Sometimes you need a helping hand. Helping seeds, as an industry, is something requiring expertise in technology and process. In one example a grass seed producer needed to batch seeds and other ingredients. Grass seed mix is a batching of multiple ingredients, typically including the seed, fertilizer and wood fiber or crumbles. Sometimes a helping hand is needed, such as providing engineering services for the batching and transfer of ingredients and mixed products.
Can Sterling Systems help? Sure can! Usually Sterling Systems engineers and manufactures the control panels that incorporate electronic automation hardware as well as software for the applications involved. In this case the end user provided the control panels, PLC (Allen Bradley), and scale hardware. In providing the engineering services for “Helping Seeds”, Sterling Systems was contracted to provide the software engineering, technical engineering writing, process control engineering, test and check out and onsite start-up services as well.
“Helping Seeds” basic engineering services included:
- Creating an Equipment List
- Identifying and documenting associated Input / Output details (Type and Voltage)
- Writing a Sequence of Operation
- Engineering Surge Hopper Refilling with enable/disable
- Engineering Set-Point Batching @ each scale/mixer, single ingredient
- PLC programming per flow diagram and discussions
- PanelView+ (PV+) programming per flow diagram (for both PV+7 and PV+15)
In addition, Sterling Systems provided WebCentral remote supervisory control software application,a browser-based supervisory control software application that allows you to access the database of a Sterling Systems control system. It allows you to do things like add or remove ingredients, create and manage recipes, manage ingredient and product inventories, setup a batching schedule, and review and print historical reports in a batching control system. Because WebCentral is browser-based, it is very simple and intuitive to use. This also means that WebCentral can be accessed by virtually any computer that is networked with the Sterling Systems batching or other type of control system, without having to install any software, other than a web browser.