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Automation at digesters

Power management company Eaton is now the exclusive supplier of automation components used by Advetec Advanced Environmental Technologies, which specialises in biothermic waste disposal technology.

The integration of Eaton solutions has allowed Advetec to devise control systems that are fast to build, intuitive in operation and easy to maintain.

Advetec’s thermal digesters use bio-stimulation, a method of invigorating and stimulating thermophilic and extremophilic bacteria so that they digest organics, rapidly reducing waste volumes.

The digesters are used in tough working environments by operators with skills aligned to the physical handling of bulk waste rather than sophisticated control systems, so an easy-to-use operator interface was needed. It was also important that, if a problem occurred, it could be diagnosed and rectified easily, ideally without the need for an engineer to visit.

Advetec’s engineers were impressed with Eaton’s Smart- Wire-DT lean panel wiring system, which allows all major components in the control panel to be linked with standardised plug-in cables instead of ordinary panel wiring. This can be extended outside the control panel so that, for example, machine-mounted sensors – which are the components most likely to suffer damage – become, in effect, plug-in devices.

It also makes detailed diagnostics possible, allowing easy access to detailed information about the status and condition of the connected devices. If any of the devices connected by Smart- Wire-DT are replaced, the system automatically reconfigures itself.

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