Innomech headquarters: CLPA controls eco building

23 May 2008

An eco-friendly company headquarters has been constructed with a CC-Link control network at its heart. In Ely, UK, GB Innomech’s building control is based on a PLC (programmable logic controller), an HMI (human machine interface) and distributed networked local controls.

Eco building has technology heart
Eco building has technology heart

Keith Reeds of GB Innomech, said the company’s expertise helped it specify the correct control system.

‘In our every day work we are constantly assessing and specifying industrial control equipment, so we had some idea of how much the environmental controls should cost and what sort of performance we could expect.

‘When the proposed system fell short of our expectations we did some calculations of our own and decided that industrial grade automation equipment would give far better control and performance at much lower cost.’

One of the decisions was to integrate as many functions as possible into one central control system that could constantly optimise the entire building for energy performance. A total of 150 digital and 50 analogue inputs monitor the building’s environmental conditions. Actuators control heat, light and ventilation to 15 offices and meeting rooms, 10 communal rooms and 300sqm of workshops.

Central control is provided by a single PLC connected on a distributed control network to reduce wiring. CC-Link was chosen as the operating protocol as it is an open system which can communicate with a wide variety of field hardware.

Touch-screen HMI’s allow users to set preferences for each room and display the current status and historical trends of monitored and controlled devices. The control system also anticipates building heat demand using real time clock triggers sent from the HMI to the PLC.

The HMI is linked to GB Innomech’s IT network, for archiving of trend data and generating alarm and status reports. Additionally both the control system and the building have been designed to allow for growth, so the company can treble in size without too much difficulty.

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