The design and development of a control system for a steeps water heat recovery system

Project background and objective

A major malt and malt ingredients manufacturer had identified the possibility of using waste hot water from one part of their process to heat water for another process.

Suffolk Automation identified that technology used to control all these processes centrally would provide a number of advantages and, after investigating the current market and realising there was no current technology available that could achieve this ‘off the shelf’, began a development project to see if the development of such technology would, in fact, be achievable.

We developed and installed a control system that monitored both operations and diverted the hot waste hot water through a heat exchanger to heat water required for the steeping process. This gave significant energy savings to the customer.

As well as enabling an operator to manage the physical aspects of the process centrally from an industrial PC (SCADA) and in real time, it was vital that the technology also include an alarm system to alert the operator of any issues during operation.

Main Objectives

  • The ability to control and monitor all the physical devices in the plant from a central control room.
  • A graphical interface to enable an operator to view and control operations in real time.
  • An alarm system to flag any problems to the operator.
  • The ability to send any critical alerts directly to a nominated mobile phone via SMS.
  • Programme control to allow the operator to define production variables.
  • A reporting system that could analyse trends in historical critical data and in real time.
  • The ability for supervisors to remotely view the system.

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