Scope of work

After the big tragedy of the canola silos in Swellendam that collapsed in December 2015. We at Automation works in conjunction with Micro Electrical was contracted to redo and connect all of the PLC equipment and all of the sensors for the slide gates and chain conveyors.


The silos are running on a Siemens CPU 315-2 PN/DP. In all of the other electrical panels we have Siemens ET200 slave units that help to control all of the chain conveyers, slide gates and the electrical controls in the other 3 panels.


The main switch gear of the silos consists of Schneider switch gear. The panels were built by Arrow Switch Panels with our own design of how to incorporate the plc gear with the main switch gear. We also used reed switches on all of the pneumatic cylinders


We also moved away from the old type of mimic board and installed two 42inch television screens, while a computer that’s running a Wonderware InTouch Scada system is used to set up all the different routs that they use at the silos.



The new design of the silos was done so that they can offload at 2 different places while they cleaned the product on a different route. They then designed it so that they can offload directly in to the cleaner and dryer so it can move it to the silo from there for storage.


The main installation of all the panels and the main cabling for all of the motors was done by Micro Electrical. We came and did all of the cabling for the sensors and the communication between the Siemens PLC and all of the Siemens ET-200 racks. The installation and commissioning took us about more or less two months.


The Commissioning

We started the commissioning of the plant as the harvesting season started and we worked on it right through the harvesting season to see that everything was working fine like the client wanted. We did that so that if there were to be any changes they wanted, we could test it like how it was going to be used in the future.