Tri-Phase Automation is a proud member of The Water Council

the-water-council-proud-member-logoTri-Phase Automation is an engineering based distributor with a broad breadth of innovative industrial solutions for the water and wastewater industry and we are a proud member of the The Water Council.

Our solutions range from the Internet of Things (IoT), remote monitoring & data acquisition, HMIs, PLCs, motion control, safety, sensors, to programming including panel builds and design.

Wind Energy Control System

advantechwind2Distributed Energy Resource (DER) systems are small-scale power generation technologies (typically in the range of 3 kW to 10,000 kW) used to provide an alternative to or an enhancement of traditional electric power systems. Wind energy is one of the major power sources for DER, especially for standalone power generators within a smart grid system. One of Taiwan’s leading smart grid projects is working to integrate wind energy systems to develop a complete system with an excellent cost/performance ratio. They turned to Advantech for a solution which could deliver pitch control, hydraulic system monitoring and wind turbine control.

APAX-5521KW combined with APAX I/O modules were integrated into the wind control system to provide optimum control. As a powerful PAC controller with embedded KW SoftLogic, APAX-5521KW is the best platform to provide real-time deterministic execution of complicated pitch control application. Furthermore, it takes advantage of one CANopen interface and one LAN port to offer communication ability with other devices. The APAX-5080PEC high-speedcounter module provides accurately encoded A/B/Z signals from wind yaw and rotor blades. Through APAX-5060, 12 channel relay output can be connected to the hydraulic system to control the yaw and rotor blades.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Advantech in Wisconsin.

A Robust Solution for Industrial Wastewater Monitoring System

A solution from Advantech

Oadvantech-robust-solution-for-waste-monitoringne of the major companies in China which specializes in automatic control technology of environmental protection plans to upgrade its system to on-line monitoring for wastewater quality so as to improve the degree of automated wastewater quality monitoring and reduce errors in measurement. In order to monitor water quality with early warnings, the new solution has to provide continuous and automatic monitoring by using an accurate data acquisition module and robust embedded computer.

There are many types of industrial wastewater based on different industries and contaminants therefore monitoring system must be designed specifically for the particular type of effluent produced and cover a wide range of measuring parameters. Consequently, the related hardware devices have to have a wide array of IO ports to connect various meters and analyzers. Meanwhile, SCADA software is also a basic requirement to provide remote control with the best human-machine interface for technicians. For system reliability, Advantech proposed a total solution, including hardware and software products to guarantee failure-free reliable and accurate measurements. First of all, an analog input module, ADAM-4017 with isolation protection offers the assurance of stable operation while collects a variety of signals from water quality analyzers and PH/Temperature/Conductivity/DO/Turbidity meter. Secondly, UNO, a DIN-rail and high performance automation computer with rugged design is in charge of processing these raw materials and sending them to the central servers in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and enterprise’s monitoring room. As for the computers in control centers, simultaneously receiving the on-site data enables technicians or supervisors to continuously monitor the current water quality status through Advantech WebAccess, an HMI/SCADA software that features animated graphics displays, real-time data control, trends, alarms and logs.

Advantech offers ruggedized hardware products with low failure rates for industrial wastewater monitoring systems to ensure best measuring results. In addition, this on-line monitoring system can increase productivity and reduce labor costs through Advantech’s real-time data acquisition and SCADA software to remote control and management

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Advantech in Wisconsin.

Sweet Temptation: Chocolate Bar and Pieces Boxing Machine

Candy sorting
Fig. 1: Chocolate storage container as a preliminary stage for boxing

A solution story from Pepperl+Fuchs

LEKO-Verpackungstechnik GmbH in Murnau designs and builds special machinery for confectionery technology. These special machines are designed for the isolation, packaging and boxing of small chocolate bars and pieces. The task of this system is to combine individual chocolate pieces into layers and then insert them into various vending boxes. During implementation two chocolate varieties (Napolitanis and alcohol-filled chocolates) and several vending box formats must be taken into account.


candy bar packaging
Fig. 2: Conveyor belt with chocolate detection

Via five sorting pots the chocolates are moved into the correct position and deposited in the correct orientation onto a collection conveyor. The jamming control of the sorting pots is controlled by reflective light barriers. The 180° rotation and the counting are triggered via light sensors with background light elimination and a fixed sensor distance. The reference position of the servo-motor axes is determined via inductive proximity switches.

