Gravimetric Batch Control System

We would like to introduce the BCI Batch control system. The system is designed to be highly informative, graphical and intuitive. It is also very flexible in design and applicable to many different industries. This version is PLC controlled with a small-form-factor PC HMI and 15” color touchscreen.

Below is a screenshot of the Main Screen. This screen will show all of the batch information loaded from the recipe. Each step in the process will be highlighted and the target information will be filled in during the batch.

The Batch ID is automatically sequenced for identification at the start of each run.

The batch below had been completed as indicated by the Mix Complete light and is in the process of being bagged-out.

Below is a screenshot of the Recipe screen. The recipes are stored in an MSAccess database that can either be on the local machine or network. MSAccess is not necessarily required for this sytem.

Recipes are entered into the database with an easy to use form. You can enter batches by Step Weight or by percent of total. You can enter total weight or number of bags and bag size.

As you key in the recipe code on the touchscreen similar entries appear for quick selection.

Once you have selected a recipe it is possible to print out a batch sheet to indicate the type and amount of hand adds to pull and show the entire batch sequence. In this case it prints out on a receipt printer.

This is the manual control screen. The entire process can be commanded in manual mode here and the status is reported with indicator lights. The main mixer drive speed is commanded from a drop-down list. In this case, the VFD had preset speeds.

This is the Silo Overview screen. The status of each silo is reported by indicator lights and a vertical bar graph is used to show an estimate of material remaining that is continually updated after each step of each batch. Silo material weight can also be entered manually. Alternately, silo level sensing can be provided. Here you can also adjust the Freefall weight for each material. The Silo title header is variable.

Additionally, the truck unload station includes error proofing to prevent selecting the incorrect silo to fill. You can select which silos to be allowed to fill by touching check boxes. The truck driver must select the correct silo on the selector switch outside and must hook up to the correct fill line.
Here is the Safety Status screen. The electrical system includes two-channel safety relays for each zone.

The system includes data collection of key variables. Each batch step is tracked. You can search historical data by date, recipe ID operator or any combination. The data is stored in the MSAccess database.

The system includes Alarm and Event reporting. The header area always shows the latest alarm or event. Alarms are displayed with a red background, events are in yellow.

This is the Alarm History Screen. It is a scrollable list with all the alarms, showing the latest on top.

Below is the Event History Screen. Events are for operator info or to prompt operator action

This is an example of how the main control panel might look. In this case the processor was Allen Bradley CompactLogix with the latest DOL starter system on bus rails. The 15” Touchscreen was driven by a Stealth small form factor compuer