PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Fishery relies on Siemens process management

December 2019 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

The fishery in Steinach, Switzerland, breeds fish species which are under threat so that they can be released into domestic waterways in the canton of St. Gallen. The quality and temperature of the water, light, and food all have a significant role to play in breeding, not to mention the requirements to be met for each fish species. To comply with these demands, the fishery relies on modern technology to monitor the breeding tanks. At the heart of the solution is a Siemens controller. End-to-end automation also secures the operation, even in the event of a power failure, and contributes to high survival rates amongst the breeding stock.

Around two thirds of fish and crab species native to Switzerland are threatened by extinction or no longer appear in the wild. The Amt für Natur, Jagd und Fischerei (Office for Nature, Hunting and Fishing) in the canton of St. Gallen has the task of maintaining and promoting biodiversity. The fishery, which opened 12 months ago in Steinach, is making a significant contribution in this area. Approximately 100 cubic metres of water are treated every hour in the fish breeding plants in order to meet the creatures’ requirements with respect to quality, oxygen content and water temperature. This process is controlled by a Siemens Simatic S7-1500 controller with two processors, CPU (Central Processing Unit) 1515-2 PN and CPU 1511-1 PN.

Comprehensive process management

The water in the total of four tanks is drawn directly from Lake Constance and is extracted at a depth of 40 metres, then filtered, degassed and sterilised with UV radiation. Precise pressure control by the controller ensures that the pump motors are ramped up and down slowly. Were this not the case, pressure surges would occur in the pipework due to the significant difference in height when switching on and off due to the weight of the water column. This could damage the drives. It was important that the WinCC visualisation software provided extremely easy and transparent visualisation and archiving of the process during operation. A redundant Simatic CPU 1211C monitors and controls the continuous power supply and notifies fishery employees by SMS in the event of a disruption.

The end-to-end Siemens automation solution provides employees at the fishery with the necessary support to maintain biodiversity in Swiss waters. The survival rate of breeding stock in the centre remains high thanks to this reliable technology.

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