Joint effort helps meet increasing demands for biodiesel fuels
Charlottesville, VA —The joint effort of a biodiesel equipment manufacturer and a developer of automation hardware and software is helping to meet increasing demands for renewable, environmentally friendly fuel. GE Fanuc Automation , a unit of GE Industrial, and SunBio Systems of Santa Clara, CA, are working together to provide biodiesel production systems to companies seeking to supply biodiesel fuels to a growing market.
SunBio Systems' skid-mounted, quick-start biodiesel machines range from university-grade R&D systems to mid-sized plants that produce up to 15 million gallons of the fuels annually. The biodiesel machines are based on GE Fanuc controller systems that use Series 90-30 controllers and I/O systems, Proficy Machine Edition automation software, and QuickPanel touchscreen operator interfaces.
Among the applications underway is a system to be used by Silicon Valley Biodiesel Inc ., Sunnyvale, CA. The company produces biodiesels using local recycled fats, oils, and greases as feedstock, a process that provides cost-effective disposal while supplying a renewable fuel. Its Sanger, CA, facility is the company's first to meet ASTM's biodiesel fuel specification standard D6751 . It will use the SunBio standard process control platform coupled with the GE Fanuc equipment to start up five more plants in California over the next two years.
Walt Bacharowski, founder and president of Silicon Valley Biodiesel, said, "We had several very specific needs for this project, and all are being met by the SunBio/GE Fanuc solution. And, we also like that the system's Web access allows SunBio Systems to stay engaged with us to provide process advice when needed," he added.
System requirements included:
Instrumentation and automation for several plants;
Overall control and visibility into remote biodiesel locations reporting to a central office;
Standard operating procedures for automation and biodiesel processes;
Data history to run statistical process analysis and control to optimize processes; and
Web access to view operations easily from any location.
Series 90-30 PLC is a family of controllers, I/O systems, and specialty modules suitable for a variety of industrial applications such as complex motion control, food processing, injection molding, high-speed packaging, and material handling. Proficy Machine Edition automation software deploys HMI, motion, and multi-target control to provide a common user interface, drag-and-drop editing, and development tools in an integrated environment. Touchscreens connect to all major PLCs and PLC networks.
—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel , senior editor
|Search the online Automation Integrator Guide|
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.