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Decentralised fieldbus a must in turnkey materials handling

Decentralised control technology should be factored in as a definite in any customised turnkey materials handling solution, according to the managing director of an Australia-based international materials handling specialist.

Don Erskine, of Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd says decentralised control maximises potential of materials handling solutions in all industries ranging from food production, freight handling, manufacturing and general processing.

“In the modern industrial business environment, our clients have certain criteria when making decisions regarding the purchase of new equipment, and one of the deciding factors is ‘speed to market’,” he said.

“We have found this to be an effective edge to our turnkey facilitation in projects.

“By using decentralised control, we are able to quickly execute projects with greater flexibility using various fieldbus networks and vendor specific solutions.

“Not only is the speedy turnaround benefiting the client, there is also a high level of modern, technical components, plus it also allows for add-on equipment to be installed at a later date — therefore making it a logical platform for expanding when necessary.

“Turnkey materials handling solutions with fieldbus are designed to the point where all field items, including safety, are local to the field machinery.”

Decentralised design translates into modules of equipment and/or complete projects being workshop tested with all control elements at the company’s manufacturing site in Victoria.

By combining the electrical design with the mechanical design and manufacturing process, equipment design is enhanced and complete turnaround time of equipment is vastly reduced.

Final delivery and installation time at the client premises is also greatly reduced as electrical installation begins with mechanical installation.

Decentralised fieldbus installations also have the advantage of reduced field cabling needs.

The advantage of this is final commissioning of the system can be achieved only a couple of days after mechanical installation.

[Val Pavlovic is a writer for Omentum Media Australia.]

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