Steel Plant Conveyors Upgrade

A new electrical control system was required to complement a mechanical conveyor upgrade at a steel manufacturing plant.

The conveying system delivered alloys and lime to nine off bunkers at a high level. There were a series of conveyors from two hoppers via a moving car tripper to deposit material into the bunkers.
When the system was started, the tripper car moved to the requisite bunker and the conveyors were started in sequence. The tracking software monitored the material in each bunker and checked that the new material was deposited in a bunker already containing the same material (or an empty bunker). The tracking software also monitored the position of “in-flight” material to prevent potential cross-contamination of the materials if the transfer was unexpectedly stopped with material on the belts.

The conveyors system comprised a number of pull wire and emergency stop buttons, which on activation immediately shutdown the conveying process. A series of interlocked doors ensured that exposed conveyors were not operated with personnel inside except under specific maintenance conditions.

The project included replacing the direct online starters for the conveyors and tripper car with soft-starts and a VSD, replacing the now obsolete SLC500 with a GuardLogix PLC and replacing the existing single-channel safety system with safety I/O controlled by the new PLC.

To facilitate this and to reduce the amount of cabling required, new remote I/O stations were installed and wired back to the main panel using fibre-optic Ethernet.

The operator interface to the machine was via the existing SCADA system. The existing SCADA system was redrawn and retagged using existing site standards, and kept the same functionally.

The new PLC controlled the alloy conveyors and associated motors in sequence based on operator commands from the SCADA.

Typical SCADA screenshot
GuardLogix PLC
RIO and Safety IO Modules
Ethernet Communications
Soft Starts

Composites Press and Moulding Project

A new electrical control system was required to complement a mechanical conveyor upgrade at a steel manufacturing plant.

A new control system was required by a UK Machinery manufacturer to control the operation of a high-performance press and associated handling equipment for an automotive advanced manufacturing application.

Riverside Automation design team designed and manufactured a bespoke IP65 electrical panel suite with minimal production lead-time. The corresponding electrical installation was designed and supplied with a very tight turnaround time while accommodating multiple design changes to the electrical installation and panels by the end customer throughout the project.

The PLC and SCADA software was developed in partnership with the machine manufacturer’s press design team and required collaboration with multiple parties throughout the project to ensure the successful integration of all the various package-plant systems.

Working with the machine manufacturer to a demanding timescale, the entire system was installed and commissioned on schedule and was commended by the end-customer and their design partners.


Ladle Arc Furnace Upgrade Project – Sheffield

£1.1m Electrical and Control system – Ladle Arc Furnace Upgrade Project.

Riverside ECS supplied and installed two MCCs and multiple remote I/O and sensor measurement control panels as part of a major electrical upgrade of the arc furnace completed by the Riverside Group.

The contract included a brand new control room building, floor and stair case with the new desk and computer monitors system (shown).

The complete system was successfully installed and commissioned within a three week production shut down window working extended shifts to meet the strict deadline.

The client commended the efforts of the design, build and installation teams, and was very pleased with the overall build quality and functionality of all the panels.

The project included an 8.4m long wardrobe style MCC arranged in a two row, back-to-back configuration. The mix of VSD and DOL motors starters controlled water, oil and hydraulic pumps, heater blowers, and air coolers totalling nearly 200kW. There was additional functionality for steel handling features all controlled by a Rockwell PLC system.

In addition, the client wanted a new water treatment plant MCC, which was a 4m long wardrobe style configuration with VSD and DOL water pumping capability totalling approximately 150kW.

Several large remote I/O panels distributed the control inputs/outputs signals over the whole site and these were routed back to the new control room and MCCs.

The panels were constructed from a mix of coated mild steel and stainless steel, depending on the location of the equipment and the IP rating was also determined by the environment into each panel was housed.

The successful project management was due to adherence to ISO9001, which also ensured this system was delivered on time, to cost and to the excellent quality that this client demanded.

WTW SCADA Upgrade – Surrey

The Automation upgrade of a major water treatment works for Affinity Water was completed by Riverside Automation successfully and within schedule.

Riverside were Main Contractors and had CDM responsibility for the project.

The Automation scheme involved the upgrading and integration of existing Omron PLCs and Rockwell PLCs. A new site wide fibre optic network connecting key locations used 11 Industrial Ethernet switches configured to provide redundancy in the event of a component failure.

The SCADA system was an iFIX redundant system with failover from main to standby server computer. Five new client computers were included and an off site Wide Area Network link allows remote interrogation of the SCADA by Affinity Water engineers.

New control modes were added including the following process areas:

Ultra FiltrationGAC FiltersRGF Filters
Borehole PumpsDelivery PumpsFlood Protection
Customer ProtectionOverall Works Control 

Grid Control and SCADA solutions for renewable energy systems

Wind Farm Grid Control

Riverside has developed both Active Power Control and Reactive Power Control functions using a Grid Control system that acts as an interface between the network operator’s Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU) and the wind turbine control system.

Active Power Control accepts curtailment demands from the network operator, and also acts to correct variations in measured frequency by changing the amount of power demanded from the wind farm. Reactive Power Control can maintain either a Voltage Setpoint or a Power Factor Setpoint, as selected by the network operator.


Our HMI and Web-based solutions provide for the Display and Logging of information from a wide variety of substation HV supply equipment and Protection and Electrical Control including Sequence of Event reporting.

We can interface to external equipment such as Socomec Diris, GE Power Quality meters and Schneider ION meters with protocols such as DNP3, Modbus, Mitsubishi CC:link, IEC 60870-5, IEC 61850 and IEC101. In addition we are skilled in using OPC Server and Client technologies for Operators, Generators, and Distributors. We are experienced with various OPC implementations: OPC XML DA, OPC DA, OPC UA and can customise interfaces to provide tunnels between equipment.


We specialise in the integration of dissimilar and legacy platforms with new equipment. Particularly when a range of different manufacturer’s equipment might be in use at a Wind Farm and there is a need to maximise use of existing assets.


Other capabilities include the provision of ongoing support packages and assisting with grid code compliance testing and report preparation.