Engineered Automation & Power Solutions

Aluminum Plant Application Note

Application Overview

An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the aluminum industry subcontracted Engineered Software Products to assist in the retrofitting of a control system for a green carbon anode plant upgrade and expansion project.


  • Outside View of Facility

  • Anode Compacting Machine

The project involved two phases. The phases were designed such that the plant would continue production throughout the transition periods. Phase I involved converting old hard-wired relay controls to a programmable logic controller (PLC) and PC-based human-machine interface (HMI) control system. Phase II involved new plant equipment automation and integration with the new control system.


  • Old Control Room

  • New Control Room

Application Highlights

  • An outdated pushbutton panel was replaced by a PLC system and four redundant PC-based HMI stations for remote monitoring of process parameters, alarms, and trend data.
  • Recipe management functions within the HMI system provide a user-friendly means for the operator to adjust anode paste composition during production.
  • Process area and motor diagnostic screens simplify troubleshooting.
  • The new PLC/HMI system provides single-button starting and stopping of entire process areas as well as individual devices.
  • Production data are logged to a central SQL Server database with built-in reports for production analysis.
  • Telephone dial-in network connection to both PCs and PLCs allows remote diagnostics and troubleshooting of system, resulting in significant client savings in time, expense, and downtime.
  • All process areas are accessible to any PC on the system, offering the centralized viewing ability similar to a distributed control system (DCS).

Application System Architecture


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