Powerblanket Programmable Logic Controllers

As innovative as our industrial heating blankets are on their own, how cool would it be if you could monitor them all from a central location? Well, you can. With the new Powerblanket Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) you can keep track of all your blankets and see exactly what’s going on with each.

 

These PLCs are the Bee’s Knees

What makes these PLCs so great is the monitoring capability you have with them. A programmable logic controller is an industrial computer control system that continuously monitors the state of input devices and makes decisions based upon a custom program to control the state of output devices. Sounds pretty wow, right? But just in case that was a little too much tech talk for you, here it is in plainer English…

Using Powerblanket PLCs on Powerblanket products simply means that you can monitor and regulate all the temperatures in all your blankets (both the temperature inside the blanket and the temperature on the surface of the blanket). What’s more, you can make needed adjustments on various blankets or various zones of a single blanket too.

However, like all your products, these PLC systems aren’t just a one-size-fits-all solution. They’re entirely scalable. This means you could set your system to measure just one temperature zone, and set it to switch only one blanket based on that temperature. Or you could have your system set to measure 200 temperature zones for 100 different blankets. There’s no upper limit to the number of temperatures or blankets you can monitor and switch with these PLC systems.

Here’s an example of just how helpful these PLCs are. A particular blanket could be set to switch based on a specified internal temperature, so it doesn’t damage itself, while simultaneously, it can be set to maintain a certain surface temperature for curing something like an epoxy resin, for example. You could also set a group of multiple blankets to switch based on a maximum combined temperature or even the average of their temperatures.

 

Control Options

Temperature measurements aren’t the only control options these PLCs are capable of, however. Your blankets can be set to switch based on a schedule. This means you can set the temperature to ramp up to a certain level at a certain rate, then stay there for a certain amount of time, and slowly taper off or shut off completely. This allows you to set your blankets to automatically turn on at a predetermined time in order to prepare your material as needed, before workers arrive, perhaps.

In addition to schedule and temperature controls, you can also set alarms to be triggered if certain conditions are met. For example, if you have power failure, reach a temperature outside of your specified limits, experience circuit shorts, or a number of other similar dilemmas, you can set your blanket to automatically shut off, scale back on temperature, or produce an alarm.

In addition to this, all the data recorded in these protocols can be logged for record keeping or future analysis. The temperature, relay state (blanket on or off), current, voltage, etc. can all be recorded and sorted for your data needs. And all these PLCs can be set up for remote monitoring or remote control.

 

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Epoxy Curing For Boats and Other Water Craft

To many people, summer means time on the lake or in the ocean boating or jet skiing. But have you ever stopped to consider how boats and other water craft are built? In almost every case, the high-tech water vessels of today use some form of fiber construction and epoxy curing.

 

Boats

Epoxy Construction on Water Vessels

Not everyone stops to think about how their jet ski was built when their speeding across the lake at 40 mph. Nor do many think about the same sort of thing as they’re sitting in their finely crafted boat, fishing or watching friends or family water ski. But such a thought is certainly worth addressing, even if it’s long before or after all the fun is over.

Unless you’re out enjoying the water in an older, traditional wooden or aluminum boat, you’re likely sitting in a piece of modern engineering, the type that involves high-quality plastics, glass fibers (sometimes referred to as glass-reinforced plastics – aka: fiberglass) and on some occasion, even carbon fiber. Most boats and jet skis these days are built using such composite materials. And where such composites as these exist, there’s also the need for some heavy-duty resins.

Composites such as fiberglass and carbon fiber are bound together using high-grade epoxy resins. These resins both bind and coat the material in a hard, nearly impervious shell—making for very strong construction. For those familiar with epoxy curing, it’s apparent that the primary challenge is temperature. Most epoxies cure well above room temperature, and when you’re dealing with construction as big as boats, such an endeavor becomes all the more difficult.

Some boat manufacturers take a lot of time and resources to construct large ovens or rooms in which they can pump heated air in order to bring the temperature up to the ideal range for epoxy curing. As you can imagine, such an undertaking requires a lot of patients, not to mention it creates a lot of downtime.

This is why Powerblanket is pleased to offer the boat-manufacturing world a much better solution. With Powerblanket curing blankets, a manufacturer can saves thousands of dollars and hours of time just on one boat build. Our curing blankets allow epoxy to cure at its ideal temperature for as long as needed. What’s more, Powerblanket curing blankets are available in ready-to-ship and customizable sizes and shapes.

 

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Curing Epoxy Resin On Wind Turbine Blades

Whether it’s for repair or initial construction, curing epoxy resin on wind turbine blades can be a tricky endeavor. However, with the right technology, this arduous process can be a whole lot easier.

 

Curing Epoxy Resin On Wind Turbine Blades

Wind Turbines: A Large Scale Application

The typical wind turbine blade ranges in length from 116 ft. to as much as 148 ft. That accounts for a big hunk of glass-fiber or carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. Either way you look at it, the curing process involved with such a beast is certain to take a lot of space. That’s why wind turbines are often created in pieces and then secured by joints.

Very strong, high-temperature epoxies are used for this process, but as anyone who’s worked with epoxy knows, the proper curing takes some extra heat. Can you imagine building a hot box around the joint of a turbine blade? Better yet, can you imagine having to stick that huge thing in an oven? The idea sounds ludicrous, and it is when you consider that there is a much better way of approaching the problem.

Instead of being left to the need of a hot box or an oven to properly heat cure epoxy resin on wind turbines, you could apply localized heat to the area that needs to be cured. That’s right, localized heat in the form of a revolutionary heat blanket that evenly distributes heat over the entire surface area of application. In addition to the amazing ability this blanket has of transferring heat, it also has the capability to regulate it.

By using thermostatic controllers, you can use such a blanket to cure epoxy at the ideal temperature. It’s simply a matter of setting the temperature range to the proper level for your application and then waiting for it to work its magic. With customization possibilities, this blanket is available in as many sizes as necessary, so you can cure even the largest cure joint. Shoot, you could even cure the whole blade if you want.

 

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