Process Line Ltd. are an engineering design company that provide lithographic plate manufacturers and the wider metal finishing industry with specialist services including the bespoke design, project management and construction of litho plate production lines, metal web finishing lines and specialist consultancy services in these fields.
From its UK head office, at Yeadon nr. Leeds, the Process Line team engineer projects ranging from upgrades of individual line sections through to the construction of complete plate production lines, Process Line provides these services to clients around the globe.
Recognising that on large projects such as these drives and controls expertise is not enough and that focussed project management and delivery are critical components if a successful conclusion is to be achieved, Process Line called in Optima Control Solutions Ltd. to partner with the manufacture of a full litho plate production line destined for operation in China.
Our expert engineering team are a powerful asset
Having previously engineered systems for litho lines Optima were well positioned to bid for this contract. The key attributes that helped us win the order were characteristics of our operations, our engineering competence, experience and our number. With twelve engineers and a first class track record of supplying contracts of this size and complexity and significantly in this case – to overseas clients. We have managed and installed similar lines in South Africa and Italy as well as UK locations.
Key Technical Skills
Engineering a control system for this line needed particular skills and experience, these included:
- Winder control
- Tension control
- Networked control systems
- Line drive application engineering
- Motion control
- Safety systems
- PLC software
- SCADA software
- Drive software
- Control panel manufacture
- Electrical installation engineering
- Commissioning engineering
Component selection is a critical decision one made following a number of considerations. On this contract Optima selected:
- Siemens Sinamics drives
- S7-300 PLC
- WinCC SCADA system
A Siemens system was selected for two significant reasons a) the performance demands of this application will be met with the chosen technologies but critically b) because the client will benefit from Siemens comprehensive support infrastructure which is accessible via there Remote Support Contract (RSC) scheme.
When we engineer a control system for any client at the forefront of our design philosophy is the lifetime ownership of the system. When we have commissioned and documented the project our aim is to have provided the client with a system that will be perform well and prove reliable throughout. In the instance where maintenance is required we make certain of a few essentials:
- A comprehensive documentation file is provided
- All system drawings are provided “as commissioned”
- Schematic drawings are 3x way cross referenced
- Industry wide EN60204-1 drawing standards are used (unless clients have their own system)
- All software is subject to a good documentation and commenting regime
- Software backups are left on-site
- Control panels are constructed with maintenance requirements considered and include:
- RCD protected socket outlets for programming tools etc.
- Bay lighting for dark locations
- Sufficient space for maintenance access