UniOP HMIs at heart of pioneering inland fish farm
Aquaculture specialist International Aqua Tech turned to long-time electrical engineering supplier Scattergood & Johnson when it was called in to construct an £11million fish farm in Wales. The facility, part-funded by the European Commission and Welsh government agencies, provides an on-growing facility for sea bass, an increasingly popular species in UK restaurants but currently imported from the Mediterranean.
According to Seafish, the marine fishing authority, sales of sea bass have more than trebled since 2005, from £7m to £22m today. The new facility is expected to produce 1200-1250 tonnes per year. While other fish farms are at sea, the Anglesey plant is sited in a former quarry, providing an organic, chemical-free environment for eggs supplied by brood stock at another inland plant located a mile away.
With the UniOP touch-screen having integrated Ethernet ports as standard, and an Ethernet communication driver for the installed PLC, the whole system is based on an Ethernet network structure. Scattergood & Johnson also supplied a new Citect SCADA system, enabling the facility to be controlled from anywhere in the world, using remote access via the internet.
Scattergood & Johnson is the sole UK distributor of UniOP panels produced by the Italian manufacturer EXOR. The highly flexible panels are designed to work with all major PLC brands - there are currently over 200 communication drivers. The panels are also available in more than 100 configurations, from simple HMI products to high-end graphical workstations, with a choice of touch screen and keyboard interfaces.
In addition to the HMI panels and Citect SCADA, Scattergood & Johnson supplied inverter drives manufactured by Control Techniques, which provided a significant energy saving by accurately regulating the speed of 30 water pumps.
The water used is purified with ozone and recycled so that only one per cent of fresh salt water is required. A continually high-quality environment is vital to the operation of the farm, so automated sampling is carried out as part of the control system.
"This is a state-of-the-art facility which is an environmentally-friendly as possible," says IAT director Simon Harris. "The technology supplied by Scattergood & Johnson has played a crucial part in its success. We have been working with Scattergoods ever since they supplied us for an aqua culture project in Iceland about five or six years ago and they have kept us abreast of the latest technology ever since."
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