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ProCeram - novacontrol Prozessleitsystem

SCADA System

innovatherm is now - for more than 25 years - a leading supplier for process controls and firing technologies for the ceramic industry.

We know the complexity and dependencies of the production process. We give consideration to the raw material, its preparation, extrusion, drying and firing.

Therefore we understand the complete process as a whole. The optimisation of single control loops does not necessarily provide an overall solution with regards to process optimisation.

innovatherms Process optimisation sets  a  focus on

-   all control loops

-   the mass flow of raw materials and the batching water,

-   the production performances of the dryer and kiln,

-   the product quality,

-   the energy consumption and the energy efficiency.


.... to achieve

-   easy handling for the operators,

-   preferably fully automatic operation of the thermal processes,

-   maximum support for the operators during analysingthe process situations,

-   high flexibility for adaptation to the customer’s demands and a

-   high reliability


The novacontrol concept stands for a combination of process engineering and process control.

The Present ~ The Future

The Ceramic Roadmap for 2050 describes the actual and future key technologies. Process controls will be of the essence to reach the high demands. The novacontrol concept is ready for this.

 novacontrol is used for

-   Control of water and steam dosing in preparation and extrusion

-   Control of chamber dryers

-   Control of tunnel dryers

-   Control of shuttle kilns

-   Control of tunnel kilns

-   Control of heat compound between kiln and dryer

-   Control of heat exchanger in kiln stack

-   Control of thermal flue gas treatment

-   Process optimisation (advanced control)

-   Energy management for chamber dryers

-   Registration of the energy consumption and the production


The Technology

novacontrol is a so-called SCADA-System.

SCADA means: The Supervision, Control and Data Acquisition is executed on a PC for industrial applications.

The interface to the process is realised by a Simatic-S7 PLC used for fast data acquisition, short pulse signals and backup controls.

The basic control architecture consists of 3 levels :

-   Level 2 novacontrol SCADA-System

-   Level 1  PLC-Unit

-   Level 0  -  Sensors and Actuators in the field/ on the furnace


Our control system is designed for the special needs of the ceramic industry. The design supports the special needs for operating tunnel kilns and dryers.

The specific functions have been developed to get a better control and supervision for the productions in kilns and dryers.

-   Graphical visualization of the plant

-   Graphical user interface "easy to use"

-   Definition of different users with different administrator rights (password-protection)

-   Efficient use of drying / firing curves and product recipes

-   Up to 1000 product definitions/recipes


Tunnel kiln and tunnel dryer:

-   Product and position related firing programs (resolution is the single stack at the carriage)

-   Product and carriage position related reduction programs

-   O2-control in the preheat

-   Automatic setpoints within ranges for flue gas and push air

-   Definition of up to 100 firing programs

-   Definition of up to 16 weekly time programs (time based controls)


Tunnel dryer:

-   Product, position related and drying time related setpoints for tunnel dryers with discontinuous charging

-   Automatic setpoints for hot air supply within ranges for operation on lowest possible energy level (!)

-   Definition of up to 100 firing/drying programs

-   Definition of up to 16 weekly time programs (time based controls)


Chamber dryers:

-   Product and chamber related programs

-   Manual and/or automatic start of dryer programs

-   Special hot air distribution in case of lack of hot air

-   Automatic setpoints for hot air supply within ranges for operation on lowest possible energy level (!)

-   Automatic operation on lowest possible energy level (!)

-   Graphical design of drying curves


Historical Data:

-   Individual design of resolution and sample rate for may groups of process values

-   Individual design of trend screens

-   Fast display of historical trends

-   Historical archive for kiln car curves (= thermal history of each single carriage stack)

-   Historical archive depending on storage size (> 10 years)


Alarm and Message system:

-   Individual design of alarm and message groups

-   Statistical evaluation of alarms and messages

-   Alarm- and message archive for 5..10 years

Free configurable control system:

-  Graphical configuration (fig. 10) of the control structure by means of the graphical control editor.
   All control loops  may be redefined and / or extended to develop a better control for the specific control loop.
  The control design will be done graphically in a “virtual control wiring diagram”.

Software clients for remote access within the company Intranet

The operator can carry out the following modifications depending on his training state:

-   Change of product data

-   Change of control parameter

-   Modify of control structures

-   Definition of priority of alarms and messages

-   Design if individual visualization screens

-   Definition individual historical trends

-   Maintenance of online language switchover