GEA has introduced X Control, a new control system for centrifuges bringing significant improvements in terms of integration, connectivity, data processing and safety. The new X Control lays the foundation for the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will make data collection and analysis faster and easier in the future, including self-optimization of the entire system. The increased computing power will also improve integration into SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems. Cloud computing also opens up new possibilities for extended services, such as the provision of customised software functions. X Control will initially be introduced for selected individual machines. Availability for other GEA centrifuge types will be continuously expanded during the course of the year.
Said Dieter Hille, Head of Automation & Controls, GEA Business Unit Separation: “Machine controls have evolved rapidly in recent years. In the past, values were monitored and readjusted by hand or automated controllers. Today, we have reached a level where mass data is collected and analysed with the utmost precision. The next step is self-learning systems.”
The new centrifuge control therefore provides the basis for the integration of AI algorithms. This means that the control system recognises patterns, draws conclusions and automatically transfers them to the control system.
Digitisation is the driving force behind this development. The core elements, i.e. microcontrollers, and processors, are becoming ever faster and more powerful. The same applies to networks, bandwidths and transmission rates. Enormous amounts of data and information in a short period of time open up completely new possibilities for control systems. The new GEA X Control can use high computing power to implement new interfaces for integration into process line control systems.
Continued Hille: “This has an enormous impact on the ‘plug & produce’ capabilities of machines and components as well as their communication with each other and optimal interaction.”
With the new control concept, GEA is increasingly relying on MTP (Module Type Package), i.e. manufacturer-independent communication between components and systems. This enables users to adapt their processes even faster and more efficiently to changing market requirements by integrating all process steps quickly and easily.
The new GEA X Control also brings important improvements in terms of cloud computing: permanent connectivity allows both extensive process data storage outside the machine control system and linking with other relevant data for the machine and the process.
Concluded Hille: “This makes calculations and evaluations more complex and precise. The knowledge gained here can then be transferred back to the machine control system as instructions for action.” For more visit gea.com