APPLIED INDUSTRIAL CONTROL SOLUTIONS LLC

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ABOUT the CASE STUDIES

Case study briefs in Industrial Automation, Motion Control, Control Automation, Project Management, and Controls Engineering, summarize the work done in the related projects. The full reports are very technical in nature and are written to provide a set of reference documents to the customer.

Most of the effort made to put the contents of such reports into practice is done through meetings, phone conversations, and general guidance of the engineering staff by the consultant. If neccessary we provide the customer a dual set of documents, one is a complete reference report, the other contains raw information the engineers need to implement the industrial automation, process automation, automation control, or control theory based, design in hardware and software. The cost of the work to be done is related to the level of documentation to be delivered.

PROJECT PRICING

A sample System Engineering Proposal (SEP) document is available upon request. This document gives an idea of the cost of using ApICS LLC's design and mediation services. We negotiate all contracts, and provide discounts to new, and repeat customers, based on the size and nature of the project. Because of this we do not supply definitive pricing information on our web site. We are reasonable and cost effective, considerably less expensive than hiring in a full-time employee, or bringing your staff up to speed independently.

FIELD SERVICE

We do on-site service calls to solve web transport tension, position, speed, and other process and industrial controls stability problems on an as needed basis with a fixed hourly charge of $180/hr for up to 8 hrs per day. Overtime charge of 1 1/2 times the base rate applies for time over 8 hours. The customer pays for all travel costs. Due to the extensive experience we bring to the table, ApICS LLC consultants can generally solve a field stability problem very quickly, and only require someone to be on-site who is familiar with the hardware and software used in the DCS system.

Discounted rates are negotiable based on the size and nature of a contract

The Industrial Automation experts at ApICS LLC are industry recognized Engineering Consultants with web-handling process automation, control, and motion control application experts in industrial automation applications. Many motion control applications require the consultants to provide the vendor or O.E.M. with control system algorithms in such controls applications. Often the industrial automation, and process automation applications require such expert knowledge to function properly. ApICS LLC experts in Center Winder applications are also surface winder pros.


















































































































































































































Case Studies

   ApICS LLC Consultants provide field service engineering services for process automation, industrial automation, process line, motion control, and other controls engineering or controls stability problems. Not all problems require a complete analysis and modeling effort. Most problems can be solved with a 1 or 2 day field trip. However, on other occassions, a technical report is required for either legal, or other contractual reasons. Regardless of the scope of the solution required, we can provide cost effective solutions to your industrial automation, process automation, motion control or controls automation application problem.
  The following case studies provide an overview of the professional way the consultants at ApICS LLC solve our customers' most difficult automation problems. We thank our valued customers for permission to make the edited System Engineering reports, reference Letters, and Field Service Reports, where applicable, available.
  As stated above, we have included several case studies from field service calls, with reference letters, that demonstrate the effectiveness of an ApICS LLC field service call. Please contact us if you have an application field service problem. We can help you find a solution quickly and effectively.

CASE STUDY 1  "An Air Propelled Train - Feasability Study"
CASE STUDY 2  "Improving a Printing Line's Coating Section Registration"
CASE STUDY 3  "Stopping Galvonizing Line Strip Breaks in Accumulator Towers"
CASE STUDY 4  "Design an MG SET/DC-DRIVE Hybrid Torque regulator"
CASE STUDY 5  "Design a "Class A" elevator speed and position control system"
CASE STUDY 6  "Design an adaptive winder & unwinder dancer Controller"
CASE STUDY 7  "Design an adaptive winder & unwinder tension Controller"
CASE STUDY 8  "Lead Engineering and Project Management of a Diaper line upgrade"
CASE STUDY 9  "Lead Engineering and Project Management of a galv. Line Upgrade"
CASE STUDY 10 "Write a White Paper for an engineless automotive Dyno test stand"
CASE STUDY 11 "Design a Control System for an engineless automotive Dyno test stand"
CASE STUDY 12 "Provide a customized training program for a mining operation"
CASE STUDY 13 "Provide a feasability study for a Navy Ordnance Handling System"
CASE STUDY 14 "Generate an IEEE Tutorial in Adaptive Center Winder Tension Control"
CASE STUDY 15 "Provide a steel manufacturer with bending loss equations"
CASE STUDY 16 "Generate an IEEE Tutorial in Frequency Based Adaptive Center Winder Tension Control"

Field Service Calls

  Following are several field service reports, and reference letters from satisfied customers.

