Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Intelligent Manufacturing with Control Techniques Drives


Pharmaceutical manufacturing can be very complex with many key processes and operations. These processes often utilize automation equipment containing fans, pumps, compressors, centrifuges, fluidized dryers, and conveyors powered by induction motors. In some early manufacturing facilities, these applications were controlled with motor starters, which only provided the ability to start and stop the motor with no other control capabilities. As technology evolved, process control engineers started to use smart switches. These switches provided a digital link so information could be gathered about the control system performance. However, they did not provide the plant operators with the ability to perform closed loop motor control and to get predictive diagnostic information. Emerson Control Techniques provides a complete solution by putting the digital control interface within the drive itself.

CT Powers PlantWeb

By using a Control Techniques VFD in the PlantWeb environment, pharma plant engineers can employ a complete digital control strategy enabling functionality such as real-time control, predictive diagnostics, quick drive commissioning, and easy system troubling shooting.


  • Two new PlantWeb solutions, The AMS / CT EDDL interface and the DeltaV / PCSD Library Modules enables CT Drives to plug and play within the PlantWeb environment. The PCSD library modules enable quick installation of the CT drives into the DeltaV process control architecture, provides a graphical faceplate to monitor critical process data, implements advanced control functions such as interlocks, permissives, and modelocking, and has been tested by the PCSD development team so it is guaranteed to work.

  • The new EDDL modules allow easy interface with AMS Device Manager, the best-in-class commissioning and diagnostic software. With AMS, users can detect plant equipment problems before they occur, reducing or eliminated unwanted down time. “Guided Setup” methods can be used to configure the drive for their intended application such as fan, pumps, or compressors. The digital interface provides real-time information on control performance and PlantWeb alerts giving operators timely information to make informed decisions.
This greatly benefits plant control and maintenance engineers by reducing risk, allowing quicker development and commissioning time.

Energy Savings

By being a part of the PlantWeb architecture, the use of the VFD’s can save significant amount of energy which translates into a cleaner environment and holding on to hard earned profits. As can be seen by the chart below, running induction motors at a reduced speed saves significant power. At 80% speed, only 50% of the power is used, and at 50% speed only 12.5% is used! So by varying the speed setpoint using the DeltaV control system, a significant amount of energy can be saved over the life of the manufacturing line.


Climate Controls for Clean Rooms and More

CT also offers a complete line of HVAC drives which are ideally suited for clean room controls. The Affinity drive has special features built in such as building automation protocols, fire mode, real-time clocks, and multiple PID loops. One of the key benefits of using the CT Affinity drive is the ability to communicate with a building automation controllers using Bacnet and the DeltaV controller simultaneously without the need of a gateway.

A part of Emerson Industrial Automation, Control Techniques has a single minded focus on the design and manufacture of variable speed drives. Control Techniques has been creating ground breaking technology since introducing the first digital DC drive over thirty years ago. Control Techniques combines extensive industry experience, modular drive design, powerful technology and advanced tool kits to provide complete industrial automation solutions.

Steve Bartz is located in Eden Prairie Minnesota and is the Director of the Motion Control Product Line for Emerson Control Techniques. He has over 18 years of experience with Control Techniques in both in R&D Engineering and Product Management departments and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Electrical Engineering Department. For more information, you can contact Steve by clicking here.