Modern refrigeration controls systems have truly come of age. If your controls system is more than a few years old, you might be surprised at the benefits that newer systems provide:
1. Ethernet architecture — Unlike older serial networks with slower, linear structure, new control systems operate via your existing Ethernet. These networks are non-proprietary so in-house IT teams can easily troubleshoot issues, and repair and replace parts.
2. Improved compressor and VFD communications — Hard-wired serial control systems are slower to communicate with your compressors and VFDs. With an Ethernet platform, the system can pull data much quicker and more efficiently.
3. A single integrated platform — Old systems are often disjointed, with input/outputs, PLC hardware, VFDs, communications protocols and automation controllers all operating independently or requiring customized interfaces. Newer systems are integrated, providing you with a single, unified platform with standards-compliant methods for configuring, operating and maintaining a range of instruments and equipment.
4. Increased data availability — With a single, integrated platform, you’ll have increased access to energy, production, and utility cost information, leading to better decision-making at the management level. You can generate trend analyses, alarm logs, energy management data, and runtime reports in real-time to make the necessary changes and modifications to ensure your refrigeration system is running at optimal efficiency.
5. Non-proprietary, open platforms — Newer systems are built on non-proprietary, open platforms, eliminating the need to support multiple protocols and providing you more options when purchasing equipment.
6. Ease of maintenance and availability of replacement parts — Due to their non-proprietary platforms, newer control systems are much easier to maintain, troubleshoot and upgrade, without expensive third-party support.
7. ROI — Replacing your outdated control system can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Newer systems manage the control and sequencing of all equipment to maximize energy efficiency. Newer systems will respond to the demands of the system, sequence the entire process and ensure that the system is running at optimal efficiency.
In the next post in our series on refrigeration controls systems, we’ll explore the benefits of remote monitoring.