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I/O for Dust Suppression

  • A modern shipping plant for iron ore was developed at the Taicang Wugang Port

  • Each sprinkler is equipped with a control cabinet with a BL20 station

Taicang, located in the south bank of the Yangtze River estuary, is the best intersection for river-and-sea coordinated transport. In order to meet the growing iron ore import demand and to provide efficient iron ore transit services in the Yangtze region, the Ningbo Port Group, the Wuhan Iron & Steel Group and the Sinotrans Group established the joint venture of the Taicang Wugang Port Company Limited in 2003. Next to the Ningbo Port, the Taicang Wugang Port will be the second biggest port for the local production of iron and steel. If the port is completed, the annual throughput will be up to 30 million tons.

Sprinkler system against dust

A huge bucket wheel for iron ore works at the bulk material port of the Taicang Wugang Port. A large amount of dust is produced during the shipping process so the operating company decided to install a sprinkler system to reduce the dust impact on the environment. Twenty-one sprinklers on each column are distributed over a length of 800 meters in order to cover the entire area. There are two traditional control methods for the sprinkler system. First, the signals of each sprinkler will be transmitted through cables to a central control unit. This option would allow easy start-up and programming of the system, but laying the countless cables would lead to a substantial increase in cost.

The second method is to equip each sprinkler with a small SPS to achieve control. Although this method could solve the cable problem, a large number of small SPS's would increase the cost and manpower because of the programming required. Also, these local solutions are not ideal for maintenance work. For the system integrator, Shanghai TGE Environment Equipment & Engineering Co. Ltd., in charge of the control system’s installation, programming and commissioning, only a fieldbus solution came into consideration. All advantages of a central control can be used without having the disadvantages of a complex wiring. All signals are collected from I/O stations directly at the sprinklers and are forwarded via Profibus to the controlers.

Flexible BL20 system

After comparing different products, the system integrator chose the BL20 Economy distributed I/O system from Turck. With its modular concept, high signal density, small size and low price per channel, Turck’s fieldbus solution was the clear choice.

Turck's I/O-assistant diagnostic software was another reason for the BL20 becoming the product of choice. The FDT/DTM based tool supports the user during design, start-up and maintenance of the network. With the help of the I/O-assistant, each BL20 station can be configured on-site – without having to be connected to the main controls.

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