The programme introduces three processes - glass manufacture, satellite tracking and electric power generation - and looks at the control systems operating these.
|Module code and title:
|T391, Control engineering
|First transmission date:
|Restrictions on use:
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|Dick Fendrich; Maurice Hilton; John Monk
|BBC Open University
|Control engineering; Control systems
|John Monk, standing in front of a glass manufacturing furnace, introduces the programme. Maurice Hilton (Control Engineer, Pilkington Brothers Ltd.) briefly summarises the glass making process at his firm. He points to a diagram of the system as he talks. Hilton goes on to explain, briefly, why automatic control is necessary in this process. Hilton gives another overview of the process, this time pointing to a scale model of the plant. Hilton explains the method by which the level of ingredients in the furnace is maintained. He points out the components of the drive system which regulates the supply of ingredients. Hilton goes on to discuss the other input which has to be controlled in the furnace, the energy supply. He looks at a cut-away control valve and then at the same type of valve installed in the plant. An animated diagram of the energy supply control system is shown in order to give an overview. Holding the control mechanism in his hands, Hilton explains how it fits into the control loop. Hilton points out the plant's furnaces and, over film of the inside of a furnace in operation, lists those items which have to be kept under control (energy input for the flame drive and furnace pressure). Hilton follows the glass from the furnace to tin bath where it cools and solidifies. He points out the control system for this stage of the operation. Shots of rollers and the motors which drive them. Then, looking at a model of a glass cutter, Hilton describes the cutting process and demonstrates the control system involved. Shots of a glass cutter operating in the factory. Over shots of the outside and inside of Fawley Power Station near Southampton, commentary by Dick Fendrich gives a broad outline of the machinery and processes which operate here. Fendrich also uses a diagram of the power station to point out various components. Fendrich discusses the variable demands made on the power station and the control system in use which ensures that this demand is met. Shots of the power station control room. Shots of a satellite tracking antenna at RAF Oakhanger. Dick Fendrich explains the accuracy with which the antenna has to be aligned and the range over which it moves. Over shots of the antenna control room, Dick Fendrich sums up the programme.
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