ci designs

Our History

CI Designs is a design consultancy formed by control systems engineers with over sixty man years experience in the design of industrial control systems using PC and PLC solutions as required.

The control systems that we have designed range from simple 20 I/O PLC's controlling a small machine to a complete integrated PLC system of over thirty PLC's controlling a complete production system all linked back to a PC based production control system.

During the early 1980's we designed a GEM80 PLC based system to control a PVC mixing plant replacing an existing solid state control system that had reached the end of its life as spares were no longer available. The graphics capability and analog signal processing of the GEM 80 range provided an ideal PLC for the application allowing a dynamic visual display long before PC's were used on the factory floor.

During the 1990's we used the PC based Factory Link SCADA system with Telemechanique PLC's to control an iron foundry unit in South Wales including control of the raw material mixing, the casting process, and the transport system to move the moulds around the factory during the cooling process.

Since the advent of Windows 2000 we have supplied PC based systems, often linked to a PLC, to provide an operator interface to the machine, using either Scada systems or custom software specifically designed for the application. We have used a 4GL programming language to provide a HMI interface to Siemens S7 PLC's for a large marking system that was designed to meet a detailed specification from the customer. The interface included a realtime display of the sensor signals, logging of all data transmissions between the marking unit and the factories host system. The host system responds to requests for information from the marking unit and requires reporting back on the progress of the mark, and detailed information on the quality of the mark from a camera system integrated into the control system.

We provide custom control system solutions to automate processes, working closely with mechanical engineering designers to ensure the designs are fully integrated with the machine design and meet all the relevant standards. One of our more recent ventures has involved the complete design of a data collection service for Smart Electrical Meters for Solar Farms and large commercial properties including the design of the mobile network based modems that collect the data by communicating directly with the Smart Meters. We can collect data on a regular basis, generally every 30 minutes but can handle collection rates as low as 2 seconds per reading for logging purposes. Our modem design includes on board storage to lighten the mobile network loading.