The Tensar name is synonymous with mechanical ground stabilisation and soil reinforcement products. The company’s polymer geogrids have been produced on its Biax production line in Blackburn for many years, and the line was becoming progressively obsolete and inefficient. It required a mechanical upgrade, a control system upgrade and a machine rewire. What’s more, the upgrade needed to by implemented in four weeks, which included the Christmas holiday period.

Optima Control Solutions, located just a few milles away from Tensar’s plant, accepted the challenge to complete the project on time and within budget. The solution includes some smart design features to improve machine reliability. PLC remote I/O units were fitted in the control cubicles, control desks and junction boxes located on the Biax machine. Most of the existing control cables could be removed which will help simplify future machine maintenance.

A redundant Siemens WinCC SCADA?package allows production data to be collected easily and analysed, it is utilised both on the input and output control desks. Optima also included its Infoserve 365 data acquisition product free of charge, which is connected to the PLC controlling the line. It automatically gathers the data necessary to deliver reports and allows analysis of production operations, plant condition and energy consumption.

Joe Crane, plant engineering manager at Tensar said: “We now have better control and accuracy in production – speed and tension loops are great. Also, Optima managed to raise the machine safety levels to a higher standard.”

Optima Control Solutions

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