To modernize, a large silicon metals producer upgraded their Mix System #5 control platform to include Rockwell ControlLogix controllers, Factory Talk platform-based visualization, recipe and batching systems, data acquisition and reporting. In addition, modern, efficient, VFD-based electromagnetic raw materials feeders were needed to replace existing outdated feeders.


Description of Services Provided:

  • Designed, manufactured, and programmed
    • Mix #5 Main PLC Control Panels, some with Rice Lake weigh controllers with built-in Ethernet-IP communication
    • Vibratory feeders control panels: one Feeding and one Discharging (vibratory feeders and diodes supplied by Globe Metallurgical)
  • Programmed and supplied two new PanelView+ touchscreen HMIs
  • Supplied new isolation transformer to feed power to both vibratory feeder controller panels
  • Programmed changes to
    • FT SE View, FT Historian and FT Asset Centre to incorporate upgraded Mix #5 system and related reporting
    • FT Gateway, FT SE View and FT Historian to incorporate existing Mix #7 CTI PLC-based system and related reporting
  • Conducted system programming, testing and onsite start-up services
  • Revised existing plant network drawings to include proposed new control network nodes


Customer Results:

The project was very successful. The customer got brand new cutting edge completely automated batching system supplying raw materials to the furnace using a sophisticated recipe system covering all type of product run by their furnace. The new control system was connected to the existing plant-wide process monitoring and data acquisition system, and daily comprehensive reports are issued automatically and E-mailed to responsible employees. The batching system is very precise – it runs a selected recipe with an accuracy of 1-2 lbs for each dozen ingredient materials and a modern self-adaptive algorithm, which adjusts feeders setpoints every batch based on errors from previous 3 batches. This allowed the customer to optimize furnace performance and increase molten metallic silicon through output as well as minimize losses and waste of the raw materials. The project was completed ahead of schedule.