Heatec has developed a new centralized control system for HMA (Hot Mix Asphalt) plants. The system enables plant operators to control and monitor asphalt storage tanks from a control panel located in the control house.
This system makes the work of plant operators much easier by centralizing the controls. Having centralized control and monitoring greatly enhances the ability of operators to maintain a close watch of tank status. Operators can quickly check conditions that would otherwise require extra time to do a walking tour of the tanks.
The system also includes a control panel at the unloading station. Drivers of incoming tank trucks can independently select and monitor fill operations. These controls have interlocks to prevent accidental overfilling.
The control system is now an option for new tank farms using Heatec vertical tanks equipped with actuated valves, level sensing devices, thermocouples, mixers, and a tank control panel. It can also be retrofitted to existing tank farms if the tanks already have suitable configurations or can be updated.
The main control panel located in the control house contains a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and has a touch screen monitor. Graphic interfaces on the monitor enable the operator to control the following functions for each tank: supply, return, mixer, transfer and heating.
The first centralized system that Heatec installed was for Continental Paving, in Londonderry, NH. It is used at their HMA plant in Pembroke, NH and has been in operation for several months.
Continental Paving owner, Mark Charbonneau, comments on their new Heatec system. He says the system fully meets their expectations and he likes it much better than systems they use at other plants. He notes that the Heatec system is much more intuitive and less prone to operator error, especially when operating with three different AC products.
THE HEATEC SYSTEM IS MUCH MORE INTUITIVE AND LESS PRONE TO OPERATOR ERROR.
—Mark Charbonneau, owner, Continental Paving
The touch screen monitor uses graphic illustrations of the tanks and their components that are very intuitive. An overview page depicts all of the tanks with pertinent status indications. Each tank also appears on a separate page with additional information. The system can be configured to match the size of any tank farm.
Heatec expects the demand for centralized controls to grow significantly, the same as it has for remote monitoring capabilities provided with Heatec’s web-based RECON system. Heatec engineers have gained notable expertise in these specialized fields.
For more information on the possibility of adding centralized controls for your asphalt storage tanks, call Heatec at 423-821-5200 or 800-235-5200.