getting difficult to maintain.

With help from system integrator, John Merriman & Sons, Tubosider bought an ABB AC 800M controller, with a set of S800 I/O modules, two DCS 800 variable speed dc drives, a Panel 800 operator panel, Compact HMI 800 software and switchgear.

"The controller does the set-up and supervises the run, in return for a limited set of inputs that can be taken straight from the production order – inputs that many more staff members now can make," explains Tubosider engineering manager Mark Fegan.

"The new installation offers far better fault diagnostics, so now, if a problem develops, the control system is usually able to tell us where it lies," he adds.

Fegan also refers to the "greatly improved" system documentation, which, he says, adds further to "far better" up-time. "Top management is happier, too, because they get red hot production figures straight out of the system HMI, specifying what we have been making, how much of it, and when," he says.

Brian Tinham

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