Vol.3 Pioneering the Possibilities for Automation with CC-Link & CC-Link IE

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Special Interview

CC-Link Partner Association and Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co., Ltd.

Chinese leading heavy industry manufacturer working on enhancement of energy conservation achieves advanced energy management with CC-Link IE

Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co., Ltd., a leading heavy industry manufacturer, is an affiliated company of Shanghai Electric Group, one of the largest government-owned corporation group in China, and built a progressive energy monitoring and control system using CC-Link IE. They strongly promote energy conservation in their factories. Ms. Naomi Nakamura, the global director of the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), interviewed Mr. Ye ZhiQiang, the Vice-General Manager of Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co., Ltd. Ms. Nakamura asked him about their approach to energy conservation and the background of CC-Link IE's introduction in China.

Ms. Nakamura (hereinafter: N )Would you tell us about your products? Mr. Ye (hereinafter: Y )We handle thermal processing and machine processing of metal such as metallurgy, forging, and casting. That is, we have an integrated system of production from raw materials to finished products. Our main products are large-size metalwork such as turbines for power plants. We have eight factories on the property of the headquarters in the southwest area of Shanghai. Three of them are for thermal processing, four are for machine processing, and the last one is for welding.
The sales for 2011 amounted to 3.4 billion yuan. We have high shares in various fields in the Chinese market: 10% in metallurgy, 15% in forging, and 35% in casting. In addition, we have a national technology development center. I am sure that our technology is the most advanced in China.
NI have heard that your company focuses on energy conservation in your factories. YIn thermal processing and machine processing, a large amount of energy is essential. For example, if converted into the weight of coal, the energy consumed in our factories in 2011 reaches 180,000 tons. While the whole Shanghai Electric Group works on energy conservation, we think that our efforts on energy conservation have a huge impact because we consume the most energy in the group. This is why we focus on energy conservation.

Integrated control by CC-Link IE

NOne of the specific approaches is an energy monitoring control system using CC-Link IE. Would you tell us the outline of the system?

Fig.1: Energy monitoring control center (能源監控中心) of Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co., Ltd.
YThis system "visualizes" the energy consumed in the factories. Integrated control allows data collection from various sensors installed on the equipment in the factories such as boilers and furnaces (Fig. 1). In the "energy monitoring control center (能源監控中心)", we can promptly know the consumption of electricity, natural gas, coal gas, oxygen, and steam. At the same time, we built a system for the thermal management of boilers and furnaces used in the factories. CC-Link IE is used in the network to collect information from many sensors used in such a system.
The project was divided into two terms, and the first term has been completed. The current system has 667 nodes collecting the data. This covers about 95% of overall energy consumption in the facilities. We developed this system over two years since 2009 together with Shanghai Electric Ryoden Energy Saving and Control Technology (SERT), who handles energy control systems and FA systems. (For more information on SERT, refer to the associated article.)
Fig.2: Considerably-miniaturized process management system for a forging furnace.The equipment on the left in the picture is the existing system with pen recorders. The terminal of the new control system using CC-Link IE is on the right in this picture.

NWhat impact has the introduction of this system had? YOne of the results is that we can now analyze the status of energy utilization in more detail by implementing a function that displays data with various graphs. This function has optimized energy consumption and reduced energy costs.
A further result is that we established a system that automatically accumulates data related to working processes, leading to better control of manufacturing processes. In the existing systems, many automatic pen recording devices were used. However, in the new system, such devices were considerably miniaturized (Fig.2).

Evaluating "high speed" and "high reliability"

NI would like to hear your evaluation of the technology of CC-Link IE. YReal time information was what we placed importance on when we designed the energy control system. In response to our demand, SERT suggested the adoption of CC-Link IE, which enables high-speed data transmission. A large amount of information can be updated in a minimum of two seconds in the actual system.
The high reliability is another big advantage of CC-Link IE. I have really appreciated the reliability of CC-Link IE in the two years since the system was started.
NThank you so much. High speed and "high reliability" are the key features of CC-Link IE that we appreciate. Would you tell us your future plans? YWe have already started the construction for the second term. One of the important points in the second term is to enhance a consumed-power management feature. Using this feature will lead to greater energy conservation. The functions of the information processing systems will be also enhanced. Specifically, we will introduce a mechanism that continually analyzes collected data and promptly issues an alert when a measured value goes near exceeding the set threshold. NI think that new CC-Link- and CC-Link IE-compatible devices are required to achieve these enhanced functions. The CLPA is always working with our partners to increase the capabilities of CC-Link- and CC-Link IE-compatible devices. Thank you so much for your time today.

Mr. Ye ZhiQiangShanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co., Ltd.
Vice-General Manager
Technology Center Director
Senior Engineer of Professor's Degree

Ms. Naomi NakamuraGlobal Director of CC-Link Partner Association

Mr. Yuji WatanabeGeneral Manager of Shanghai Electric Ryoden
Energy Saving and Control Technology Co., Ltd.
Supporting development of the Chinese systems market

Shanghai Electric Ryoden Energy Saving and Control Technology (SERT), which co-developed the energy monitoring control system of Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co., Ltd., joined the board of directors of the CLPA activity in September, 2012. Mr. Yuji Watanabe, the General Manager of the company, expressed his intent to contribute to the promotion of CC-Link and CC-Link IE in Asia using his experience in the Chinese market and his perspective of a system vendor.

SERT was established in February, 2011 as a joint venture company between Shanghai Electric Environmental Investment Co., Ltd., which handles environment-related business under the umbrella of Shanghai Electric Group, and the Chinese local corporation of Mitsubishi Electric. The main businesses of SERT are design and development of FA systems and energy control systems.

The board of directors of the CLPA consisted solely of FA device vendors until SERT joined. I believe that participation of SERT handling systems business has great significance for promoting CC-Link and CC-Link IE. This is because the industrial network technology used in systems is constructed according to the user needs.
In addition, we will contribute to the promotion of CC-Link and CC-Link IE in Asia, which is a key focus for the CLPA. SERT is the third foreign company on the board of directors and is based in China. We will willingly give feedback on market needs to the CLPA to strongly support the promotion of CC-Link and CC-Link IE in China.
Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co., Ltd. was an early adopter of CC-Link IE and is a good example of promotion in Asia. Their CC-Link IE energy control system clearly shows that it has potential for spreading to various fields.

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