The detection of packaged chocolates on the white conveyor belt is carried out by the reflection light sensor with background elimination ML4.1-8-H-20-RT. Due to its low black/white difference, the sensor reliably detects every passing item in spite of highly reflective aluminum packaging at a very small distance from the white conveyor belts. The fixed sensor distance prevents a maladjustment during ongoing production.

Fig. 3: Chocolate detection in the box infeed

For the detection of products in the collector rail of the sorting pots, the stacking height of the lining placement unit and the jamming control of the vending boxes, the reflective light barrier with pole filter ML7-55/59/103 is used. The advantages of this light barrier for the client lie in its compact design and small visible beam spot. The distance between the reflective light barrier and the reflector can be kept extremely low.

Fig. 4: Detection of motor rotations
Fig. 4: Detection of motor rotations

The reference position of the servo axes is captured by the proximity switches.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl+Fuchs in Wisconsin.

MillerCoors Minimizes Downtime Losses With Thermal Edge Enclosure Air Conditioners

MillerCoors  operates multiple breweries located throughout the United States and produces such popular brands as Coors, Miller, as well as a wide variety of specialty and craft beers.

The company relies upon Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) housed in electronic enclosures to control their automated brewing and packaging operations. These critical devices can cost over $100,000. The they raise internal cabinet temperatures to 131° Fahrenheit and would quickly overheat without proper cooling.

The solution:

Thermal Edge Enclosure Air Conditioners
Thermal Edge Enclosure Air Conditioners

MillerCoors needed enclosure air conditioners capable of communicating with their PLCs that could report problems before high internal temperatures impacted component longevity and potential productivity.

The solution includes Thermal Edge air conditioners equipped with an EtherNet/IP port and communication software.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Thermal Edge in Wisconsin and Northern IL.


Red Lion Wind Energy

An application brief from Red Lion

A leading Power Company with 10,000 employees and annual revenues $15 billion that supplies over 40,000 megawatts of energy to millions of users across the USA and Canada.

Project Scope
With over 7,500 megawatts of renewable energy being generated from 9,000 wind turbines located at 75 sites across North America, the Power Company needed a more optimal networking communication solution to improve wind farm operations and avoid costly downtime. Its current SCADA system was utilizing a serial multi-drop string network that not only had data limitations, but was also experiencing reliability issues during temperature fluctuations.

The Power Company’s mission was to update its wind farm communication system, which included fiber optics, serial servers and Ethernet switch. After evaluating a number of different options, Red Lions’ Sixnet SLX series of industrial Ethernet switch was selected for its rugged reliability.  The project was completed in two phases with new hardware being installed followed by the transition for old equipment to the new communication system.  Deployed at the cored of the wind turbine-to -SCADA communication system, the Red Lion’s Sixnet Ethernet switches manage and process control signaling, condition-based monitoring and data collections. The industrial switches also allow IP-enable devices to be used throughout the turbine with fiber optic network providing noise suppression.

Located in environments subject to extreme temperatures, humidity, vibration, dust and electromagnetic interference from rotating generators and radio transmitters, wind turbines require industrial-grade equipment. Sixnet switches – tested to comply with the most demanding industrial standards – provide the rugged reliability and high performance vital to meeting wind farm conditions. Designed for fault tolerance, the switches use dual-independent power supplies and are fully compatible with fiber optic ring network topologies. Built-in redundancy ensures wind farm data automatically gets rerouted should equipment fail.  In fact, switch performance under electrical transient fault conditions makes it one of the most reliable elements in the wind turbines. Compatible with both multimode and single-mode fiber, the switches offer plug-and play simplicity when interfacing between the ring network and a SCADA system. The use of ring technology also enables turbine maintenance to be performed without communication loss. Additionally, new turbines can be seamlessly networked without downtime. This scalability coupled with ease of use enables the Power Company to benefit from real-time deterministic performance and around-the-clock security without downtime. This scalability coupled with ease of use enables the Power Company to benefit from real-time deterministic performance and around-the-clock security.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Red Lion products in Wisconsin.

Safe Gluing and Opening

With the UGB ultrasonic sensor for splice monitoring

A solution from Pepperl+Fuchs

Fig. 1: UGB transmitter above the packaging paper
Fig. 1: UGB transmitter above the packaging paper

Vacuum packages are frequently used to store coffee. To increase the customers’ benefit, the outer package of vacuum-packed coffee has a tear strip. The tear strip is glued onto the back of the printed paper by the coffee producer. This process must be monitored to ensure that all papers have a tear strip.

Depending on the coffee type, the color, thickness and texture of the packaging paper types may vary. The tear strip may be of different colors as well. Until now, sensors that were used to monitor splices had to be adjusted extensively after each paper change. In addition, the reliability of the monitoring process was unsatisfactory.

