Our group also takes part in projects using other research facilities related to biotechnological processes. This is, for example, a climbing film evaporator, which was developed thanks to a university development grant in close cooperation with the Faculty of Food and Biochemical technology. This shared experimental facility is used both for research and educational purposes, providing students with a chance to verify their theoretical knowledge and to test their control algorithms.
At present the laboratory single-unit climbing film evaporator (Armfield) is equipped with the industrial control and information system, which represents a software development platform for design, realisation and verification of control algorithms (based on different principles).
General view of the evaporator (left) and the switchboard with the control system (right)
Detailed technological scheme describes implemented control circuits and industrial sensors and manipulators. Process computer (similar to PLC) is used for process control.
Personal computer is used as higher control level. PC serves as operator's computer and provides communication to an on-line real time database. The database serves as a central repository for the measured data and other process information. It also provides a process data interface for advanced control and optimisation algorithms run on top of the control system.