Conrad Kacsik Completes Control System Upgrade for Modern Industries


The engineering division of Conrad Kacsik Instrument Systems recently completed a plant-wide control system upgrade for Modern Industries, one of the largest commercial heat-treating companies in Pennsylvania.

The project consisted of the replacement of the legacy controls on over 30 furnaces and pieces of equipment within the facility. This included vacuum furnaces, integral quench lines, tempers, nitriders, cast belts, and generators.

All of the upgraded equipment is now encompassed within a plant-wide supervisory control and data acquisition system.

The system is comprised of Honeywell HC 900 controllers and control station operator interfaces for logic and process control, and Specview HMI (human machine interface) software for centralized furnace supervision and data collection.

This platform provides flexibility. The individual control stations are capable of storing over 200 days worth of data, and Specview allows all of this information to be archived to a server on the plant-wide network.

Conrad Kacsik’s engineering team worked closely with the facility’s personnel to develop customized programs that would enhance operational productivity. For example, Specview was programmed to mirror all of the individual control station screens and to provide furnace operators with recipe-management capability. Customized screens were also developed to enable customer names, part numbers, part quantities, and additional information to be combined with individual furnace data.

The combination control station/Specview HMI package delivers a redundant control and data acquisition system that eliminates the possibility of data loss.

Remote seat licenses were also incorporated into the system. Facility personnel now have the capability of logging in to a network PC to control the furnaces, develop new programs, or review production charts.

The system also enables remote access for Conrad Kacsik’s engineering team to provide assistance with control scheme changes, problem diagnostics, and general system maintenance and support.

According to Dennis Sweny, co-president of Modern Industries, Modern had never embarked on such a large-scale, plant-wide upgrade. Maintaining production capacity during the installation was imperative. Conrad Kacsik’s engineering team worked with Modern’s staff to ensure this was accomplished. Sweny also stated that, upon completion of the project, he was pleased with the timeliness and ease of transition from the legacy controls to the new system, as well as the minimal number of problems encountered compared to what he had anticipated for a project of this magnitude. Modern has worked with Conrad Kacsik to expand upon the original scope of the project to further customize the system to meet the specific needs of Modern Industries.

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