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Transcript

Research Project

The Engineering Design Process

Start

Interviewed

My cousin: Telecommunication engineer.

My dad: Mine engineer.

Section

Identify the Problem

What was something that you needed to improve?

Answers:

My cousin: In one of the biggest hydropower centrals in Africa, the control system in the 400/220kV substation, the BCU (bay control units) was not prepared for communicate with the SCADA system.

My dad: In a plant that treats 120,000 tons of slag from incineration, they extract metals from those slags. Using equipment called over bands, the ferrous metals are extracted, then these follow the slag and come to a piece of equipment called the Foucault separator, which is based on the edi corrents. This equipment separates non-ferrous metals. With the old equipment, they lost five percent of these metals, which are very precious.

Section I

Ideate and Create

What was your idea to improve it?

Answers

My cousin: When they arrived at the substation they examined how to fix the problem and make the control data appear on the substation screens without the maintenance people having to go to the BCUs every hour to check the data.They added a switch in each BCU cabinet with a PRP protocol to bring the control data to the screen of the control center and make graphs.

My dad: A new equipment that is made of neodymium. The old one was ferrite, which was much smaller. With a much larger field they manage to induce an electromagnetic current in the metals, causing those that have a single electron in the last shell, unpaired metals, equal poles to repel each other. Another important difference is that the diameter of the new equipment is much larger, this is also significant for the kinetic energy, the larger the radius, the greater the angular velocity.

Section II

Test and Improve

Did you try anything before?Why did not it work?

Answers

My cousin: It worked because the data was instantly updated.“We always try, as engineers, to improve on the processes we implement, firstly because we improve performance and secondly because we save the company a lot of money and that's why they usually hire us.”

My dad: When this happens, it throws the metal somewhere else, so it works.“Through a method called LEAN, we improve processes every day.”

Section III

Implement

How did it improve your life?

Answers

My cousin: The maintenance guys do not have to check the data every time anymore.

My dad: With this new equipment, that five percent travels to another Foucault separator and they extract it from there.

Section IV

Summary

Summary

My cousin: The control system in the 400/220kV substation, the BCU (bay control units) were not prepared for communicate with the SCADA system. They fixed the problem by adding a switch in each BCU cabinet with a PRP protocol to bring the control data to the screen of the control center and make graphs where the data would be instantly updated.

My dad: With the old equipment, they lost five percent of these metals, which are very precious. They changed the devices to ones that have magnets that are placed upside down, in this way electromagnetic currents are generated. With this new equipment, that five percent travels to another Foucault separator and they extract it from there.