FSR No. 1  "Hot Rolling Mill Tension Instability"
FSR No. 2  "Z-Mill Strip Breaks"
FSR No. 3  "Paper Slitter Dancer Instability"
FSR No. 4  "Poor Printing Line Registration"


CASE STUDY 1 "An Air Propelled Train - Feasability Study"

Problem Definition
  Was it possible for a safe and effective automated train speed controller to be used in place of a human driver, in an air propelled train application?

Problem Solution
  The team at ApICS LLC was commissioned to model the proposed system in MATLAB/Simulink and to design a novel automation speed control for the train. The designed speed control was implemented on a test train system at Aeromovel Inc. in Brazil. The predicted performance from the simulation was realized in trial runs, and the train is now in operation in several cities and theme parks around the world.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 2 "Improving a Printing Line's Coating Section Registration"

Problem Definition
  A Drive vendor and a mechanical O.E.M could not agree on the reasons why the registration of an added drive based coating section in a line shaft driven printing line was out of specification. The O.E.M. commissioned ApICS LLC to find the reason and recommend a solution.

Problem Solution
  The existing system was modeled in MATLAB/Simulink and the effects of backlash in the drive train, along with the effect of temperature variations in the dryer on web stretch rates, was investigated.
  Based on the simulation, changes in the mechanical configuration of the drive-shaft, along with an improved registration controls configuration indicated satisfactory performance. The proposed mechanical changes were made by the O.E.M. to the printing line in Argentina. The drive system was reconfigured and tuned on-site, after which the registration was found to be within specification.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 3 "Stopping Galvonizing Line Strip Breaks in Accumulator Towers"

Problem Definition
  A Drive vendor and a mechanical O.E.M could not agree about the reason consistent strip breaks and tension instability in the entry and exit accumulating towers of several continuous steel galvonizing lines was occuring. The O.E.M. commissioned ApICS LLC to find the reasons for the problem and recommend a solution for the automation system.

Problem Solution
  A simple linear system model of the towers, and the existing controllers showed that the process automation control architecture was flawed, and inherantly unstable.
  A stable control architecture was recommended and the drive vendor implemented the changes in the DCS system on-site, after which the strip tension in the tower was observed to be stable and no further strip breaks were observed.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 4 "Design an MG SET/DC-DRIVE Hybrid Torque regulator"

Problem Definition
  Inland Steel Inc. needed to design a hybrid torque/current regulator for an existing steel process automation system for a cold rolling mill MG-Set that was to be upgraded with a parallel 12 pulse DC-Drive. The design needed to ultimately provide a faster speed control loop to significantly reduce roll-in and roll-out scrap from the mill.

Problem Solution
  A model of the electro-mechanical system was created, and a novel torque regulator that approximately compensated for eddy current effects in the generator was developed. The design was implemented on the 5 stand rolling mill, and provided enough bandwidth to double the speed control loop response of the mill motors.
  The scrap from the machine was significantly reduced. The mill has performed flawlessly since the upgrade.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 5 "Design a Class A elevator speed and position control system"

Problem Definition
  Rockwell Automation needed to design an elevator motion control and positioning system that would guarantee a Class A ride (no discernable bumps or vibrations) while satisfying stringent floor-to-floor time constraints. The final design had to be easy for a field service technician to start-up and tune.

Problem Solution
  An exhaustive model of various elevator electro-mechanical systems was created, and a feed-forward/feedback motion control and position scheduling control system was developed. A patented "one adjustment" tuning scheme was designed to make in-the-field set-up easy and simple.
  The design was coded into the customer's elevator drive system and tested at several prestigous Hyatt and Hilton hotel sites in the US and Europe. The elevator "ride" was given a "Class A" rating and proved easy to set up.
(REPORT) (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 6 "Design an adaptive surface winder & unwinder dancer controller"

Problem Definition
  NEXEN Inc. needed an adaptive dancer controls algorithm for industrial automation winding applications. The design was to be robust and stable over a 20:1 build-up in roll diameter, and a 3000:1 change in system inertia. In addition it had to be easy to set up, as it was to be sold to customers who would be required to start up the system independently.

Problem Solution
  ApICS LLC designed a state-of-the-art non-linear controller using proprietary heuristics. The algorithm operated without requiring expensive speed feedback, and diameter measuring devices.
  The design was coded into the customer's high speed DSP processor controller and tested at several demanding customer sites. These applications could not be stabilized with existing drive systems from a large competing drive vendor.
  The new algorithm, even though it was deployed with an inexpensive pneumatic brake and not an expensive drive system, provided stable and "rock solid" performance. The customer was so pleased that they named the new brake dancer controller the "RSD (Rock Solid Dancer) 200".
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 7 "Design an adaptive surface winder & unwinder tension controller"

Problem Definition
  NEXEN Inc. needed an adaptive tension controls algorithm for industrial automation winding/unwinding applications. The design was to be robust and stable over a 20:1 build-up in roll diameter, and a 3000:1 change in system inertia. Like the RSD 200, it had to be easy to set up.

