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Attero prevents interruptions in production process with PROCENTEC

Preventing interruptions in the production process is really important in today’s industrial installations. In fact, uninterrupted ‘sustainable’ steam production begins with the monitoring of industrial networks. That is why Attero’s automation team in Moerdijk (The Netherlands) has contacted PROCENTEC. Together they successfully installed a ComBricks-module in the PROFIBUS network of one of Attero’s cranes to eliminate cable breakages and EMI issues. So, problems could be solved instantly.

Control room Attero


Attero produces sustainable electricity for 350,000 households, so production stops are absolutely undesirable. The Attero’s automation team is responsible for keeping this process running continuously. Attero converts waste into sustainable energy and recyclable materials. It has three cranes to pick up the incoming litter with enormous claws and deposit it into the filling funnels of the ovens.

 Pascal Oskamp, System manager of Process Automation:

“We had two problems with the network of these cranes. In the first place, we have to deal with wear-and-tear of the PROFIBUS cable. Due driving the cranes back and forth, will put mechanical stress on the 400 meters long cable. Cable breakage is therefore inevitable at some point. The other problem was EMC. That had to do with the frequency-controlled power of the crane. Because the unscreened engine cables and the PROFIBUS cable are situated close to each other, will it create all kinds of injections occur. Unplanned stops are the last thing we want! One hour of down time costs around 6,000 EUR. That is why we were looking for a reliable solution.”

Diagnostic tool monitors PROFIBUS networks 24/7

Pascal Oskamp and Corne van der Hoeven

Corné van der Hoeven about the search for an optimally available network: “We were working redundantly with many critical components within our process control system. We work with Siemens Teleperm ME and SPPA T2000, which is now migrated to T3000. We certainly have 50 S7 PLCs and use PROFIBUS for the field and use PROFINET for the management layer. But despite the double execution of many components, we were missing diagnostic information and were not able to solve the EMC problem."

ComBricks and ProfiTrace software

"We were already familiar with PROCENTEC, because they had successfully solved a breakdown for us in the past. So we went back to them. Their suggestion was to install ComBricks and SALT repeater modules. The ComBricks-module has provided us with a definitive solution to our problem. It creates a redundant connection to the network and indicates immediately whether a cable is broken. Each ComBricks has ProfiTrace software, which is used to trace the source of disturbances. The SALT repeaters amplify the signal, so that EMC is no longer a problem.”

ComBricks prevents interruptions in production process

ComBricks Alternative Cable tester (SALT)

“The first test with the ComBricks on crane 30 was a great success! ComBricks detects every cable break and monitors all the devices. If there is something wrong with the signal of one of the devices or the quality of the cable, it will send a warning by email. Next year, the other two cranes will also get ComBricks. That investment will quickly pay for itself. At this moment when we have a cable breakage somewhere, we have to pull a separate emergency cable. This will make many extra costs. I wish we already had a ComBricks.

One interruption like this costs us nearly as much as the one time investment of a ComBricks for the whole crane. As soon as the ComBricks is installed we can pull and connect planned cables. We do not have any unplanned stops anymore. We are also very satisfied with the way PROCENTEC helps us. Whenever there is a problem, they will help us until everything has been solved. They do not hesitate to take on the difficult tasks. We all appreciate their excellent service.”

Attero energetic with the environment

Attero is a powerful and energetic player in the Dutch waste market. It creates energy from litter in Moerdijk. It annually burns over one million tons of household waste for this and converts the heat created in this process into hot steam. This steam, with a pressure of 100 bar and a temperature of 400 degrees Celsius, is supplied to Essent’s power station situated next to Attero. Essent increases also the temperature of the steam to 520 degrees and forces it through the turbine. From Essent, 49 bar of steam are supplied, which can be used in the process installations of Shell’s chemical company. Shell is also located near Attero. After the steam has been condensed, the water is returned to Attero. All metals are removed from the remaining ashes at Attero and supplied to road construction companies that use it as the bottom layer for new roads. By processing waste this way, the waste is turned into sustainable energy.