The goals for any commercial or industrial process are simple: minimize overall costs and enhance productivity. To achieve these goals, processes require better monitoring, less downtime, and faster maintenance. Obtaining real-time process information requires integrating hardware, software, and communications. Communication and advanced sensing technologies now exist at the device level, and recent enhancements make a completely integrated solution both usable and affordable.Motor control centers (MCCs) occupy a prominent role in control schemes, housing a comprehensive array of control and monitoring devices. MCCs have moved rapidly to include the latest component technologies and integrating these advanced technologies presents a major opportunity – to transform islands of data into useful information that minimizes downtime. This paper focuses on technology integration methods in MCCs, and quantifying associated costs and benefits.
Integrated, intelligent MCCs have dedicated software that delivers a window into the motor control center and related equipment. MCC software eliminates creating costly customized MCC screens within operator interface software, yielding a “plug and play” solution usable by computer novices. The following checklist identifies benchmarks for integrated, intelligent MCC software. Operates in a familiar environment – The software will be easiest to use if it behaves according to known operating environments, e.g. Windows.Includes unique MCC documentation to initialize screens – Every MCC is unique. The application program, upon installation, should access specific information to generate screens containing data pertinent to that MCC.8 Integrated, Intelligent Motor Control CentersInitiates network communication – Establishing devices as recognized entities on a network can be the most time-consuming step.
In the optimal situation, the MCC manufacturer downloads user-specific information like node addresses (per user specification or a standard scheme), and baud rate, then tests the entire system for accurate functions and communication. Upon installing the MCC and software, the user only needs to sit back and let the software poll the pre-configured devices to match the device information with the user database. Displays pre-configured screens showing most common parameters – Intelligent MCC software can access the user’s specific data files and build the corresponding screens. The following pre-configured software screens are useful:MCC line-up (elevation) view – Realistic dynamic display that shows unit type, nameplate information, and status of units.
- Unit View – Supplies dynamic information about the unit and network device. Parameters of greatest interest are already shown, and can be changed if necessary. Data can be displayed digitally, on meters or trend graphs.
- Event Logging – Automatically logs preset and user-defined faults and warnings, and accepts manual entries such as maintenance activities and equipment updates.
- Spreadsheet View – Ideal for viewing the most information at a glance. Sorting and filtering capabilities help users organize pertinent data.
- Includes all user-specific documentation – A comprehensive documentation database minimizes frustration and downtime experienced while trying to locate misplaced documentation. Valuable documentation components are:
- Unit wiring diagrams
- As-built drawings of the MCC line-up
- Product user manuals
- Spare parts list- Databases should allow users to add and change information, especially wiring diagrams.
- Can be accessed at any network level – The user should be able to view the MCC by plugging into any network uch as DeviceNet, ControlNet, or Ethernet. This feature gives the user flexibility to locate the software on a maintenance laptop, in a control room, or at an engineer’s desk.