Problem Solution
  ApICS LLC designed a state-of-the-art non-linear controller using proprietary heuristics. The algorithm operated without requiring expensive speed feedback, and diameter measuring devices.
  The design was coded into the customer's high speed DSP processor controller and tested at their web handling facility. The new algorithm, provides stable and "rock solid" performance. The product is due for release in late 2003.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 8 "Lead-Engineering and Project Management of a Diaper line upgrade"

Problem Definition
  A Fortune 500 consumer products manufacturer needed to improve productivity on a pilot diaper line. This required a re-engineering of the existing in-house registration automation control systems. They commissioned ApICS LLC to design a new registration control system and to monitor the upgrade of the drive systems for the line.

Problem Solution
  ApICS LLC redesigned the registration control system, and supervised the drive vendor's re-engineering effort. ApICS Consultants oversaw the implementation of the upgrade by scheduling and managing the drive vendor's upgrade team.
(REFERENCE LETTER)-TOP-

CASE STUDY 9 "Lead-Engineering and Project Management of a Galvanizing Line Upgrade"

Problem Definition
  After receiving adequate insurance compensation for a fire at the company's lead galvonizing line, Pinole Point Steel needed to re-engineer the line to increase line speed and reduce down time.

Problem Solution
  The project required a complete re-engineering of the existing process automation drive systems and re-specification of the power systems and motors. Robert Lockhart was commissioned to write the specifications for the new system, to re-engineer the control system upgrade, and supervise the drive vendor during the system engineering and installation of the project.
-TOP-

CASE STUDY 10 "Write a White Paper for an engineless automotive Dyno test stand"

Problem Definition
  ApICS LLC had completed the control system design of an innovative engineless automotive transmission test stand built by Mustang dynamometer Inc. for GM's Allison Transmission Division. Apics LLC worked with the drive vendor to finish the integration of the design into the drive platform, and monitored the testing of the complete integrated system as well as supervised the start-up. Mustang now needed a White-paper for marketing the product to technical representatives of major automotive companies.

Problem Solution
  ApICS LLC wrote the white paper, and designed several graphics for the marketing effort.
(WHITE PAPER) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 11 "Design the Control System For an engineless automotive Dyno test stand"

Problem Definition
  The consultants at ApICS LLC were commissioned to design the control system for an innovative engineless automotive transmission test stand to be built by Mustang dynamometer Inc. for GM's Allison Transmission Division. Apics LLC worked with the drive vendor to finish the integration of the design into the drive platform, and monitored the testing of the complete integrated system as well as supervised the start-up.

Problem Solution
  The consultants at ApICS LLC completed the design and supervised the design of the hardware and software for the finished product. They also supervised the start-up of the system, and verified the performance with Allison Engineers.
(REPORT) (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 12 "Provide a customized training program for a mining operation"

Problem Definition
   INCO Inc's GORO Nickel Division, a nickel mining concern in New Caledonia needed training in how to design their Level 1 and Level 2 software architectures for a new plant wide Automation System upgrade. They also needed training in how to tune the various process and drive control loops that were to be integrated into the upgrade.

Problem Solution
  After several consultations with the client ApICS LLC developed a customized 2 week training program. The Program included sample trending screens, database architectures, data routing architectures, redundency architectures, and a thorough process control PID loop tuning course for temperature and pressure systems in their process systems. For the conveyor systems, speed, and tension loop architectures and their tuning were also covered.
-TOP-

CASE STUDY 13 "Provide a feasability study for a Navy Ordnance Handling System"

Problem Definition
  Orbital Research OH had obtained funding for developing a heavy ordnance handling system for the US Navy. They needed a feasability study performed to determine in the proposed positioning system for the handler would perform adequately in heavy seas, and during bombardment.

Problem Solution
  The team at ApICS LLC was commissioned to model the proposed system in MATLAB/Simulink and to verify the design using disturbance models that simulated several worst case scenarios. These included heavy seas, which produce distortion of the positioning rails. Large lateral, longitudinal and vertical load shocks that result from bombardment of the ship. Redundancy systems were also simulated and tested.
  Data taken from the completed handler prototype was used to fine tune the models, and the simulated data, along with the report were integrated into a final proposal that was accepted by the Pentagon. The handler is currently being installed on a test bed ship.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 14 "Generate an IEEE Tutorial in Adaptive Winder Tension Control"

Problem Definition
  The IEEE IAS committee has commissioned Brian Boulter of ApICS LLC to generate 1, and 1/2 day tutorials for presentation at the IEEE IAS annual meetings. The topics of interest have included "Applying Drives to Systems Applications, Web Handling Theory and Practice, and Winder Control Strategies.

