Upgrading a control system from Windows XP in a tempering furnace

January 2020, GTCS commenced an upgrade at Vista Therm Ltd in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.

The Project was to upgrade a long-standing client’s existing GTCS system (originally upgraded by GTCS in 2007) from Windows XP, which was no longer supported by Microsoft.

The equipment in question is a 28-year-old Tamglass HTF III 2136 Tempering Furnace.

What the project entailed

GTCS replaced an old ABB HMI operating panel with an “off-the-shelf standard” compact PC with touch screen.” (The touch screen was optional.)

The Microsoft XP version of the software was upgraded to Windows 10 Professional and along with other modifications a second monitor was placed at the unloading station to give great benefits to the furnace operators.

The GTCS software was upgraded to our latest version (mk VI) to give faster response times and throughput with options for other processes like Heat Strengthening if required in future. Included was additional energy-saving software on the previously installed VSD invertors.

We installed a Tossibox modem to give remote support using SIM card technology through a standard supplier giving GTCS the ability to support our customers remotely with a swift response in the event of complications and breakdowns.

A fully functional SCADA data logger was also installed giving the customer the ability for product traceability if required.

The entire upgrade was completed over 4 days. The weekend ensured minimal disruption to production, with full production being returned on day 5.

All of the operators we trained were in agreement that the upgrade had made the machine user-friendly and much simpler to operate.

Mr Philip Corrigan” Managing Director of Vista Therm Limited ,was delighted how well the project had gone and thanked GTCS for their work. He was very impressed with the improvements that the upgrade had made to the established equipment and that the life of his furnace was extended into the foreseeable future and beyond.
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