Polystorm Manufacturing Plant

Polypipe Ltd required the refurbishment of the conveyor control of the Polystorm manufacturing plant at their Horncastle plant in Lincolnshire.

The refurbishment was prompted by the diminishing support of the original OEM, and several of the parts used on the system were obsolete or running towards the end of their product lifecycles. The existing motor controllers were outdated and communicated via a serial fieldbus protocol; these were upgraded to Siemens G115D, which uses Industrial Ethernet to communicate to a Siemens S7-1500 PLC. Also included was the upgrade of the Siemens HMI and the headers of the Beckoff I/O and Festo valve islands. An additional Pull-Cord switch was also added to the Production Stop circuit.

The PLC and HMI code was migrated to the new platform with open access and full comments to allow Polypipe personnel to provide their own first-line support to the system. Using Siemens PLCs and Drives meant the integration path was well defined and fully supported by Siemens. The HMI screen was larger, which allowed several display mimics to be combined and offered an improved interaction for the operator. The replacement of only the headers for the I/O and valve islands meant that the communications could be upgraded, but the I/O did not require a full test which kept the outage period to an acceptable time frame.

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