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Picturesque gardens dot the city of Suzhou, in eastern China’s Jiangsu province. Some of these gardens, known as the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, date back as far as the 11th century, and were designed by some of China’s renowned scholars. Nearby, numerous canals crisscross the city that is known as the Venice of the East. 42 percent of the city is covered in water through its canals and waterways.
“Suzhou City is one of the most famous tourism cities in China,” said Gary Zhang Zhen Hua, ProSoft Technology China Sales & Technical Manager.
But while the area is likely one of the more picturesque in the world, thanks to its gardens and canals, it is also highly populated with more than 10 million people and is largely industrial. Like many cities in China, automobile congestion is a problem. The city needed to install its first subway system to help alleviate its traffic congestion.
After more than four years of construction, the Suzhou Metro Line I opened a while back. It encompasses 24 stations that connect the east side of the city to the west side over about 16 miles. The line extends from the Mudu station in the eastern portion of the city to Zhongnan Jie station in the west, near Suzhou Industrial Park. Metro Line I is the start of a larger subway system in Suzhou. (The city has now also constructed Metro Line II, which travels north and south.)
“The Metro Line I is the first Metro Line in Suzhou, which goes from west to east, connecting two economic development zones and the downtown,” Gary Zhang Zhen Hua said.
More than 150 ProSoft Technology Modbus® ‘C’ Programmable communication modules were installed in the Metro Line’s Building Automation System, which plays a vital role in the underground tunnels and stations that make up the subway. The modules allow Rockwell Automation® ControlLogix® and FLEX™ I/O systems to communicate with and gather data from ventilation systems and air conditioners, as well as monitor the overall environment inside the subway system.
Most people think of a train speeding down an underground tunnel when they think of a subway. A Building Automation System is likely the last thing that comes to mind, but without this critical piece, a subway would not be able to operate.
“The ProSoft Technology solution is a good one,” said Jianshui Gan, the Building Automation System engineer working on the Suzhou Metro Line I. “We chose ProSoft Technology’s product because they are the communication adapter between field devices and the ControlLogix controller.”
Hundreds of thousands of people per day, tourists and Suzhou residents alike, now use the Metro Line to get from one end of the city to the other and avoid automobile congestion. The train rolls on – in part thanks to ProSoft Technology’s Modbus modules.
Learn more about ProSoft Technology’s in-rack ‘C’ programmable modules for Rockwell Automation controllers here.
Transportation infrastructure near coal power plants is vitally important, especially to those that are somewhat geographically isolated. Most cities in Chile are west of the vast Andes mountain range. Chile, unlike Venezuela and other countries in South America, is not a large producer of coal. This means most of its coal has to be imported, making ports essential.
A new coal power plant was built in Chile a few years ago. Before ships carrying coal could be called to port in in the nearby city, a system had to be installed for this purpose from the ground, or sea level up.
The port had the challenge of building a five-conveyor system to transfer coal from the incoming ships over a large swath of ocean. Each conveyor had either a ControlLogix® or CompactLogix™ PAC with Siemens® drives. Cranes would grab loads of coal off ships and place the coal onto the conveyors.
The challenge: Operate the process as robustly as possible and allow each family of automation equipment to communicate despite being from different vendors.
EISER, the systems integrator, decided to utilize a communication network over fiber optic Ethernet at the PAC level to carry all the process information to the SCADA system. ProSoft Technology’s PROFIBUS modules were chosen as the in-chassis modules used for the respective PACs to communicate with and collect information from the Siemens drives.
This allowed the port to collect information and command the motors that move the conveyor belts in a completely integrated system.
“As a Rockwell Automation® system integrator, we decided to use ProSoft Technology solutions because of the local support in the region, available documentation and good experiences in similar applications we’ve implemented,” an EISER engineer said.
The engineer explained that there weren’t any problems implementing the ProSoft Technology PROFIBUS modules. Installation was simple.
“The technical documentation was accurate,” he said. “Thanks to the simplified configuration of the ProSoft Technology modules using ProSoft Configuration Builder software, the start-up of the PROFIBUS DP network and control system in general was very simple and fast.”
With the addition of the ProSoft Technology PROFIBUS modules, the port has a robust and reliable PROFIBUS communication link between the PACs and the Siemens drives that control each of the conveyors.
Learn more about ProSoft Technology’s solutions for Rockwell Automation platformshere.