A customized plant
This was a huge challenge, so it was divided into several steps. First, the hardware, software and communications requirements were analyzed; then, IT systems were configured and implemented, followed by PLC and SCADA programming. Following this, Rockwell Automation was chosen as the primary automation provider.
Rockwell Automation provided the SCADA system, integrated safety programmable automation controllers (PAC), variable-frequency drives, as well as Ethernet and fiber optic-based industrial communications. “All plants we were operating were more than fifteen years old, so they required a lot of space in the control room, as well as a large cabling network,” comments Martín Nogueira of Valtalia. “This project has enabled us to notice that Rockwell Automation Connected Enterprise technologies permit the equipment to be downsized and work wirelessly, while delivering better management of plant operations.”
As Nogueira says, since the whole system is wireless and tablets are used to manage the systems, this has been life-changing for the operators, who oversee and control machinery operations. “Now they can check the machine condition without approaching them for visual inspection. In case the system detects any errors, you can react more quickly and effectively to find problems or to prevent them before they happen,” says Nogueira. “The ability to monitor the whole plant in real time makes it possible to react immediately in case of any event, maximizing the performance and efficiency of the facility.” Furthermore with the network/wireless changes, safety assessments and risk mitigation were made in order to secure all the communications.
What about the future? The plan is for the plant to expand depending on future needs. According to Guinarte: “All these systems have been designed and scaled to cater for and deliver safety, reliability, capacity, and the availability required for 365/24 ongoing operation. The scalable configuration gives us the ability to address any future growth in demand.”
Duplicate the amount of recycled material
In view of the above, each line in this new recycling plant can select and pack 40 tons of waste per hour, and up to 120 tons if necessary. This equates to a capacity of 750,000 to one million tons per year, almost doubling its capacity.
The recycling process has been optimized too, so the new plant has enabled to quadruple the amount of waste recycled in the facilities, thereby minimizing landfill. In fact, projections state that in 2020 only a 10% of waste will be sent to landfill. This refers to waste that can neither be recycled nor valorized, thereby achieving technical zero spills, one of the main goals of the EU Council regarding waste treatment for 2035 and accomplished by SOGAMA fifteen years early.
Therefore, next year, on occasion of the Jacobean Year, the thousands of pilgrims willing to cover the Camino de Santiago to enter the cathedral by the Puerta Santa – which opens exclusively for this celebration – will enjoy it far more thanks to Valtalia, helping to look after the unique natural landscape.
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