Northern Combustion Systems (NCS) Ltd is a market leader for furnace manufacturing and the provision of process heating solutions to a wide variety of industries.While modern human-machine interfaces (HMIs) with clear graphical dashboards are considered the epitome of efficiency and ease-of-use, in certain situations their usage can appear somewhat cumbersome, particularly in challenging and dusty manufacturing environments. This was the dilemma faced by NCS when installing a new control system for a walking beam furnace – what kind of HMI was desirable and considered fit-for-purpose in a hostile production setting?With the team on the factory floor (who worked with heat treatments) required to wear protective gloves for the duration of a shift, the use of modern HMI touchscreens was deemed unworkable. The new system also had to offer operators the freedom to move around unimpeded i.e., give workers complete 360º mobility so they could raise and lower the beam furnace as well move it back and forth, and open and close its door.
Read the full article in the January issue of PBSI
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