Problem Solution
  ApICS LLC completed the material for presentation at the conferences on-time. Each presentation has been sold out, and well received by the participants. The following tutorial on Adaptive Control of Winding Zone Tension is presented as an example. Flash versions of some of the tutorials are available on the IEEE web-site.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 15 "Provide s steel manufacturer with a set of equations describing bending losses"

Problem Definition
  A manufacturer of rolled steel needed to compute motor sizes and specify gear-box tolerances for a new 1/4" pickle and annealling line. Because the steel was harder than the usuall stock they processed, they needed to know how much extra power was required to bend the steel while it travelled through the rolls on the process line.

Problem Solution
  The team at ApICS LLC was commissioned to write a report taking the information currently in use in the public domain and from that develop a numerical methods based approach that was extensible to all steel products, and all thicknesses. The report was completed and the equation set verified with experimental data taken from several of their processing lines. ApICS LLC Consultanats were them commsioned to write a MATLAB program that sized motors and gear-boxes based on min/max line tension profiles, max steel thickness and hardness.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

CASE STUDY 16 "Generate an IEEE Tutorial in Adaptive Winder Dancer Control"

Problem Definition
  The IEEE IAS committee commissioned ApICS LLC to create a tutorial in Winding Dancer Control.

Problem Solution
  ApICS LLC completed the material for presentation at the conferences on-time. The following tutorial on Adaptive Control of Winding Zone Dancer Positioning is presented as an example. Flash versions of some of the tutorials are available on the IEEE web-site.
(REPORT) or (SUMMARY) -TOP-

Field Service Report No. 1 "Hot Rolling Mill Tension Instability"

Problem Definition
  A 3 stand Hot Rolling Mill at an Alumax Aluminum Corporation's plant was randomly flashing motors, tripping out, and running with very unstable interstand tension. The team at ApICS LLC was commissioned to work with the drive vendor to solve the problems.

Problem Solution
  One of ApICS LLC's expert engineers made two trips to the Mill. The first trip was to remedy the interstand tension problems. The second trip was to remedy the random fault trip-outs, and stop the motors from flashing over. After the two trips the mill's operation exceeded the customer's expectations, and a lengthy and costly legal case between the O.E.M. and the drive vendor averted.
(FSR REPORT) (REFERENCE LETTER) -TOP-

Field Service Report No. 2 "Z-Mill Strip Breaks"

Problem Definition
  A 20 High Z-Mill at Teledyne Rodney metals rolls 48" wide stainless steel from 125 to 1.5 [microns] in multiple passes (with annealing). The strip was randomly breaking during line accelerations, and decelerations on the final run. The consultants at ApICS LLC were asked to identify the cause of the problem, and recommend a solution.

Problem Solution
  One of ApICS LLC's expert engineers made a trip to the Z-Mill, and worked with a field service engineer from the drive vendor to identify the problem. Once the problem was identified, the code in the DCS controller was revised. Strip breaks were reduced by 75%, significantly improving the productivity of the mill.
(FSR REPORT) (REFERENCE LETTER) -TOP-

Field Service Report No. 3 "Paper Slitter Dancer Instability"

Problem Definition
  The dancer loop of a dancer regulated unwind slitter system at an International Paper plant exhibited instability when severely egg-shaped rolls were processed though the machine. ApICS LLC was commissioned to identify the problem, and recommend a solution.

Problem Solution
  One of ApICS LLC's expert engineers made a trip to the Mill and identified a poorly designed and tuned position regulator. After reconfiguring, and re-tuning the drive, the operator was shown how to operate the machine when resonant phenomena was observed. After the trip the machine's productivity exceeded the customer's expectations.
(FSR REPORT) (REFERENCE LETTER) -TOP-

Field Service Report No. 4 "Poor Printing Line Registration"

Problem Definition
  A color printing machine's registration loops were not printing within desired registration specifications. The consultants from ApICS LLC were commissioned to identify the problem ,and recommend a solution.

Problem Solution
  One of ApICS LLC's expert engineers made two trips to the Printing Line. The first trip was to identify the source of registration problems, and the second trip was to remedy them. The poor registration was due to improperly configured drives, and poor tuning. Between the two trip ApICS LLC Engineers devised a way to reconfigure the drives. The drives were reconfigured by a plant engineer, and ApICS LLC re-tuned the entire registration system, after which the registration was found to be within specifications.
(FSR REPORT) (REFERENCE LETTER) -TOP-

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