Powering reliable entertainment

Mission-critical entertainment may seem like a misnomer, until considering that commercial time for some venues exceeds $1 million per minute, meeting or exceeding downtime costs for many major manufacturing sites.

05/31/2013


Saunders Electric generator provides quiet reliability using Mitsubishi Electric controls. Courtesy: Mitsubishi Electric AutomationSaunders Electric, which has been supplying the broadcast industry with reliable power solutions with studio-quiet generators since the early 1990s, knows that in the entertainment business, failure isn’t an option. The company actively refines its products and in 1994 began using a rack-style, modular programmable logic controller (PLC) to synchronize generator and landline power sources. This helped create a power signal that more closely replicated the main grid supply. With a higher quality power signal, Saunders Electric can better support the hypersensitive media equipment used in the film and broadcast industry with zero interruption and no degradation of signal during grid outages.

Show must go on

Power outages or failures at home and work can create frustration but rarely affect show business. Entertainment industry special events demand perfection, requiring reliable power. As the saying goes: “The show must go on.” Broadcast and entertainment industry companies rely on portable, temporary power services to eliminate grid outages and brownouts. Saunders Electric has provided products and services to entertainment events including: the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammys, the American Music Awards, ESPN college basketball, and others.

Control platform, HMI

Mitsubishi Electric GT16 Interface screen has an extended viewing angle, enabling operators to be more mobile while the power system is in use. Courtesy: Mitsubishi Electric AutomationSaunders Electric upgraded to a new control platform and new human-machine interface (HMI) for improved performance and a more intuitive, visual operator experience. The new generator control system added features and performance available in today’s automation controllers. During the selection process, Saunders Electric considered a variety of new automation and control options. However, in an industry where power failure is unacceptable, a track record for outstanding reliability goes a long way in the decision process. After years of using a control system without failure, upgrading to the next generation was a logical choice.

The new controller provides other performance benefits and advantages such as faster processing speeds, advanced analog control, more flexible graphical interface, and a significantly smaller hardware footprint, increasing space in the cabinet for other devices.

Shorter implementation

Saunders Electric benefited from a short implementation time, completing the transition to the new control system in one month. This short implementation period kept costs down, and the company was able to see a return on investment (ROI) more quickly.

Adding to power quality, high-speed, digital-to-analog signal conversion permits faster response times when matching generator speed to the grid power signal. This minimizes the effect of overshoot, providing a cleaner power signal for broadcasting equipment.

Russell Saunders is president and CEO, Saunders Electric. Courtesy: Mitsubishi Electric AutomationOperator effectiveness was also greatly improved. Extended HMI viewing angle enables operators to be more mobile while the power system is in use. Design software helps create more intuitive screens, improving setup and monitoring efficiencies. Continued reliability was essential to the system upgrade.

A hardware and software quality control program provided assurance that the Saunders Electric synchronous power system will keep running, providing highly dependable, temporary power services to the broadcast industry. 

Hardware advantages

Hardware includes the CPU, analog module, input module, output module, Modbus master, and HMI. The system provides strong-build quality, high-speed sampling, and intuitive HMI screen designs with greater viewing angle, for higher reliability, improved power quality, and greater operator effectiveness.

Saunders Electric Inc. noted that it has used the same “control systems on our load command systems since 1994 and never had a live show go off the air.”

- Greg Hookings is marketing communications manager, Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc.; Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

ONLINE

www.saunderselectric.com 

www.meau.com 

See related product article linked below.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.