Panel Builder US

April 6, 2021

System integrators create throughlines that allow automated systems to more efficiently communicate with each other and with operators. Many industries, especially those that rely on information technology, computer networking, and automated machinery, implement system integration to achieve more efficient processes.

Integrating your systems also helps make devices compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT). This helps you better coordinate between systems and appliances to get an edge in your business practices. Doing so will also make your automated manufacturing processes more efficient, as integrated machinery can more effectively communicate and resolve issues and information across the system without having to rely on operators.

Understanding Industrial Control System Integration

Industrial control systems help automate production processes, and integration often functions to bring these control systems closer together by combining the workloads of each individual component, including software infrastructure and network security.

One of the most prevalent types of system integration is supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), which combines software and hardware elements to allow companies control and monitor their industrial processes locally or remotely. These systems also facilitate real-time data processing and monitoring.

System integration centers on the use of electrical control panels. These panels include customizable components like programmable logic controllers (PLCs), variable frequency drives (VFDs), and silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) power thermal systems.

TYPES OF SYSTEM INTEGRATION

Many methods exist to achieve optimal system integration. We’ve listed a few of the most notable ones below:

  •    -   SCADA integration: Web HMIs allow you to create user interfaces that can interact with real-time server data, which makes various applications available on any device that can connect to the internet. HMI systems can be integrated with SCADA systems that are already in use.
  •    -   Automation components: Customizable components incorporated in each control panel can automate machine-level tasks, such as motor speed, start/stop operations, and other intelligence-based operations.
  •    -   PLC: System integrators can develop, program, and configure PLCs and remote terminal unit (RTU)-based control systems in industrial applications like wastewater collection. Efficiently integrated PLC technology can automate flare stack operations within a production oil field by using sensors within the stack to feed data to the system. This helps evaluate key performance indicators (KPIs) that assess gas and pressure buildup within wells. By leveraging the KPIs that detect ignition failure in the stack, these procedures result in increased productivity and profits.
  •    -   VFD: Clean-powered VFDs perform well in extreme weather conditions, including deserts and mountainous regions. The benefits of VFDs include:
    •       -   Compensation for changing irrigation demands, which lowers energy costs
    •       -   Reduced maintenance costs
    •       -   Increased productivity, which improves crop quality


VFDs most commonly occur in water pump systems in wastewater treatment facilities. These systems monitor pressure to help control the pump speed in an attempt to maintain optimal operating conditions. Efficiency upgrades, including variable speed drives, can help subsidize up to half of a project’s total cost.

How System Integration Benefits Manufacturing Automation

Integrating your automated manufacturing systems results in a smoother workflow and more efficient production processes. Allowing your production machinery to communicate between different areas will help your overall system better navigate conditions within your plant as they emerge.

For example, if the system notices a defective process in one area, it can automatically adjust its components to successfully navigate around the area. Additionally, integrated production machinery can automatically calibrate itself to conform to new production parameters should your needs change over time.

What to Expect From a System Integrator

There are many system integrators out there, but finding one that can understand the unique needs of your facility is essential to creating a positive working relationship. Good systems integrators aren’t afraid to take the time to listen to their clients’ needs. Your own engineers will always be the ones most familiar with your facility’s needs, so it’s important to work with a provider that puts your goals ahead of its ambitions.

Industrial System Integration With IndustLabs

IndustLabs brings more than a decade of experience in building custom automation solutions for manufacturing partners across a number of industries. Contracting them for your next system integration project will help you

  •    -   Reduce costs
  •    -   Save time
  •    -   Eliminate waste
  •    -   Increase the scale of your manufacturing process


IndustLabs bring a time-tested track record of quality service to all their projects. For example, they worked with a coffee extracts business called Tazza Pronto (located in Tyler, TX) to help them achieve more efficient automated processes. They chose to work with IndustLabs due to their proficiency in working with SCR power thermal systems. Because temperature regulation plays such an important role in their line of work, it was important to find effective ways for their systems to automatically determine the best temperature settings for each stage of the production process.

SCR systems control the flow of electricity to a facility’s heating system from the greater electrical grid. Knowing when to alternate temperatures in industrial ovens, furnaces, and other thermal processing equipment results in better products and less waste. Working with Tazza Pronto’s engineers to determine the best heating strategies for their coffee grounds and extracts, IndustLabs were able to reduce up to 90% of the waste associated with their production processes.

