Modular didactic line for the production of carbonated drinks, to study process control
Teams from ERM Automatismes visited the Heinlex secondary school in Saint Nazaire to install a Regulflex line. This educational production line is used to produce carbonated drinks for the study of regulation processes and associated instrumentation.
Composition of the Regulflex line
The Regulflex line installed at Saint Nazaire consists of 3 parts: a buffer tank, a line cooler and a pressurised storage system. It also contains an Autonomous Module for PID regulation.
Each Regulflex line is modular and can contain the following systems:
- Buffer tank (Level:Flow): Level control (unpressurised storage), flow rate and instrumentation.
- Dosing (Flow Rate/Report): Liquid flow control (Dosing), ratio and instrumentation.
- In-line refrigeration (Flow/Temperature): Temperature control (Cooling), flow rate and instrumentation.
- Carbonation (Flow/Pressure): Gas flow control (“CO2 Gas” carbonation), pressure and instrumentation.
- Pressurized storage (Pressure/Level): Pressure regulation (Storage under pressure), level and instrumentation.
- Industrial process controller: Industrial PID controller study module.
- PLC trainer for PID control: Module for studying PID control using PLC.
- Distributed Control System: Module for studying Digital Control Systems (DCS).
- Supervision: Process supervision via operator console.
- Calibration: Calibration equipment for sensors (current loop, pressure, temperature, etc.)
This innovative concept for teaching process control, instrumentation and regulation is based on the use of a real process, in this case the production of soft drinks. This enables students to carry out practical work on the various parts of the manufacturing process in a fun way.
With the presence of a number of systems, the students learn about the main physical quantities (level, flow rate, pressure, temperature) as well as the easy implementation and contextualisation (water, air, and possibly colouring, syrup, CO2). They will also learn about simple (TOR, P, PI, PID, etc.) and complex (cascade, ratio, split range, etc.) control systems.
Modular systems allow each module to operate independently (stand-alone mode) or interconnected with the others (process mode).
Up to 12 students can work simultaneously.