IKERLAN designs a customised ‘brain’ for the Pasaban Group paper cutting machines, with the highest communications capacity on the market
Due to IKERLAN's innovative solution, a single processor replaces several complex control systems
- The technology developed for DUTT allows the most extensive range of industrial communications on the market.
- The first machine with this technology is already in operation in two recent projects on the peninsula and in Poland, and the group will continue to introduce this new PLC worldwide in 2021.
- The development has received public funding from the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI).
The IKERLAN technology centre has developed a customised Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for Dutt (a specialist in the design and manufacture of power and control electronic products and solutions for industry, and part of the Pasaban Group, a leading manufacturer of machinery for the paper industry), which it is already incorporating into its paper cutting machines and which has the greatest communications capacity on the market. Specifically, Ikerlan has improved the 'brain' or CPU of the PLC that controls the cutting machines, combining various new hardware and software technologies. The result is a system that facilitates the detection of problems in real time and allows a wide range of industrial communications from a single terminal. The project has been financed by the Centre for Industrial Technology Development, CDTI, which is part of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
It is also a technology and knowledge transfer project which, in addition to the actual development of the CPU by Ikerlan, includes training in the use and maintenance of the system by experts from the technology centre for those who will be in contact with the newly developed technology. In effect, the transfer of technology and the contribution of competitive value to the company is one of the hallmarks of the technology centre, and this is a clear example of the application of this value.
One of the most outstanding benefits of this new development is that the system is incorporated into just one PLC. This leads to considerable savings due to the fact that no additional PLCs or commercial frequency converters need to be installed, as these are controlled by the same CPU designed between Ikerlan and Dutt. In this way, the system is simplified and performance is increased because everything is integrated. The product's five industrial communication ports, which can select a wide range of protocols, make it the PLC with the most communication possibilities on the market.
The new CPU has been developed by three researchers from the Ikerlan hardware team - Leire Rubio, Edurne Palacio and Ane Irazusta - from the TEIC (Electronic, Information and Communication Technologies) unit. Leire Rubio, in charge of the project, explained: “When designing the CPU we combined new technologies such as Systems on a Chip (SoC), which allow a high processing capacity while offering the possibility of ad-hoc hardware implementations and use of the Linux operating system with real time optimisation to meet the temporary needs of the machines”.
Ikerlan has been working on this innovative PLC for the Pasaban Group since 2018. This project has recently been completed with the installation of two cutting machines that include the new CPU, one in the peninsula and another in Poland. In 2021, Dutt will introduce this technology into its new projects all over the world, positioning itself at the forefront of the sector, since, compared to the commercial and standard CPUs of other companies in this industrial sector, thanks to the development of Ikerlan, Dutt offers the market a customised solution, unique within the market, tailored to the needs and characteristics of its machines.
This is the first partnership project between the company and the technology centre in the field of control electronics, since Ikerlan and the Pasaban Group had previously collaborated on power electronics projects. Moreover, this is a success story within the umbrella of Ikerlan Konnekt, a range of digitisation solutions developed by the centre and which adapts to the specific needs of each company, covering all the elements necessary to be able to offer the client a Digital Platform, integrating elements developed in-house together with third-party applications that adapt to the client's business strategy for digitisation. A project that shows the potential of Ikerlan as a technology partner, not only able to develop innovative products, but also able to transfer knowledge to customers, a fundamental value of Ikerlan's identity.
IKERLAN, a member of BRTA, is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to the company due, among other things, to the specialisation of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions that combine different technological fields into three large areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT), Energy and Power Electronics and Advanced Manufacturing. In 2017, IKERLAN obtained certification, via AENOR, for the integrated management system (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 and UNE 166002:2014), which recognises the excellence of the centre in the field of R&D&I. It currently has a workforce of around 350 people.
Since 1996, the objective of Dutt has been to provide electronics adapted to companies with control and power electronics requirements, in any sector where control and conversion of energy and/or power is necessary: solar, industrial, energy storage, lifts, etc. Dutt is part of the Pasaban group, a leading manufacturer of machinery for the paper industry. 95 % of the equipment designed and manufactured by Dutt is destined for export and is distributed over the five continents in 365 d/24 h operations.