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https://www.industlabs.com/news/2020/7/23/why-is-system-integration-important-for-your-business

 

Editor's Pick: Featured Product News


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Extremely space-saving and flexible

The C60xx series of scalable ultra-compact Industrial PCs combines maximum computing power in what is currently the most compact format with a wide range of options for installation in the control cabinet. It is ideally suited for control, visualization and communication, for example into the cloud.

The latest Intel processors − in three different performance classes, from the Intel Atom with one core to the Intel Core i7 with eight cores – offer maximum scalability and power density with an optimal price-performance ratio.

Performance classes and application areas

The C601x series offers Intel Atom computing power for a wide range of automation and visualization tasks. Due to their impressive computing power in relation to their size, the PCs are mainly suited for use in Industrie 4.0 applications, for example as an IoT gateway.

The C603x series unites high-performance Intel Core-i processors with extremely compact housing dimensions. The processors from the 65 W class have only been used in the much larger ATX-based Industrial PCs up to now. The devices thus represent a new dimension in terms of power density. They are suitable above all for particularly complex automation and visualization tasks, but also for a wide range of other applications in the field of image processing, the handling of large volumes of data and in the IoT environment.

The C602x series is the link between the C601x and the C603x, and the fanless integration of Intel Core-i-U processors of the 15 W class opens up new application areas and options.

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TE Connectivity has recently upgraded its rugged, high-speed Mezalok mezzanine connector family to support the growing demand for higher data rates and improved processing power in military electronics. The upgraded connectors have increased data rate support up to 32+ Gb/s. The Mezalok connector family has been designed specifically for mezzanine cards in rugged applications and is standardized as the interconnect for XMC 2.0 (VITA 61). Rapidly evolving technologies in signal intelligence, radar, communications and surveillance are driving the need for more powerful embedded computing solutions. 

Mezzanine cards are often used to provide additional functionality and processing capability within a small form factor. TE designed the Mezalok connector family to support these applications. Typical applications include application-specific high-speed input/output (I/O) protocols, graphics, memory and digital-signal processing.

“New designs in rugged embedded computing require higher speeds and high pin counts in order to pack more functionality into smaller plug-in modules,” said Jason Dorwart, product manager for TE’s Aerospace, Defense and Marine division. “TE recognizes this trend and is continuing to build on this platform to help solve customer needs, offering new options in stack height, pin density and higher speeds, giving the system designer a broader solution set to work with when needing a fast, rugged and reliable mezzanine connector for extreme environments.” 

TE’s highly reliable Mezalok mezzanine connectors more than double the speed and durability of competing technology, making it one of the most viable options for today’s military and commercial aerospace applications.

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For their next meeting with an OEM or system integrator, can panel builders simply grab their smartphone and project the digital prototype of a control cabinet onto the desk of the managing director? Or right into the customer’s production facility? This admittedly sounds fantastical – but is already a reality. The new augmented reality (AR) add-on for the EPLAN eVIEW Free cloud software, in combination with the free Vuforia app from PTC, enables the free projection of completely assembled control cabinet into virtual space.

With EPLAN eVIEW Free AR, a new augmented reality (AR) application, EPLAN now brings the digital twin wherever users happen to find themselves. Designers can share their 3D designs of the control cabinet layout from EPLAN Pro Panel with co-workers and business partners via the cloud. EPLAN Program Manager Digitalisation Tim Oerter oversees the development of AR solutions and explains how to get started with EPLAN eVIEW Free AR: “A control cabinet is constructed in EPLAN Pro Panel and subsequently uploaded to the EPLAN ePULSE cloud environment. This makes it possible to share 3D designs with other users within an ePULSE organisation.” This also automatically generates both a link and a QR code that can be forwarded to the desired recipients. They can then use their smartphone or tablet computer to scan the code using the gratis app Vuforia View from PTC. Now the 3D design can be displayed anywhere using the camera of the end device – and can thus be projected onto a desktop or in the production environment as examples. Changes can also be made by touching any control cabinet components: simply tap the component and the system opens the 2D view of the schematics, for instance for further finetuning using the redlining and greenlining functions.

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