PCT Engineered Systems

TIA Portal Application Awards – 2012 & 2013

A new solution in 2012

We saw a demand for both an all-in-one programming environment and a Safety I/O PLC system that protects operators against the very high voltages and potentially dangerous radiation source that is inherent in an electron beam system.



Use of the TIA Portal programming environment has cut programming time by as much as 30% over previous Siemens revisions and over some competitors. The ability to quickly switch between integrated HMI, PLC and network programming in one simple environment has saved countless

hours in the programming and startup stages.




Control program for BroadBeam™ EP Series Electron Beam Processor. This is the first of our BroadBeam Electron Beams we have built using TIA Portal. Previously we used Step7 V5 when using a Siemens PLC. The BroadBeam Electron Beam processor delivers a high voltage (250kV) stream of electrons into a moving web of plastic, cardboard, metal, etc. depending on the specific end use. The electron beam can perform a wide variety of tasks from instantly drying specialized

inks for food packaging, cross linking plastics, instantly bonding adhesives and more. For this application, we have utilized not only TIA Portal, but ET200s ProfiNet Remote I/O and Safety I/O using a S7-315F processor and Step7 Safety Advanced. The PLC is networked via ProfiNet to both the Remote I/O and two Siemens MP377 HMI Panels. The HMI Panels were designed and built using WinCC V11 in TIA Portal. We are also interfacing with our customer’s process line control system via ProfiBus using a CP 342-5 module.


Key Business Activities:


Systems Integrator OEM for BroadBeam™ Electron Beam Processors


Chosen products for this project:

Previously we used a separate HMI programming software package. TIA portal integrates the HMI and PLC development as well as network layout to reduce programming and maintenance time. The recent release of Step7 Safety Advanced for TIA Portal allowed us to use a Safety PLC and Safety I/O to ensure that our system met the required safety standards.

Chosen products:

  • S7-315F CPU for safety
  • CP 343-1 for remote Ethernet communication
  • CP 342-5 for Profibus Communication to the customer control system
  • Multiple ET200s remote I/O (ProfiNet) stations for localized I/O and reduced cabling
  • MP 377 HMI Panels for visualization
Customer benefits

With the TIA Portal’s integrated PLC and HMI design our design time was reduced.

Also, our intention is to standardize on this hardware and software combination to enable quick startups of future machines. The increased efficiencies have a positive effect on PCT profitability and the reduced startup time enables our customers to more quickly realize a return on their investment.

A new solution - 2013

The cooling water system needed to supply enough cooled water to successfully meet PCT’s growing demand on the production facility. Additionally, PCT anticipates further facility expansions in the near term, so it was important to implement a water cooling system that would be flexible enough to grow along with the increase in production. It was imperative that PCT’s new system be able to regulate the amount of water delivered according to the production demand, as well as offer efficient and straightforward controls and diagnostics for fast, easy production team use and independent, automatic operation. In addition, since PCT is an OEM as well as a systems integrator, they recognized that any in-house installation must be executed quickly and efficiently so that PCT can focus on its primary business of customer service and machine production. Designing and implementing a new cooling water system ‘from scratch’ meant that a quick and versatile solution was necessary, with a design that accommodated optimally efficient design, manufacture, operation and maintenance.


Cooling Water Recirculation System




Electron Beam (EB) technology has enjoyed an enormous burst in popularity in recent years,

as manufacturers continue to embrace its value as an environmentally friendly, energy-saving curing and crosslinking solution applicable across a myriad of industries. As a result of

this newfound interest, PCT has experienced a substantial rise in orders for is cutting-edge BroadBeamTM EB systems. Since these water-cooled systems undergo rigorous and lengthy
shop fl oor testing before being shipped to customers, PCT found itself consuming staggering volumes of water as it tested and condition these machines. Rather than simply resign itself to

increasing water capacity to fulfi ll these water demands, PCT decided to “take the bull by the horns” and rethink the way they accommodated their water supply needs.


PCT recognized that their manufacturing facility required a high-volume, high pressure, fl exible cooling water solution to replace its current undersized system. The new system needed

to supply water across a variety of consumption levels, while requiring minimal investment, setup, supervision and maintenance. PCT determined that an optimal system would consist of three 50hp high-volume process water pumps, each controlled by independent AC drives, as well as two cooling

water pumps controlled by soft starters. PCT’s updated system now monitors water pressure, temperature and tank conditions to maintain the optimum cooling water supply to the production facility. At full capacity, the system can deliver up to 100 psi (+/- 5psi) at fl ow rates from 30 gallons per minute (gpm) to 600 gpm, depending on demand. The water is cooled using a plate and frame heat exchanger with 10 degree change capacity at full load and a 375 BTU/hr cooling tower.


Key Business Activities:


PCT provides engineering services, automation systems integration, and custom machine building worldwide. They continue to leverage themselves as a global leader in the design and implementation of BroadBeam industrial electron beam systems, which continue to grow in popularity as a fast, precise, cost-effective technology used for ink drying, curing, cross-linking and sterilization. Additionally, their awardwinning Innovation Team has extensive experience in empowering American manufacturers to improve their operations through increased productivity, higher quality and improved safety.


Chosen Products for this project:

The S7-1516 PLC was chosen to control the Cooling Water System because it provided a familiar and intuitive programming environment through TIA Portal and because it offered some key features that made for quick assembly, commissioning and maintenance. In addition, the G120 AC drives were easily configured using StartDrive integrated into TIA Portal. Finally, the Comfort Panel provided a robust and highly responsive HMI that was easy to program and quickly provided the operator with critical pump and system data.

The following Siemens products were used in the Cooling Water Recirculation system:

  • S7-1516 PLC
  • SINAMICS G120 AC Drives
  • SIMOCODE Motor Controllers
  • SIRIUS SoftStarters
  • 22” Comfort Panel HMI

PCT was able to use the innovative new features of the S7-1500 to decrease design and build time compared to other PLC models. The standardized terminal modules for the S7-1500 line of Signal

Modules makes for a more efficient design and reduced costs of maintaining spare parts. The terminal modules multiple-position feature allowed for easy and fast wiring of the signal modules

that contributed to the overall reduced build time, fewer wiring mistakes and easier  troubleshooting. Finally, on-board, color display on the S7-1500 greatly helped in commissioning. The

ability to quickly set the IP address, view and reset faults, and control the operating mode of the PLC without the need of

connecting a programming terminal helped to reduce the amount of time needed to program and start up the system. Furthermore, the display allows for non-engineers to quickly diagnose and correct errors, maximizing up-time of the Cooling Water system and increasing overall productivity of the production center.


The TIA Portal v12 software also contributed to reduced programming time. The fully integrated environment of the PLC,

HMI and drive programming through StartDrive allowed PCT to quickly and easily program, control and monitor important pump data. New programming features such as integrated data type conversion and easy online diagnostics also helped streamline the start up stage.

Customer benefits

Previously, the undersized water system limited the volume of machines that could be manufactured and tested at any given time.

Our improved Cooling Water system now supplies sustained levels of high-volume water to five extra production bays, empowering PCT to increase its overall production capacity by up to 50%. By incorporating Siemens control devices, PCT enjoys easy maintenance and programming tools that minimize the amount of time we spend operating and troubleshooting the system – allowing us to focus even more closely on building superior EB systems for our customers.

Further references