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Degrémont, a key player in water treatment and sustainable development, uses ControlBuild IEC 61131-3 based software suite to optimize development efficiency



Degrémont, part of the SUEZ group, is an international water treatment plant specialist. Making water drinkable, no matter what the initial quality of the resource (such as groundwater, borehole water, brackish water or seawater), is Degrémont's specialty. Their focus ranges from ozonation and filtration with activated carbon, to the removal of mineral and organic micro contaminants.

Degrémont has decided to use ControlBuild IEC 61131-3 based software suite to optimize the development, maintenance and operation cost of filtering installations. Filtration is carried out in several filters running parallel to each other, constituting a battery of filters (see figure. 1).


1- Raw water inlet channel
2- Water to filter chute and sweeping chute
3- Filtering bed
4- Under-Floor and pipes
5- Filtered water return raw and washing water and air distribution
6- Washing water evacuation raw  
7- Washing water evacuation valve

8- Washing water
9- Washing air inlet  
10- Washing air repartition holes

11- Filtered water outlet
12- Washinng water repartition holes
13- Air space  


Figure. 1 - Description of a filtering structure


Project Description

ControlBuild is used to develop the complete filtering application by assembling standard modules of filters. These modules are intended to be instantiated on different PLCs (Schneider, Siemens, Rockwell…) all optimized to utilize the standard programming language of IEC 61131-3. The structure and breakdown of the application has been specially designed to enable centralized or decentralized PLC architecture. It also simplifies supervision tools and operator interface configuration.

Development process


Main benefits of ControlBuild as a PLC independent Software based on IEC 61131-3

Allows the application to be independent from the PLC manufacturer.
Allows the application development to be re-usable over multiple projects.
Utilizes a full variation of graphical languages (ladder, FBD, SFC) to reduce maintenance and training cost. 
Utilizes a component based approach to reduce programming errors.
Is able to support a wide range of customer specific PLC's requests without the extra cost of redesign.
Improves quality by using highly structured software that has been comprehensively validated and improved over multiple projects.


Benefits of ControlBuild over PLC's programming software

Has a model-based design and simulation to allow earlier function. In addition, requirements are validated between the end user and the system integrator.
Involves Trains operators and maintenance technicians before physical commissioning.
Optimizes the production system and anticipates future evolutions.
With a detailed simulation model, maintenance can be done with limited access to the equipment or in some cases even from a geographical location that is significantly far from the equipment.


Interfacing level between ControlBuild and PLC's development Software

Development phase

ControlBuild is used to create Compatible software that can be directly edited in the PLC's programming environment delivered by the PLC's vendor. The PLC development environment is used to download the code in the PLC.
This enables us to insure that there will be no impact on warranties as the PLC code is generated from the PLC vendor development software.


Maintenance phase

Making improvements and other important tasks are done using ControlBuild based on a simulation model.



This application example emphasizes the importance of the independence of the development environment from hardware. The use of XML as the exchange format advocated by the PLCopen Working Group TC6, ensures the sustainability of industrial control applications.