From Simple PLC Control to Complex Machines

How can you upgrade timber drying kilns with reliable, automatic temperature control?

Summary: Timbersoft is a family owned business that designs and implements drying solutions for the timber industry. They strive to bring technological advancements to the industry, including introducing automated solutions.  They often rely on Unitronics Vision350 PLC+HMI controllers to implement highly accurate temperature control on pre-set schedules, fully automating the dryer kilns.

Timbersoft often chooses to integrate Unitronics PLC+HMI all-in-one controllers into their drying solutions.  One unit the often use is the Vision350, a full-function Programmable logic controller with integrated 3.5-inch touchscreen HMI and onboard I/O.

This compact design made it easy to incorporate the Vision350 into larger systems and the all-in-one programming software enables Timbersoft to program the ladder logic, HMI elements and communications in a single environment, saving time and effort.

“The most cost effective and reliable way to fill the entry level PLC/HMI/SCADA bracket in the market”- Henco Viljoen

Timbersoft is a family owned business that specializes in timber drying.  They design and build kilns and control systems in order to bring automated drying solutions to the timber industry.  Over their 15 years of operation, Timbersoft has upgraded old kilns and built new ones at sites in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Tanzania.  Using PLC control and automation technology, Timbersoft is able to improve their customers’ efficiency and reliability.

In order to control the drying kiln, the Vision350 has thermocouple inputs connected to temperature probes.  Using PID functionality, the PLC maintains a steady temperature in the kiln; the programmable logic controller can run the drying process automatically based on preset schedules or the operator can adjust setting and runtimes manually from the HMI panel.   Digital inputs and relay outputs are used to switch on and off other elements like fans, vents and heaters.  Timbersoft also configured the Vison350 to communicate wirelessly to the customers SCADA system, enabling it to export data and trends for monitoring and accountability purposes.

Henco Viljoen, one of Timbersoft’s co-owners and system integrator, explains that Unitronics offers the “most cost effective and reliable way to fill the entry level PLC/HMI/SCADA bracket in the market.”   In fact Timbersoft has been so impressed by their experience with that they helped develop and implementing a PLC training unit using tahe Unitronics Vision350 at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Saasveld Wood Technology course.  This class provides students with valuable hands on programming and automation experience to prepare them for their future careers.