Fig. 2: UGB transmitter below the packaging paper
Fig. 2: UGB transmitter below the packaging paper

The Solution
The UGB ultrasonic splice detection sensor from Pepperl Fuchs is the solution! This ultrasonic sensor ignores the paper color and texture. With the electrical TEACH-IN input, it is easy to adjust to new paper types and, monitoring 100 packages per minute, the sensor enables very short processing times. Here, the packaging paper passes over a 30 mm hole in the sheet metal. The ultrasonic transmitter sends its signals to the ultrasonic receiver through the hole and accurately detects the paper.

he UGB ultrasonic sensor features high reliability, few adjustments during paper changes and low processing times. The MH-UDB1 assembly aid eliminates installation errors and ensures safe splice monitoring.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl+Fuchs in Wisconsin.

RFID Monitors Hose Connections

A solution from Pepperl+Fuchs

RFID readers and tags monitor hose connections
RFID readers and tags monitor hose connections

In chemical, pharmaceutical, and aseptic process equipment, process components and liquids must be transported from their storage tanks to a process reactor. It is of vital importance that these components are not spilled and that the wrong liquids are never introduced into the reactor, as this could result in costly process interruptions that must be prevented.

Small RFID read heads are mounted near the metal hose couplings. Reliable operation under harsh environmental conditions is assured.

Customer advantage
Process security and prevention of downtime by eliminating the introduction of the wrong process components and liquids.

What has been done
Chemical plants typically utilize continuous process methods. Process interruptions and errors frequently result in significant yield losses and associated costs. In order to protect such processes with nearly 100% reliability, and to exclude any human and external machine introduced errors, the hose couplings are equipped with RFID technology. A hose connection with an incorrect process medium for the current process can be securely identified. The transport valves for this invalid connection will not open and the error will be clearly displayed, allowing an immediate response by the operators. Important for these kinds of applications are reliable RFID hardware components and RFID tags that can be flush mounted inside a protective metal collar. In food and beverage applications, hose and pipes are regularly flushed using sanitary cleaning solutions. In this case, it is also important to securely separate the cleaning agents from the food.

Monitoring hose connections with RFID guarantees the introduction of the right material at the right time and assures that the correct measuring equipment is used for the process.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl+Fuchs in Wisconsin.  For more information Contact Tri-Phase Automation.

Vision Sensors for Post Print Processing

pf-post-print-sensorA solution from Pepperl+Fuchs

Vision sensor are used for sheet verification in all common collating, folding, and binding machines. The vision sensor ensures safe sheet verification in high-speed applications by image comparison and 1-D and 2-D code reading.

  • Comparing of sheet sequences and reliable detection of misfed sheets
  • Automatic Teach-In of reference sheets reduces operator workload and downtime
  • Safe detection even on reflective surfaces
  • Innovative image processing technology ensures reading of very large barcodes

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl+Fuchs in Wisconsin. For more information Contact Tri-Phase Automation

Industrial RFID F61 Reading Head for a Track Switch Reading Point in Conveyor Systems

Decentralized control of intelligent container with integrated RFID transponder

A solution from Pepperl+Fuchs

Modular track switch detects the topology via a connection to the IDENTControl interface
Modular track switch detects the topology via a connection to the IDENTControl interface

In conveyor and production systems, work steps and conveyor routes are often centrally controlled. The F61 RFID reading head from Pepperl+Fuchs forms the basis for the track switch reading point that helps you optimize your processes. Logistics processes, like congested conveyor belt sections, can continue without disruptions.

The F61 reading head even allows the decentralized control of intelligent containers with integrated, writeable RFID transponders directly at the scene. The transponders in the containers integrate all the required information, which is present throughout the entire conveyor process.

The “Internet of things” principle should be transferred to warehouse, conveyor, and production systems. All goods are accompanied by a transponder that carries information on the origin, quality assurance, and other processes and transport destinations. Write operations can be used to update this data at any time. A decision is made to select the next process step and the best conveyor route. A large antenna fitted to the track switches and work stations makes the transponder position noncritical. As a result, time-critical adjustments in combination with a central database are rendered superfluous, and data communication to the higher level is reduced. Due to the modular structure of the conveyor modules and automatic topology detection, the conveyor route operates almost fully automatically and transports goods to their destination.

Featuring an extremely slim design, the F61 reading head is ideal for integrating in machines or installing in locations with limited space.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl+Fuchs in Wisconsin.