18 Jun PROGRAMMERS: THE BRAINS OF FILTRATION SYSTEMS
Nowadays, thanks to modernisation and automation, it is becoming increasingly rare to find filtration systems that do not clean themselves automatically. This automation defines the exact moment when filters should be cleaned, based on the flow that they are treating and the solids loads that they accumulated during each time interval.
As part of this cleaning and control process, programmers play a fundamental role, organising and processing the information from all of the elements that make up the filtration systems. In other words, they are the “brains” of the filtration units.
A cleaning programmer is the electronic device that is in charge of giving the cleaning commands to a filtering system.
The programmer receives inputs from the system and analyses them, issuing commands -outputs- according to the situations that have been previously defined or programmed in the device.
The most common inputs to the programmer in filtration systems come from the following sources:
- Water meters: both electromagnetic and pulse emitters.
- Differential pressure switch: measures the pressure drop in the filtering system between the intake and outlet, and sends readings to the programmer at specified intervals.
- Pressure transducers: the same concept as above, but with continuous readings and higher accuracy.
The most common outputs of the programmer in filtration systems would be for:
- Hydraulic valves: these divide the installation into sectors and direct the water flows in the corresponding direction at any given time based on the filtering or cleaning situation. They are actuated by means of solenoids which are small electrically-operated valves that receive an electrical signal and transform it into a hydraulic command to operate the valves.
- Pneumatic or electric actuators to control regulating valves.
- Pressure regulating valves: pressure sustaining and pressure regulator valves behind the filter head to achieve the minimum pressure required for backwashing, provided that the system allows it.
- Other signals for starting and stopping pumps, blowers, compressors, etc.
This brain of the filtration system can work independently, reporting information to a general programmer that manages other elements of the plant (pumps, dosing systems, disinfection systems, etc.) or receive commands from a central programmer. When they work together, we have to make sure that they use and adapt to the same programming language.
Characteristics to consider when choosing a programmer:
- Number of filters that make up the unit.
- Availability of electrical power at the installation site.
- Signals or elements that need to be received and transmitted.
- Foresee possible future expansions of the filtration system.
- Relation with the other PLCs in the general installation.
At Lama, we are perfectly aware of the enormous importance of these devices within the components of filtration systems. For this reason, our engineering department designs our own programmers to ensure the correct control over the filter head.
Our programmers adapt to all types of filters on the market and can be configured for each system.
As a programmer for systems with single or multiple filters, we manufacture the RIO 8, a simple, intuitive, easy-to-use model that has a control to select the cleaning function depending on the type of filter head used. This programmer has 8 outputs, expandable to 16. RIO 8 operates with pressure sensors. The controller is available in English, Spanish and French. In addition, it offers the possibility of incorporating a touch screen into the device itself.
The Mini’S is used to clean the automatic screen filters with hydraulic cleaning. It is a single-output programmer with the capacity to operate the cleaning automatically, regardless of the available cleaning pressure. The cleaning duration is optimised based on the value of the pressure that is available for the cleaning. Mini’S operates with a differential pressure switch.
Lama programmers leave the factory with a series of specifications set by our technicians to ensure the correct operation of our filtration systems.
At Lama, we adapt to any programming and automation requirements to meet the needs and specifications included in the projects of our customers.