Update of our P3 MAS Recipe System

David Tye

Having served us well over the past 10 years, it was time to rewite our P3 MAS (Mixer Automation System) to bring it up to date with Technology. Written originally in 2010 for a Windows XP / 7 machine using an SQL database, it has worked flawlessly making thousands of batches of Fabric Conditioner and All-purpose cleaners over the past 10 years.

With Microsoft removing support for windows 7, it was time for a complete rewrite. Moving away from the SQL database to Flat XML files will allow easier backup and restore of recipe files and direct communications to the Siemens S7 and Allen Bradley PLCs will simplify the PLC code required for the system. Fully windows 10 compliant the new system will now be called “MixerNet” as it uses the Microsoft .Net framework.

Critical Breakdown. DeviceNet Fault Diagnostic on 20 head Bleach Filling machine

David Tye

Breakdown call out to diagnose and fix a machine fault on a Farason 20 head bleach filling machine in Manchester. Cable and termination issues were causing the loss of all 20 loadcells on a DeviceNet network. Various fault-finding skills and the digital storage oscilloscope were used to identify problems with cable lengths, Baud Rates, and terminations.

The machine is now back in production filling on all 20 heads.

Customer Support, Profibus Fault on Case Packing machine

David Tye

Requested to try and diagnose an intermittent Profibus fault on an ETT case packing machine. With only 6 nodes on the Profibus network the machine would stop randomly with a profibus error while in motion. Using some trap code inserted into the PLC OB’s and a screwdriver, the fault was tracked down to a damaged Profibus Connector making some nodes drop off the network due to the vibration. This was replaced and the machine was put back into service.

Annual Instrumentation Service of Esterquat Storage System

David Tye

We provide an annual instrumentation check / calibration of the Esterquat control system at our customers site checking all the temperature zones and level sensors are still measuring to spec using a calibrated Atex Process Calibrator. This gives our customer piece of mind the control system is still functioning correctly and helps them with the HSE requirements being a top tier COMAH site.

P3 Automation mixer system goes on and on!

David Tye

One of our mixing systems that was installed in 2010 has now produced
13,682 x 10 Ton Batches of Fabric Conditioner
• Producing 136,824,168 Liters of Fabric Conditioner
• Which will have filled a whopping 182,432,224 Bottles (750ml) of Fabric Conditioner

Control Panel Building

David Tye

Ready, Steady Build.
Steve has been a busy few weeks building another of our standard 18.5Kw Soft Start panels for a vacuum pumps for Hexpol TPE.
Utilising a Siemens Soft Starter and Allen Bradley Micrologix PLC, these control panels give flexibility and control to Hexpol for their process.

Commissioning Of A Caustic Dosing System

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The Caustic Dosing System is an add-on to our mixing and batching system which allows the operators to add a caustic liquid into 8 of their 10,000Kg mixers safely. It accurately measures the liquid by means of Endress & Hauser flowmeters.

Pigging System Upgrade

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When a new production line was installed at Robert Mc Bride in Middleton, we upgraded the existing product recovery system. This involved adding a new plc control panel and HMI panel at the line side.

The reasons for the upgrade were

  • To replace some failing obsolete plc hardware
  • Improve the look of the system
  • To give a better operator interface & diagnostics

Control system
Siemens S7-300 Plc, Siemens TP277 colour HMI

Our scope
Siemens S7 Plc software design, HMI Software design (WinCC Flexible), Onsite system commissioning

Vacuum Mixing System & Bulk Powder Handling

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The system consisted of the following

  • Two 3 Ton mixing vessels with mixers and anchors
  • Two 1.5 Ton powder batch bins
  • One 5 Ton pre melt vessel with mixers and temperature heating control and re-circulation
  • Vacuum powder transfer with vac hoppers
  • Bulk material transfer and quantity display
  • Filling off system


Control system
Siemens S7-300 Plc, 2 x ET200M Remote I/O stations, 4 x Siemens TP177 Monochrome HMIs, 8 x Allen Bradley Power Flex (Sensorless Vector Drives) from 5.5kW to 45kW

Our scope
Siemens S7 Plc software design, Onsite system commissioning