Eaton Controls for Advetecs Extremophile Based Organic Waste Digesters

Power management firm Eaton has been selected as the exclusive supplier of all key automation components used by Advetec Advanced Environmental Technologies in its bio-thermic digester systems which make use of extremophile bacteria harvested from deep ocean volcanos. According to Eaton, integrating its solutions has allowed Advetec to devise control systems that are fast to build, intuitive in operation and, crucially, easy to maintain, with spare parts readily available in every part of the world. Advetec’s thermal digesters make use of bio-stimulation, a method of invigorating and stimulating thermophilic and extremophilic bacteria so that they digest organic waste. For more see WMW Story - The X-tremophiles: Supercharging Organic Waste Digestion The process is claimed to be so efficient that the company’s compact containerised digesters can process over 30 tonnes of waste in 72 hours. The volume of the waste is said to be reduced by 96%, eliminating the need to send material to landfill, with the only end products of the digestion process being clean water and a tiny amount of sterile residue. Because they offer such an effective way of dealing with organic waste of all types, including ‘difficult’ material such as abattoir by-products and hospital waste, Eaton said that the digesters are finding a ready market all over the world. However, the company explained that they usually installed in tough working environments and used by operators with skills more closely focussed on the physical handling of bulk waste than the operation of sophisticated control systems. Furthermore, they are often required to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. According to the control systems supplier, this combination of factors posed multiple challenges for the Advetec engineers working on control systems for the digesters. The company added that an easy-to-use intuitive operator interface was essential, and it was also important that, if a problem occurred, it should be possible to diagnose and rectify it easily and quickly, ideally without the need for an engineer to visit the site, which could be anywhere in the world. Finally, it was crucial that spare parts should be locally available irrespective of the location of the machine. Taking control The first digesters produced by Advetec used a conventional control system. According to Eaton, while these were largely satisfactory, they not fully meet the requirements and challenges identified by the company. The Advetec engineers were, therefore, looking for a better solution and, as part of the process of exploring the possibilities. In that search for a better solution led Advetec engineers to Eaton’s SmartWire-DT lean panel wiring system. Eaton explained that the SmartWire-DT allows all of the major components within the control panel to be linked with standardised plug-in cables instead of ordinary panel wiring. The company added that the system can also 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 is claimed said to make detailed diagnostics possible, as it allows easy access to detailed information about the status and condition of the connected devices. Additionally, if any of the devices connected by SmartWire-DT are replaced, the system automatically reconfigures itself so that the new device is correctly addressed. According to Eaton, because of this functionality Advetec engineers decided to base the design of their new control system on its automation solutions and SmartWire-DT. The engineers settled on Eaton’s XV-152 touch-screen operator interface panel, which has integrated programmable controller (PLC) functionality. The manufacturer explained that this is a robust device which has a high ingress protection rating and a tough damage-resistant screen. According to Eaton the selection allowed the Advetec engineers to develop an easy-to-use operator interface based on colour graphics, while at the same time permitting a flexible scheme of control that can easily be updated should the need arise. The interface panel also allows users who are in possession of the appropriate security passwords to access the machine’s comprehensive diagnostic system. Advetec has now used Eaton automation solutions in its two most recent machines and is planning to integrate it in all future machines. Eaton added that its SmartWire-DT has enabled Advetec to simplify the design, building, testing and commissioning of the control system, as well as allowing the size of the control panel to be reduced making it easier to accommodate. Diagnostics According to Eaton, the advanced monitoring and diagnostic system made possible by the technology proved its worth when the user of one of the new machines managed to insert a concrete building block along with organic waste. As soon as the block stalled the transport motor, the diagnostic system detected the rapid rise in motor current and shut down the machine before damage could occur. After the block was removed, it was possible to restore normal operation of the machine immediately. “The new control system is proving exceptionally popular with our customers,” commented Craig Shaw, managing director at Advetec. According to Shaw, Advetec’s customers particularly like the simple touchscreen user interface, the neatness and simplicity of the control panel and machine wiring and the diagnostics – as well as access to Eaton’s global presence. “Additionally, our customers like how easy it is to change sensors and other components on site without the need for specialist expertise,” he concluded. Read More Advetec Bio-Thermic Digester to Cut Recycling Firm's Costs Bath, UK based biotech firm, Advetec is to supply and install an industrial scale Bio-Thermic Digester (BTD) that will use extremophile bacteria harvested from deep ocean volcanos to reduce organic content in trade and black bag waste. Next Gen Robotic Sorting System for Heavy Weight Recycling from ZenRobotics Helsinki, Finland based robotic recycling sorting specialist, ZenRobotics, has launched its latest robotic sorting robot for the recycling industry. Canadian Waste to Biofuel & Chemicals Firm Enerkem Partners on European Projects Canadian waste to biofuels and chemicals firm, Enerkem, has signed an agreement with paints and coatings company and producer of specialty chemicals, AkzoNobel, to develop a project partnership for waste to chemicals facilities in Europe.