Egemin is using PLCs to pump waterways in Belgium

  • December 01, 2014
  • Case Study

December 1, 2014 - Egemin’s Infra Automation division is working on several major infrastructure projects to automate the operation of pumping stations installed along Belgian rivers and canals. These stations are responsible for the regulation of the water level. The adaptation works are part of the projects on flood control of the Flemish Government. Egemin Automation will renew the electromechanical components of the controls or install completely new control systems for. Flemish waterways authority Waterwegen en Zeekanaal (W&Z) and the Flemish Environment Agency.

Automatic control of the water level In 1973 a dam was built between the River Durme and the Moervaart canal to protect the city of Lokeren from flooding by the Durme in bad weather conditions. However, this resulted in an unnatural discharge from the Moervaart to the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, resulting in frequent flooding and silting of the tidal River Durme because of the lack of an upper flow rate. The construction of the pumping station will bring the upper flow back to the River Durme and in extreme circumstances the excess water in the Moervaart canal can be pumped to the Durme.   "The new PLC control collects information that automatically controls the pump motor. The mechanical screws pump the water up over the dam. Egemin will also provide an additional link so that the pumping station can be remotely and automatically operated,” says Tom Haesebrouck, Project Manager at Egemin Automation.   Egemin Automation works on the project as a subcontractor of Belgian construction company Herbosch-Kiere, who is responsible for the construction of the pumping station. Vandezande is subcontracted by Egemin and will supply both screw pumps. The project will be completed in June 2015. The contract value for Egemin amounts to 0.7 million euros.   Automation and renewal of electrical installation Egemin will retrofit the obsolete pump installation at the lock complex in Zemst along the Brussels-Scheldt Canal. The lock complex ensures that sufficient water remains in the upper reach of the canal after ships have passed. The installation pumps the water back upward, so the ships coming from Antwerp and Brussels do not run aground.   Tom Haesebrouck: "The renovation of the pump complex is very urgent, the electrical system is severely outdated and the necessary spare parts are no longer available. Egemin will supply completely new controls and will also install a monitoring system that makes it possible to operate the installation remotely from the control tower." Egemin is contracted by W&Z and the contract value is 0.2 million euros.   Controlled seaward flow The Maartensas discharge installation on the River Noordede in Bredene was in urgent need of renovation. This is demonstrated by the various floods the area had to deal with in recent years. "The installation consists of seven discharge sleeves that have sliding openings on the seaside and the landside," says Haesebrouck. “These discharge sleeves provide a controlled flow of water from the interior to the sea."   In addition to the complete electrical renovation Egemin is also responsible for the mechanical drive system and automation of the installation. Vandezande has been subcontracted by Egemin for the mechanical renovation. The Ministry of the Flemish Community is the client in this project. The Flemish Environment Agency is the end client.   Egemin works on this project together with the Vrij Technisch Instituut Brugge (science and technology oriented secondary school in Bruges). "The students will build the control panels and help connect the installation in the field! In this way they learn to work on a real project and gain practical experience. A nice win-win situation,” says Tom Haesebrouck.   Renovation of pumping station Vlassenbroek The renovation of the pumping station in Vlassenbroek is part of a major renovation project of the Flemish government. The Vlassenbroek polder is to partially become a flood plain and that is why the discharge capacity of the pumping station needs to be increased. That is the reason client Waterwegen & Zeekanaal called on the expertise of Egemin, which will replace the existing three pumps. Currently they each have a capacity of 1.2 m³/s, the new axial pumps will have a pumping rate of 2 m³/s.   Egemin Automation will renew the medium-voltage cabin and general low voltage switchboard and will feed the new pumps by means of frequency drives. The trash rack cleaner will also be completely replaced. The entire installation, pumps and trash rack cleaner, will be equipped with PLC software and SCADA visualization software. In addition, the installation will be connected to the ABBA network of the Flemish government. This allows for the installation to be controlled and monitored remotely. Egemin is responsible for the overall project. The contract value is 1.6 million euros. The start of the site work is scheduled for January 2015.   Relief of sewer network at Ganshoren An outsider in the series of infrastructure projects for pumping stations is the buffer basin near Ganshoren, which is part of an action plan of water authority Vivaqua in the Brussels Region. The buffer basin will be filled when sewage water levels are high to temporarily relieve the sewer network during short heavy rainfall. Egemin Automation will install two pumps that can subsequently empty the basin again, together with a flushing system and a smaller pump to clean the buffer basin and drain it completely. Egemin works on this project as a subcontractor of construction company Franki Construct, which is responsible for the construction of the buffer basin. The contract value amounts to 0.2 million euros.   About Egemin Automation Egemin Automation supplies automation projects to improve logistics and production processes for industrial companies and public infrastructure. Egemin offers tailor-made solutions so that its customers remain one step ahead of the competition. The target markets for Egemin are distribution and logistics, life sciences, the food industry, oil and gas, paper and print and infrastructure. Egemin approaches the market through its four automation divisions: The Handling Automation division deliver internal logistics and materials handling systems for factories and warehouses. The Life Sciences division is responsible for validation, compliance and automation in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and related industries. Process Automation operates in the food, oil and gas, utility and chemical sectors. The Infra Automation division supplies automation services for the likes of bridges, locks, tunnels, weirs and pumping stations. Consulting & Services provides management advice from well-grounded expertise based on industrial practice. Egemin also provides professional advice, all-in project management and technical support throughout the life of the installations. Egemin operates on a world-wide scale from its headquarters in Antwerp and has offices located in Europe, North America and Asia, along with partners in other areas. The company employs 770 people.

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