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Old 06-15-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
Jan 2013
Posts: 31
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Does anybody on here do any automation for a living? I do it in the Commercial HVAC field and I love reading these threads. I'm just curious if anyone is using any commercial/Industrial applications on their homebrew setup.

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Old 06-15-2013, 01:39 AM   #2
Jun 2011
San Antonio, tx
Posts: 40
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I spent several years designing prison security systems that use many of the same parts used for building automation purposes. My fermentation chamber controller is a mishmash of Allen Bradley relays & terminal blocks and a industrial 24vdc power supply.

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Old 06-15-2013, 01:54 AM   #3
Jan 2013
Posts: 31
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Awesome. I do some work in a hospital that has an old Allen Bradley system..too old for me to comprehend.

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Old 06-15-2013, 02:10 AM   #4
Jan 2011
Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 704
Liked 35 Times on 27 Posts

Slowly putting together parts for my rig, used to do HVAC (still do on the side) but my day job is commercial kitchen equipment (gas/elec/steam). Hoping to scavenge a steam generator for an old steam kettle to make a big 50gal BIAB rig.

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Old 06-15-2013, 04:22 AM   #5
Senior Member
Dec 2006
Turner, Oregon, Oregon most of the time now
Posts: 2,305
Liked 53 Times on 47 Posts

I do industrial instrumentation for process control as the primary work, HVAC and life safety systems are secondary work
Having built an automated brew system with 56 points using Opto22 hardware, and have written the application in .Net to make it work, it was more time consuming and engineering effort than any other system out there. It was way more time consuming to write the necessary application than it is was to build the hardware, definitely not worth it if just making beer was the goal.
None of the current automation systems are anywhere close to the capabilities of the Opto22 Hardware, and the control applications are not that sophisticated, yet are sufficient for basic system control if beer making is the goal.

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Old 06-16-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
Dec 2010
Atlanta, GA
Posts: 65
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts

Been For Many Years, 20+, Mostly Allen Bradley, Programable Logic Controllers Using RSLink & RSLogix 5/500/5000 & CTC/Parker PS10's HMI's, Including Setting Up RS232C & DH485 Networks/Nodes, Pretty Good w/Instrumentation & Calibration Mostly With
Rosemount and HART Communicators 275-375 & Loveland 2020 Calibrator. Currently Working On Fully Automated Home Fermenter Project, Laying Out The Control Panel Backplane Right Now, Using a AB Micrologix-1200 Dual Comm Port w/a AB 1762-IF4 4-Channel Analog Input Card, 24Vdc OptoCouplers, SSR's, AC Line Filters, AB 1761-NET-AIC+ SerB Network Isolater.
Years Ago, Installed a AB-PLC w/HMI For Home Control
Using a AB SLC5/03 Processor, Have My Own Allen Bradley Registered
RSLogix-500 & Home Instrumentation/Calibration Setup.
Also Section 608 Certification HVAC Universal Technician Since 1994 & Section 609. Heck, If I Told You The Rest, You Would Guess My Age.

You Mentioned Hospital Older Allen Bradley, Might Be Able To Help,
Some Had The Option To Access Program w/a Hand Held Communicator,
Using a RJ49 Port/Looks Like Ethernet/Not/Dont Try! Most Likely, If The Case, Can Access w/RS485 to 9Pin DB Allen Bradley 1741-PIC
Series-A Interface, Comm Port w/Laptop & Software, Alot Faster/Easier
To Understand & Program.
Ebays a Good Place For All Allen Bradley, ie; AB SLC5/03 aprox
25 Yrs Old, Allen Bradley Still Sells Them Today, Industrial and
Highly Dependable, Even If Used From Ebay, and Very Powerful
and Supports Most Anything You Would Used Still On a Limited
Job Application, But For Hobby/Home Use, More Than What You
Will Ever Need or Use, ie: SLC5/03 Runs My House, 4 Card Slot
For Expansion Cards, AC/DC Inputs/Outputs/Analog, Biggest Is a 13
Card Rack/Slot, My House PC Is Node-0, PLC/SLC5-03 is Node-1, The
SLC5/03 Supports Up To 31 Nodes (ie; 29 Houses),

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Old 06-16-2013, 02:29 PM   #7
tyzippers's Avatar
Jan 2012
Meadville, PA
Posts: 2,356
Liked 412 Times on 307 Posts

I design and program automation systems for vacuum heat treat furnaces for a living. Lots of parallels to home brewing, believe it or not. I fully intend to design a partially automated system one day for brewing. The cash flow just isn't there to support it yet.
Check me out on Untappd. Or don't. See if I care.

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Old 06-16-2013, 03:04 PM   #8
Jaybird's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 7,596
Liked 977 Times on 689 Posts

Yep industrial electrician for 15 years. Started out using GE PLC's, 9 years ago moved to using Allen Bradley PLC 5, 500 and 5000 for all my motion and motor control. I have looked into an all automated brewery for the house but opted for relay logic for all my fluid level and temp control on my system and use ball valves for the flow control. The only PID on the system is in the HLT. The PLC is just to expensive for what were going to do IMHO. BrewTroller is a good option for automation in a home brewery and small production breweries. Its what I am looking at installing in my 2.5 BBL system at the brew store. Where I was going with that is if you want to read about some killer automation systems search BrewTroller. There is some really killer systems out there using that platform.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
TedandMargeBrewing's Avatar
Jun 2013
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Posts: 32
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Originally Posted by Jaybird View Post
I have looked into an all automated brewery for the house but opted for relay logic for all my fluid level and temp control on my system and use ball valves for the flow control. The only PID on the system is in the HLT. The PLC is just to expensive for what were going to do IMHO.
Agreed, Jaybird. I'm working on the exact same thing at this moment.

I've been working as an Electro-Mechanical and Automation Build Tech for the past 8 years for a technology manufacturing company. I have worked with/on everything from simple button mashing relay logic circuits to PLCs to vision assisted 6 axis robots. I get so many cool ideas for brewery additions at that place, but at the end of the day I really don't NEED a robot to stir my mash. I guess I can handle it myself, for now...

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Old 06-17-2013, 10:06 PM   #10
Jan 2013
Posts: 31
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Thanks for sharing everyone. It's good to know there are others out there. It seems like the majority of you have backgrounds in PLC. I'm straight Honeywell and Johnson DDC. I was planning on using a programmable Honeywell Spyder to control my fermentation chamber but ended up going basic as possible with the JCI A419.

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