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Industrial Automation

Automation and Control in Environmental Systems

Efficient and reliable water and wastewater systems have been a major concern for Swedish municipalities and authorities since several decades. High-performing and cost-effective treatment plants and pipe networks are continuously releasing the Swedish water bodies from harmful discharges. The water and wastewater industry in Sweden has a good international reputation and competes successfully on the international market.

At IEA our research is devoted to automation and control in urban water systems, and we emphasise operation rather than design. Within operation a wide field of time frames are considered, all the way from minutes to years, and dynamic properties rather than static ones are essential. Operational behaviour consequently becomes part of life-cycle analysis. One face of operation is the control of individual processes. Another - an increasingly important one - is the interaction between individual processes, plants and systems. This aspect of co-ordinated operation and control is a key technology if the systems of today are going to be turned into sustainable ones. Automation and control can be considered part of the vast field of systems analysis.

Any urban water system, traditional or future system, will almost surely be characterised by ever changing operating conditions. This has to do with the impact from the users of the system. Automation and control will deal exactly with this impact. The operational aspects will become increasingly important, since they will influence not only the costs for energy, transportation, chemicals and other consumables, but also the environmental impact of the ever-changing conditions.

Automation and control systems will encompass not only measurements, but also the handling of all the time varying information that comes from urban water treatment. Therefore, automation and control are crucial parts of an urban water information system. No urban water process will be complete without such an information system.

Multisensor Feedback in Robotics

Sensor systems in robotics will make new applications possible. An ultrasonic transducer measurement system has been designed which is used to measure distances and spatial angles. It can also perform object identification. Research on more advanced identification is in progress.

Synchronization Control of unit Operation and Processes in Industrial Plants with Power Constraints

The project is in its initial phase and will deal with the co-ordination of operations in manufacturing and process industries. The purpose is to utilize equipment efficiently, while considering limitation of the toltal electric power. Power peaks can be reduced by re-scheduling of opeartions so that energy costs are decreased.