When does the concept of distributed automation come into question for you?
- If you need valves arranged densely in the system.
- If you want a flexible formation of sub-systems.
- If you want to subsequently automate individual process steps.
With the Bürkert system solution, the required components such as control cabinets or field modules and process valves are optimally matched to each other and can be smoothly connected with intelligent components. A pre-qualified platform facilitates both the planning and the engineering effort. The distributed automation concept can be expanded at any time with minimal effort.
Without control cabinet: Process reliability and product quality directly in the field
What is particularly important to you? Fast switching? The lowest cabling and tubing outlay as possible? The innovative AirLINE Field valve terminals from Bürkert offer both. Since you can install them directly near the process, the valves switch extremely quickly due to the short pneumatic travel distances. So you need less compressed air and energy at the same time. Distributed control enables you to quickly and accurately identify faults and to switch off individual modules instead of the whole plant. This saves costs and time.
With control cabinet: Reliable automation in close proximity to the process
Do you want to automate the pneumatic functions of your plant? Bürkert valve terminals in a control cabinet are suitable for this. The valve island allows you to control processes via a network of single valves. This allows you to make your production processes not only more efficient, but also safer. This is because you detect errors at an early stage with the help of well thought-out diagnostic functions - on the unit and at the operational control level.
Manual solutions and their weaknesses
The advantages of automated process steps can best be understood with the help of an example. Therefore, in the following we will look at the extraction process for the production of sugar or sugar syrup: A conveyor belt transports the crushed sugar beet from the cutting machine to the extraction tower, where the juice is extracted. To prevent the beet pulp and the escaping juice from slipping off, the conveyor belt is equipped with adjustable guides that have to be shifted at short notice depending on the quantity and size of the mixture. This makes the passage larger or smaller. In a conventional manufacturing process, employees have to manually operate cylinders to bring the guides into the correct position.
Process reliability with a distributed automation concept
To automate a manual process step such as the described correction of the conveyor belt, a distributed automation concept with components in hygienic design is an innovative solution. In the example shown here, the cylinders from a third-party supplier are pneumatically controlled with the AirLINE Field type 8653. The feedback signals on the cylinder are simply connected to the ME64 digital input module via an M12 cable. The pneumatic module type 8653 (IP65/IP67) can be placed close to the cylinder for a fast reaction or switching time. The ME63 gateway is connected via EtherNet/IP to the control cabinet and to the central PLC/SCAD system: This has a big advantage: The operator no longer has to go to the cylinder and manually operate a pneumatic distributor. On the contrary: The operator can check centrally whether the cylinder is open or closed and adjust it individually if necessary.
The advantages of the Bürkert system solution
Bürkert consulting service based on an example
Solution 1: Hygienic control cabinets with distance to the actual process
Sometimes the environmental conditions are harsh. Dust, humidity, cold or heat can take their toll on automated systems. That is why Bürkert offers the "Hygienic Design" according to IP67 degree of protection in stainless steel. It is not only extremely resistant to cleaning agents, but also seals off the valve islands in the control cabinet against all environmental influences. In addition, the completely enclosed control cabinets, which are usually located relatively far away from the actual process, provide a plus in work and process safety by preventing employees from accidentally loosening wires or other elements.
Advantages due to distance from the process:
- Completely enclosed control cabinets are located away from the process for safety reasons
- Valve islands are perfectly protected from environmental influences in the control cabinet
- Process safety increases because accidental operating errors are ruled out
Solution 2: Small control cabinet and distributed devices directly in the field
The counter design is: as close as possible to the process. The smaller control cabinets of this solution require less space in the system and can therefore be placed in the immediate vicinity of the action. The field devices that are to benefit from the fast valve switching times are also located there. Wiring and piping are particularly compact, so less compressed air is needed to operate the valves. At the same time, the automation system is extremely flexible: If further cylinders are to be connected later, this solution enables simple and fast integration.
Advantages of distributed devices:
- Small control cabinets can be positioned close to the field devices and the actual production process
- Short wiring ensures fast valve switching times and low compressed air consumption
- Flexible concept enables further cylinders to be connected at a later date
In the specific example, the customer chose solution 1, because his plant is exposed to harsh weather conditions. Which is your solution? We will be happy to provide you with consultation.
Process automation in practice
Many of our customers already successfully control their plants with Bürkert solutions for distributed automation. In the following user reports, you will learn how you can digitise, optimise and make production processes particularly safe with distributed automation.
WEIHENSTEPHAN - Brewing process successfully automated
The pilot brewery at the Weihenstephan Research Centre for Brewing and Food Quality was automated in such a way that the master brewer can control everything via his PC: The entire brewing process becomes traceable and more efficient.
DANONE - More safety in the production of yoghurt and desserts
New safety precautions are regularly introduced in food production. Danone was able to easily retrofit the automated system at the Ochsenfurt plant: with the new Bürkert valve types for safety-related shutdown.
FRIESLANDCAMPINA - Automating production in a hygienic environment
The modern dairy plant FrieslandCampina impressively demonstrates how production can be automated in the middle of a hygiene-sensitive area. Bürkert's "AirLINE Quick" valve islands in the HD cabinet not only make the systems easier to clean, but also save costs.
EVERSWINKEL WATERWORKS - Drinking water treatment
The Everswinkel waterworks now automatically dose the oxidation air during drinking water treatment. This makes the treatment of drinking water reproducible and more efficient.