Controls Design & Consulting

Control Philosophy

CDI offers a broad spectrum Control Design and Consulting services related to the material handling industry, both for mechanical design and control systems design.

This combined expertise has given CDI experience and understanding in both the mechanical and control aspects of conveyor systems, which enable it to take a global approach to control system design. This approach proceeds from an operator point of view and stresses reliability, control simplicity, flexibility and expand-ability. It is based on extensive field experience and relies on an integrated approach to system design.

CDI’s Control Design and Consulting is chartered to develop advanced algorithms for the control of modern drive and brake systems for large conveyor systems.  Including many fields associated with material handling including special conveyor controls (head/tail driven conveyors, downhill regenerative conveyors), crusher controls, feeder controls, wash plant controls, dust suppression system controls, sampling plant controls, and centralized controls. Furthermore, CDI has developed new approaches to control systems for the material handling industry and has designed specialized instrumentation for conveyor applications and forensic engineering. CDI has published several papers describing its control philosophy and its approach to control systems design.

  • The Goals
    • System Safety
    • Maximum Availability
    • Simple Operator Controls
    • Fast Diagnostics
    • Trouble Free Commissioning
    • Flexibility and Upgrade ability
  •  The Approach
    • Complete System Approach
    • Integrated PLC, Graphics, Communication
    • Robust, Modular PLC Programming
    • Graphical Operator Interface
    • Structured Programming
    • Special Programming Techniques
    • Detailed Documentation
    • Program & Process Simulation
    • Thorough Commissioning
    • Field Testing of Installed System

 Control Systems

CDI’s extensive experience in control system designs for the material handling industry includes conceptual studies, control system design, specifications, bid evaluation, unbiased hardware selection, control logic definition, very robust programming techniques, PLC and computer networks, soft-start and soft-stop drive controls, centralized graphical operator interfaces, specialized communication programming, field testing, and system commissioning. CDI uses modern programming techniques and has experience with multi-platform systems, most types of PLC and operator interfaces, most operator interface software packages, copper and fiber optics networks, and forensic engineering techniques.

  •  Control System Engineering
    • Control System Design
    • PLC Programming
    • Operator Graphics
    • Centralized Control and Diagnostics
    • Networking & Communication
    • Specialized Drive & Brake Controls
    • Simulation
  •  Field Engineering
  •  Instrumentation

 Special Techniques

CDI uses a number of special programming techniques, including digital and analog signal filtering, alarm latching, structured programming, and complete program simulation prior to site delivery.  These special techniques, combined to his global approach, have always resulted in fast commissioning time and in very high level of equipment availability.

  •  Structured Programming
    • Separation into independent components
    • Each block is simpler
    • Allows easy testing and modifications
    • Provides natural diagnostic tree
  •  Latched Alarms
    • Only latched alarms cause shutdown
    • Eliminates ghost shutdowns
    • Provides easy diagnostics
  •  Systematic I/O Filtering
    • Digital I/O’s filtered by timers
    • Analog I/O’s filtered by moving average
    • Eliminates electrical noise problems
    • Reduces bouncing contacts problems
    • Increase system reliability
  •  Program and Process Simulation
    • Complete program simulation in the office
    • Allows early detection of logic faults
    • Reduces the risk of testing on live system
    • Reduces commissioning time

 Conveyor Soft Start/Stop Expertise

CDI has an established track record in developing, implementing, and commissioning large scale control systems for major crushing and conveying facilities.  It was responsible for the design and execution of the control system for the world longest conveyor (Curragh project, 2,500 tph 20.0 km single flite conveyor, Australia), for several of the world largest conveying systems (Palabora IPCC Project, 6500 tph, 9000 hp tunnel conveyor, South Africa), (Morenci IPCC Project, 8000 tph, 6000 hp downhill conveyor), and for the world largest downhill conveying system (Los Pelambres Project, 12.7 km downhill system, 8,700 tons per hour, 25 MW of power regenerated).

  •  Drives
    • DC drives
    • Variable frequency drives (Inverters)
    • Wound rotor motors w/resistor steps
    • Fluid couplings – traction type
    • Fluid couplings – scoop tube type
    • Fluid couplings – drain type
    • Wet clutches (Dodge CST)
  •  Brakes
    • Low speed hydraulic disk brakes
    • High speed hydraulic disk brakes
    • Pneumatic brakes
  •  Control Algorithms
    • Adaptive controls (PID)
    • Self tuning loops
    • Preemptive controls
    • Predictive-corrective controls

Through numerous successful projects, CDI has acquired a well deserved reputation for able and resourceful engineering, combining advanced technology with a strong emphasis on safety, reliability, and productivity. Relying on its extensive experience and with access to a vast array of advanced technologies covering all aspects of material handling system design, CDI is renowned for its ability to develop innovative design using modern techniques, finding creative solutions for the specific challenges of each project.

Controls Design was last modified: April 10th, 2018 by CDI