Solids Metering Feeder Control Software Reduces Operating Risk
Process operators using loss-in-weight or belt-type gravimetric solids feeders appreciate the simplicity of controlling these directly from a standard PLC or distributed control systems. Unfortunately, points out weighing specialist Brabender Technologie, the complicated interactions between the moving parts of the feeder and the measured weight make accurate feeder control a challenging task. Feeder suppliers understandably refuse to guarantee trouble-free feeder performance unless their own proprietary control technology is used — so the plant operator bears the risk. To improve this situation, Brabender Technologie now offers its weigh-feeders as “intelligent” mechatronic units combining the accuracy of proprietary control software with easy interfacing to almost any standard control system. Brabender is marketing a new generation of its ISC (Intelligent Signal Conditioner) system as the ISC-CM plus (with feeder control module) and the ISC-FC plus (with inverter-based speed control). Available interfaces include Ethernet Modbus TCP, Profibus DP, Siemens RK512, Modbus RTU, Data Highway plus, Profinet, EtherNet/IP, and DeviceNet. Special optional function blocks allow plug-and-play integration with PLCs including Siemens S7 and Rockwell ControlLogix. According to Brabender, as a result, users benefit from high-level control without sacrificing the guaranteed performance of the feeder.