GE Fanuc provides controls for skid-mounted biodiesel systems | Automation.com

GE Fanuc provides controls for skid-mounted biodiesel systems

BioDiesel Production System Based on GE Fanuc Automation Solution

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, FEBRUARY 5, 2007 - GE Fanuc Automation, a unit of GE Industrial, is working with SunBio Systems, of Santa Clara, CA, to provide biodiesel production systems to companies looking to meet the increased demand for renewable, environmentally-friendly fuel. SunBio Systems’ skid-mounted, “quick-start” biodiesel machines range from university grade research and development systems to mid-sized plants that produce up to 15 million gallons of biofuels per year. The SunBio biodiesel machines are based on GE Fanuc controller systems featuring the Series™ 90-30 controller and I/O, Proficy™ Machine Edition automation software, and QuickPanel™ touch screens as operator interfaces.

“The GE Fanuc products provide a lot of advantages to our customers,” said Steve Austin, president of SunBio Systems. “Our mission is to be a leader in the emerging market for renewable energy, and we know that GE Fanuc will help us to fulfill that mission.”

One of SunBio’s systems will be used by Silicon Valley Biodiesel, Inc. of Sunnyvale, CA. The company produces biodiesel using local recycled fats, oils and greases as the feedstock, which provides a cost effective disposal process, while supplying renewable biodiesel fuel to the local market. Silicon Valley Biodiesel's first production facility that meets the Biodiesel Fuel Standard ASTM D6751 is located in Sanger, CA. The company will use the SunBio standard process control platform coupled with GE Fanuc’s scalable solutions to start up five more plants in California over the next two years.

According to Walt Bacharowski, Founder and President of Silicon Valley Biodiesel, “We had several very specific needs for this project and all are being met by the SunBio/GE Fanuc solution. And, we also like the fact that the system’s web access allows SunBio Systems to stay engaged with us to provide process advice when needed. Among the system requirements were:
  • Powerful Instrumentation and automation for several plants
  • Overall control and visibility into remote biodiesel locations reporting to a central home office
  • Standard operating procedures for automation and biodiesel processes
  • Data history to run statistical process analysis and control to optimize processes
  • Web access to easily view operations from any location

    “We are very pleased to be working with Steve Austin and his team at SunBio Systems as a value-added supplier of systems in this industry,” said Ron Bednar, GE Fanuc Market Manager for BioFuels. “The company’s international focus and alliances with universities to produce alternative energies fits in perfectly with GE’s ecomagination initiatives to focus on products and services that provide significant and measurable environmental performance advantages to customers.”

    The Series 90-30 PLC is a family of controllers, I/O systems and specialty modules designed for versatile industrial solutions. With its single overall control architecture, the Series 90-30 is the PLC of record in more than 200,000 applications, such as high-speed packaging, material handling, complex motion control, water treatment, continuous emissions monitoring, mining, food processing, elevator control, and injection molding. GE Fanuc’s Proficy Machine Edition automation software deploys HMI, motion, and multi-target control in an integrated environment that provides a common user interface, drag-and-drop editing, and a rich set of development tools. The rugged QuickPanel touch screens connect easily to all major PLCs and PLC networks, providing an information-rich, graphical interface.

    About SunBio Systems
    SunBio Systems Inc. builds production equipment for the biodiesel producer, truck fleet operator, farm coop and private and government waste management companies. SunBio’s management has broad experience delivering machine solutions to domestic and international markets in the semiconductor, power and chemical industries. SunBio has offices in the USA, Italy, Africa and India.

    About Silicon Valley Biodiesel, Inc. Silicon Valley Biodiesel Inc. is developing a localized biodiesel production and distribution model in multiple cities, all under centralized control. The system relies on SunBio Systems’ modular biodiesel units and GE Fanuc’s Automation to produce ASTM quality biodiesel “Just-in-time” at the lowest cost.

    About GE Fanuc Automation
    GE Fanuc Automation Corporation, a joint venture between GE and FANUC LTD of Japan, delivers automation hardware and software designed to help users reduce costs, increase efficiency and enhance profitability. With solutions and services for virtually every industrial segment, GE Fanuc Automation provides a diverse array of capabilities and products, including controllers, embedded systems, advanced software, motion control, CNCs, operator interfaces, industrial computers, and lasers. Headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, GE Fanuc Automation is a part of GE Industrial and combines the diverse global strengths of the GE family with the local presence customers need to design, develop and maintain their automation investments.
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