Superior Systems - Interview

Interview

The automation and process industry

28/08/2017

Established in 2000, Coventry-based Superior Systems was set up to meet the requirements of the automation and process industry. The company now designs & supplies Industrial Control Systems.

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Cylex: What type of systems do you provide? For what working sectors?

The systems we provide are all based around a PLC (programmable logic controller).

The most common architecture we prefer is a PLC to do the real-time control and monitoring with a HMI terminal as the operator interface. We design and manufacture control systems (PLC based) for the industry sector; including automation, pharmaceutical, packaging projects and special purpose machines.

Cylex: What is the process like for designing, installing, configuring, programming and supporting an industrial control system?

To design a system we would have a detailed meeting with our customer to get an exact specification of what's required. This is called a "Functional Design Specification" FDS for short.

We would then use our expertise to select and design the optimum control system. The next step would be to generate the panel and electrical drawings using AutoCAD. Once the parts have arrived the panel or usually panels are built in our workshop. Next the programs are developed for the PLC and HMI. These are tested using the built-in simulators to minimise bugs.

Once the system is finished we liaise with our customer and arrange an installation date. The control system is then installed and commissioned. On the larger systems an engineer will stay on site for a couple of days to make sure everything is working to the customers' requirements.

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Cylex: What are the latest systems?

The latest systems are MELSEC IQ-R Series, MELSEC IQ-F Series and Beijers X2 HMI's.

Cylex:   How does somebody interested in your services and support contact you?

If somebody is interested in our services it usually comes from word of mouth or via a search engine that leads to our website.

Cylex:  How do you keep your services relevant to time since you said you have over 30 years experience?

We keep our services relevant to time by keeping in touch with our suppliers and attending training courses for the latest products.

Cylex:  What are three things that you've seen changing in these 3 decades?

The three top things that have changed over the last 30 years are:-

  1. The speed of the PLC has increased dramatically. The scan time for an early PLC was about 0.1 seconds and now it's typically 1.9ns.

  2. Early PLC's were basically just logic sequencer. Now they are capable of doing data handling, complex communication and much more.

  3. Early HMI's were just keypads. We now have full HD panels that can mimic the shop floor process for the customer. These HMI's can send data or alarms to engineers if required.

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The company now designs and manufactures control systems (PLC based) for the industry sector - including automation, pharmaceutical and packaging projects. Superior Systems also supply machine vision systems for inspection, quality control and code reading.

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