Industrial Clients

Our industrial specialty is the installation and upgrade of automated production systems. PLCs (programmable logic controls) have become standard in many businesses, and McGowan Electric has the expertise to design, install and maintain these incredibly complex systems. Their purpose is to minimize production line downtime, by anticipating and sensing problems and implementing solutions for any operating irregularity. An unplanned production line stoppage for a minute can easily cost a thousand dollars or more.

One of our long-time customers is the Natrel milk processing plant in Ottawa. Natrel, a division of Agropur Cooperative, processes some 35-40,000 litres of milk an hour, and its plant runs 16 hours a day, five days a week. Natrel is one of the top three dairies in Ontario. This modern plant has four integrated PLC systems, controlling every aspect of its business: the conveyor lines, the refrigeration system, the milk processing system and the waste treatment process. We’ve designed, installed and programmed all these systems, and we are now in process of upgrading the PLCs to the most modern available.

For the uninitiated, here are a couple of simple examples of what we do with PLCs. Natrel noticed that the jug milk production (filling) line was occasionally jamming, as too much product was entering the milk case loading operation too quickly, so we programmed the system to reduce the fill speed of each of the jugs by a fraction of a second, resulting in no more jams.

Milk tanker trucks are washed out after they deliver their loads, and from time to time the drivers would accidentally exit the plant with the washing hose still in the top of the truck, causing considerable damage. Solution? Program the PLC that controls the washing process so that the exit door will not open unless the hose is returned to its resting position. Simple? Well, yes, in a way, but the ability to analyze problems and make these changes is what builds trust with our clients.

If your plant uses PLC, or you think you could benefit from our expertise, we’d love to talk to you. McGowan Electric: your electrical partner you can trust.

For the technically minded, here are some of our capabilities:

Automation devices

Allen Bradley

Modicon series

We have experience working in a HACCAP-certified plant and in a “clean” environment. Our technicians are used to working with electric over hydraulic equipment, electric over pneumatic equipment and working around conveyor systems.

Here are a few pictures taken recently at Natrel.

Touch-screen image

Sample touch screen controls from the waste treatment PLC system. In the space of a few minutes while we were taking pictures, the waste treatment PLC detected that the waste output flow was a little too low in ph level, and automatically added the right amount of chemicals to raise it to the target 7.0. This was all captured on a continuous chart for plant managers to examine the next day.

(Click on the picture to get a larger image.)

Wiring terminations image

Recently upgraded PLC (wiring terminations) which controls the refrigeration system. The wiring of this cabinet represented some 200 hours of technician time.

(Click on the picture to get a larger image.)

Milk-filling line

Jug milk filling line, with cases in background (no production that day)

(Click on the picture to get a larger image.)

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