Our commitment to training, safe design and working practices, coupled with our extensive experience working across a range of industrial and civil sectors, ensures smooth and swift service no matter how complex the project.


The challenge:

Our customer is a blue-chip UK food supplement manufacturer. The process creates effluent with a high level of biological oxygen demand (BOD) needing treatment to ensure acceptable levels of discharge back into the national drainage system.

IES installed the original Effluent Treatment Plant Automation, control and monitoring solution and have subsequently been entrusted to help our clients drive to continuously improve processes and reduce waste. Regular upgrades to the process have been carried out to improve levels of discharge and meet the ever more demanding environmental regulations and controls.

Food supplement processing vessels
Food supplement processing vessels

How we approached the problem:

The IES team, worked closely with the Project Engineers on how best to cost-effectively design, manufacture, install and commission safely further upgrades. The design provides maximum flexibility and functionality with improved data collecting and reporting. This provides our client with all the essential KPI’s necessary to confirm the effluent plant is operating within the Environment Agency guidelines. The integrated solution utilises Siemens S7-300 PLC based controllers and Wonderware Intouch SCADA.

How IES went about it / implementing the solution:

Detailed, careful planning and design was required in order to achieve the tight time schedule of the project, IES project management worked closely with suppliers ensuring no delays to expected delivery of materials would impact the schedule. IES also utilised their in-house manufacturing resource in Colchester, Essex leveraging the strong team of experienced panel builders and software engineers to ensure no delays during the manufacture process.

The flexible and effective process control system had to be installed alongside active plant and baseline controls. A detailed project plan ensured all information and manufacturing proceeded on a scheduled basis and helped identify milestones and key dates within the project’s lifecycle. The use of this project plan helped in achieving a successful completion of the manufacture and of the critical installation period, on schedule and with visibility to key stakeholders.

What was achieved / results:

The controls were upgraded and commissioned safely, all within a working effluent process plant. The new controls successfully provided peace of mind for client that the effluent treatment process was effective and efficiently working to ensure that the effluent discharge into the national drainage system met with the Environment Agency’s requirements.

Technical details on the upgrade

  • Siemens PLCs – The main section of the plant is controlled by a Siemens S7-300 with local digital I/O modules. The PLC also connects to 3 further I/O racks of both digital and analogue modules.

An additional extension section utilising another Siemens S7-300 was added. Both the main and extension PLCs are connected via Profibus for exchange of important control and monitoring data and ensures full control of the whole effluent process from the SCADA system.

  • Beijers HMI – The extension section of the plant uses a Beijer Exter T150 12” colour touchscreen HMI to monitor and control the plant in the extension area as the main section of the plant was 100m away.
  • Intouch SCADA – The plant is controlled and monitored from 3 client PCs, each with Intouch V2014 SCADA system installed on them. The SCADA PCs are all connected to the PLC on a local network. The SCADA applications use a bespoke token sharing system developed by IES so that only one of the SCADA PCs can be in control of the plant at any one time.
  • BSEN 13849-1 safety performance requirements met
  • Enabled client to meet the requirements in the EA Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS)