Link 2 fibre optic systems are recognised for their reliability, high performance and noise-free transfer of data for web transport systems. Originally developed by SSD Drives in the 1980’s the Link technology is still widely in use today. However, now that Link 2 has officially been declared obsolete, what are the replacement options available?
In 2015, Parker officially launched the new Ethernet-based Link replacement system to selected integrators for proving. Optima were one of the first companies to successfully bring this technology to the field.
The drives upgrade was undertaken on a high-performance paper winding machine. This drive system comprises a main Siemens PLC and HMI communicating with the Parker drive system over Profibus.
New Ethernet-Based Link Tech Box
Having successfully integrated over 30 Link systems since forming the company – including a 110-drive system for a coating line at a leading papermaker – you can be sure that Optima have the know-how to implement any system effectively.
Optima will be pleased to provide a no-obligation site visit to discuss how the Ethernet Link technology can replace your existing fibre-optic system or for a completely new upgrade.
Please Contact Us to discuss your requirements in more detail.
This innovative manufacturer of ground reinforcing fabrics was founded in the1980s and ever since its name has become synonymous with high quality mechanical ground stabilisation and soil reinforcement products. The company is a world leader thanks to its innovative solutions and technology-driven vision. This company invented and patented the first polymer geogrids – their Biaxal geogrids are widely used around the globe. Optima Control Solutions, an independent automation expert, was approached by them and charged with the task of completely upgrading one of their production line control systems.
After years in production, the specialist line located at their plant in Blackburn became progressively obsolete and inefficient. It required not only a complete mechanical upgrade but also a total control system upgrade and a complete machine rewire. They needed an expert control system company flexible enough to complete the whole upgrade in a very tight time window – a total of 4 weeks. Moreover, the customer needed work to be carried out during an extended shutdown period at Christmas. Optima Control Solutions, headquartered just a few miles away from the plant, accepted the challenge and teamed up with the companies mechanical engineers to complete the task competently, on time and within budget.
Optima designed the new control system in accordance with the customers process requirements. Optima’s solution included some smart design features that gave greater machine reliability characteristics. PLC remote I/O units were fitted in the control cubicles, control desks and junction boxes located on the machine. The majority of the existing control cables could be removed which gave improved reliability and would simplify future maintenance on the machine. A redundant Siemens WinCC SCADA package was installed for controlling the machine and allowed production data to be easily collected and analysed. Optima’s team utilised Siemens Scada both on the input and output control desks. This control design allowed the machine to be controlled by either SCADA if one of them failed.
Joe Crane, plant engineering manager at the company in Blackburn, had nothing but praises for the job Optima had completed. “First of all, I am very pleased that they agreed to work over the Christmas period – it would have been impossible to complete the project at different times as we had to change the mechanics in parallel with the control system.” He stated that Optima’s upgrade contributed to an improved line efficiency of at least 20%. “We now have better control and accuracy in production – speed and tension loops are great. Also, Optima managed to raise the machine safety levels to a higher standard.” Regarding the data colleciion package employed into the upgraded Biax line, Mr. Crane said it was a great diagnostic and data management tool that made predictive maintenance part of the plant’s production strategy. “At present, we make decisions quicker and establish changes faster. We are now able to make informed decisions and optimize production based on data we have confidence in.”
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. Continue reading →
Drives and controls are fundamental to keeping the wheels of the food industry turning. Obsolete systems can have a negative impact on productivity levels and processing operations even at the most profitable of companies. Continue reading →
Optima Control Solutions Ltd. applied Siemens Automation and Drives equipment for the complete upgrading of a high speed lithoplate cut-to-length facility. The operators of such plants face a bewildering choice of options that can involve large variations in cost and reliability. The huge capacity of a single line means that a solution needs to be successful as any shortcomings have a high impact on output. Despite the short access times available, industrial controls and systems specialist Optima, completed a high quality Jagenberg Sheeter refurbishment for Kodak (Formerly Kodak Polychrome Graphics). Continue reading →
Drives, PLCs and SCADA and controls are fundamental to the converting industry, companies naturally rely on their machine control systems for production. More recently however, enterprising companies have developed their control systems to commercial advantage. Continue reading →