The initial situation seemed difficult – the production halls of this automotive supplier in Wolfsburg, Germany, had many separated systems in place, none of which communicated with one another. Problems arose unexpectedly, production was interrupted and the personnel was helpless to do anything about it.
The requirements were clear: outages need to be mitigated, potential problems need to be detected before the fact and personnel needs the ability to interface with the system.
The new measurement and control system couldn’t use any of the existing networks due to data security concerns. Neither Wi-fi nor Bluetooth were an option either. Existing switch cabinets had to be used, but the changeover couldn’t interrupt ongoing production.
Due to the complexity of the system, featuring among others 37 ceiling ventilators, outdoor air registers, ventilation systems with heat recovery, district heating stations and 15 heating circuits, the people at Wildenmann HB of Braunschweig, Germany, recommended use of the freely programmable x2 series of devices. “We’ve seen many years of reliability with TA devices”, says owner Maik Müller, happy to have convinced the contractor as well.
One of the greatest challenges faced was the far-reaching halls and the resulting wire lengths. The end result was 2.800 meters of CAN bus leads, spread across two networks and an own LAN network, over which runs the visualisation and the Modbus TCP/IP communication.
On top of that, electromagnetic interferences of production equipment were not to be underestimated. The number of components was its own challenge during planning, which itself made up a big part of the workload.
The production hall today
Production is finally running without interruptions, in part because personnel can detect and react to problems early. Several “CAN-UES” overvoltage protectors are in place, and lastly, the systems high redundancy protects it from interruptions.
The system’s visualisation runs on nine self-programmed HD monitors. “As the year goes on, we’ll use our findings for further optimisation”, Müller says happily about the system’s launch. “But we can already tell now that energy flow has been improved significantly, as the different heating and ventilation systems work in tandem.” Im deutschen fehlt hier das abschließemde Anführungszeichen
First extension already implemented
Due to the successful realisation of the system, it has already been extended to include process cooling. The new control over the central cold-water supply has already led to insights for further energy savings.
Control technology / hardware
- District heating station
- 37 ceiling ventilators with heat register, air hatch and frequency converter (FC)
- 4 outdoor air registers with heat register and FC
- 4 exhaust air systems with FC
- 4 ventilation systems (exhaust and intake, heat recovery)
- 4 ceiling exhaust air systems
- Process cooling with 2x 500 kW output
Consumers & storage
- 15 heating circuits
- 3 DHW cylinders, 500 litres each
- 2 shower containers with electrical intake air heating