Premium equips SÉMECS : the innovation that leads to automation
28 August 2023
In this era of technology and automation, the needs of modern industries are no longer limited to simply lifting and moving parts. It is now possible to implement innovative solutions to meet complex and specific situations. For example, environmental challenges and the need to automate processes have led a company to turn to Premium’s expertise. Let us introduce to you the SÉMECS.
SÉMECS’ mission (Société d’Économie Mixte de l’Est de la Couronne Sud) is to process organic materials to recover renewable energy, reduce the quantities sent to landfill and reduce greenhouse gases. How would the Premium Industrial Group become a participant in this mission?
In its biomass transformation process, the company must move residential residual materials daily, but also those from a wide range of institutions, businesses and industries. This process was previously carried out by mechanical shovels. However, as part of a project to modernize and automate its processing centre, SÉMECS wanted to industrialize this process by installing a grapple crane, which would eventually be converted into an automated crane. Why was this mission so complex?
First of all, Premium will always turn to partners specialized in their sphere of activity to achieve optimal results. In this case, Premium has worked with Rotobec, a company that has developed solid expertise in the field of grapples adaptable to overhead cranes. As the lifting requirements were clarified with the customer, we were able, in collaboration with Rotobec, to developed an offer that could meet all of SEMECS’ needs.
SÉMECS wanted to move 40 tons of biomass per hour. This required a complex duty cycle calculation to determine the appropriate equipment to achieve this result. After a long analysis of the different scenarios, technical engineering was produced and led us to the right solution. But there’s more!.
Ready for automated crane
The company’s objective was to achieve complete automation of the process, which will allow the movement of biomass completely autonomously, without an operator (automated crane). To be ready for this eventuality, the device had to be equipped in advance with many electrical components. For example, it was necessary to install positioning sensors on all movements (X-Y-Z axes) and a communication network between the machine and its components that can be connected at the right time to the control room of the processing centre.
Prevent the presence of ammonia
Another major challenge has been to protect electronic components from corrosive chemicals in the air. Due to the treatment of biomass, ambient air has a higher-than-normal ammonia content and causes premature corrosion of electronic components. The VFDs, for example, are vulnerable parts in this type of environment. To protect these elements, Premium has installed a clean pressure air network connected to all electrical cabinets. By directing this compressed air into panels containing sensitive parts, they are under constant positive pressure, so that contaminated outside air cannot enter and damage these components. However, this is no small feat as lifting equipment are a moving machine. A special festoon system was chosen to incorporate hoses where clean air will travel. At the same time, this design allowed us to install a wired communication network that will be used when the company moves from an overhead crane to an automated overhead crane.
For all these reasons, this large and complex project began in 2019 and was spread over 2 years! But the combined expertise of the Premium Industrial Group and its partners has produced an excellent result. With its mechanical characteristics, environmental aspect, and preparation for automation, this project has truly been an example of innovation. It is, therefore, appropriate to take this opportunity to thank Rotobec for its grapple solution, as well as Canstahl, a member of the Premium trilogy, for its electrical solutions. Thanks also to Team IMS for the hoist and box springs, as well as the companies Conductix Wampfler, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Gantrex, and Culumbus McKinnon. And above all, thank you to SÉMECS for trusting Premium for this exciting and challenging project for our team! We are proud to be able to offer our valued customers… A WORLD OF SOLUTIONS!