Engineered Automation & Power Solutions

Polycarbonate Extrusion Control and Monitoring Application Note

Application Overview

Engineered Software Products upgraded the Extrusion Control and Monitoring System for a major producer of raw polycarbonate pellets (plastic). An outdated distributed control system (DCS) that controlled eleven extrusion lines was replaced by a distributed PLC/PC based man-machine interface (MMI) control system. Each extrusion line was fitted with a local PLC and MMI PC that were networked (Ethernet LAN) to plant operations and engineering entities throughout the plant.


  • GE Fanuc 90/30 PLC

  • Polycarbonate Extruder

Application Highlights

  • A custom Basic program was written for a GE Fanuc Programmable Coprocessor Module to enable the new PLCs to communicate to the extruder feeders through a KTRON data converter.
  • Two remote PCs with GE Fanuc Cimplicity runtime licenses provide back up to any failed extruder PC in under three minutes, reducing lost production, avoiding costly hot-standby redundancy systems.
  • Twelve PCs with GE Fanuc Cimplicity view licenses are distributed throughout maintenance and engineering offices, which provide remote read-only monitoring of process parameters, alarms, and trend data. Since all communication is provided via Ethernet, additional nodes may easily be added.
  • Offsite secured telephone dial-in network connection to both PCs and PLCs allow remote diagnostics and troubleshooting of system, resulting in significant client savings in time, expense, and downtime.
  • Each converted extruder required a complete rewiring of all extruder and feeder I/O, fabrication and installation of a new operator console, and fabrication and installation of new remote I/O enclosures. ESP, through effective project management, played a key roll in assuring each changeover went smoothly and on time.
  • Level 3 RAID system used for centralized trending database and project archival.
  • Multiple projects are accessible to any machine on the system, therefore the centralized viewing ability the DCS system offered is maintained.

Application System Architecture

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