Sunday, December 19, 2010

the BCS-462 Brewery Control System

I'm trying to retrace 18 months of planning and building over the next couple of months, and before I get too far, I need to make a post about the "brains" of the Bluto 555 system, and that is the BCS-462 Brewery Control System, made by Embedded Control Concepts.  From the ECC site:
Originally designed as an interactive temperature controller for small to medium size breweries, the BCS series controllers have gained wide popularity with homebrewing, winemaking, and mead making applications.  It is also used as a general purpose industrial controller due to its inherent flexibility.  The BCS monitors temperature sensors and discrete inputs (switches), and controls outputs (relays) which in turn open or close valves, switch heating elements, or control other devices.  The BCS connects to your network, and all interfacing with the controller is done through a web browser allowing all process information to be displayed in a simple, easy to read and intuitive format.  The virtual control panel is packed full of information, and is much more cost effective than panel mount touchscreens coupled with a multitude of wired switches and lights. ... You can create sequences to hold temperatures for adjustable times, and react to external inputs.  The BCS is programmed using intuitive rules. ... Once it is configured and on the network, users can access it from any device that has an HTML based web browser.  Access the BCS from Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, or iPod Touch. ... you can monitor (and control) the BCS remotely.  From anywhere. ... Heat/Cool, PID control, differential control, temperature ramping, mp3 alarms, and PWM outputs are all standard features.  Data is logged internally in the device, and displayed on your browser, or saved as a text file.

There's alot more to show about how the BCS-462 will work on the Bluto 555, but I wanted to go ahead and at least provide a reference.  The ECC website has tons of information about how the controller works for anyone who might be interested, and Adam at ECC has been instrumental in helping me with the automation aspects of the Bluto 555.

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