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Understanding Your Compressor Control System Technology

Understanding Your Compressor Control System Technology

Over the years, compressor control system technology has undergone significant transformations, marking various stages of evolution.

In this blog post, we will explore the evolution of FS-Elliott control system technology, tracing its journey through different iterations, such as the Electro-Pneumatic Control System (E/P), DCCS Control Systems, and EDC Control Systems. We'll focus on the advancements and challenges associated with each, shedding light on the reasons for discontinuation, and then review the Regulus Control System line, a pivotal moment in FS-Elliott's history, introducing PLC-based control systems that brought about substantial improvements in user interface capabilities. Next, you will learn the advantages of employing modern technology types in compressor control systems, emphasizing features like ease of use, control modes, PLC-based systems, data logging, energy monitoring, maintenance monitoring, and IIoT interfaces. 

Compressor Control System Technology Evolutions

Compressor control system technology has evolved tremendously over the course of several decades.  Let’s take a look at how these evolutions have related to the FS-Elliott control system product line:

  • Electro-Pneumatic Control System (E/P) – Control panel solution that was split into two different sections, electrical and pneumatic.  The electrical section mainly used push buttons, switches, lights, and control relays, while the pneumatic section used pressure switches and regulators for compressor control.  FS-Elliott has discontinued supporting all E/P control systems based on their age and availability of parts.

  • DCCS Control Systems – Microprocessor-based VME control panel solutions that used delicate and difficult-to-handle hardware while providing limited user interface capabilities through a single-line display screen.  FS-Elliott has discontinued supporting all DCCS control systems based on their age and availability of parts.

  • EDC Control Systems – Various versions of the EDC control system, including the EDC8, EDC16 & EDC32.  All of these variations were microprocessor-style control systems that provided limited user interface capabilities through single or two-line display screens.  FS-Elliott has discontinued supporting all EDC control systems based on their age and availability of parts.

  • Regulus Control Systems – FS-Elliott started to offer PLC-based control systems in the early 2000s through our Regulus control panel product line. The introduction of the PLC not only improved user interface capabilities but also provided increased memory and processing speeds. In addition to the PLC-based control systems, FS-Elliott also introduced an updated and modern Microprocessor controller in 2014. As it stands today, FS-Elliott has discontinued support of the R150 while placing the R200 and R300 control systems into obsolescence. The current active products offered within the Regulus product line include the R1000, R2000, and R400

Advantages of Using Modern Technology Types

Using modern technologies has several benefits that not only increase the ease of use through enhanced user interfaces but allow for compressor operation utilizing the most efficient control methods possible, all while ensuring maximum compressor up-time. These benefits can be realized through the following features of a modern compressor control system:

  • Ease of Use – Color touchscreen HMIs provide users with access to all parameters required for compressor operation and control.
  • Control Modes – Whether you are looking for constant pressure or energy efficiency, control modes such as Base Load, Suction Throttle, Pressure Band Optimization (PBO), Ambient Compensation Control (ACC), and Integrated Compressor Control (ICC) are designed to meet a wide variety of operational requirements for either single or multiple compressor installations.
  • PLC-based Control Systems – The expandability and flexibility of PLC-based control systems enhance the ability to meet operational needs when retrofitting outdated control systems.
  • Data Logging – Increased memory capabilities provided with modern control systems enable the addition of onboard data logging.  This is a feature that allows data not only to be logged but also easily downloaded to a USB drive and loaded into an Excel format for system monitoring and troubleshooting purposes.
  • Energy Monitoring – Software tools such as FS-Elliott’s Energy Advisor can be used to track compressor efficiency and energy usage while also making recommendations related to potential energy savings changes when required.
  • Maintenance Monitoring – Software tools such as FS-Elliott’s Maintenance Notification system can be used to track the usage of normal maintenance parts, thus helping ensure maximum compressor up-time and expected compressor life.
  • IIoT Interfaces – FS-Connect is a remote monitoring offering that allows for complete machine monitoring through any web-based browser.  FS-Connect can also be set up to allow for remote notification of alarms, trips, Energy Advisor notifications, Maintenance System notifications, and monthly reports related to operational and maintenance status.

In conclusion, the journey through the evolution of compressor control system technology has unveiled advancements and adaptations. From the Electro-Pneumatic Control System (E/P) to the DCCS and EDC iterations, each phase contributed to the intricate landscape of FS-Elliott's control system product line. The pivotal transition to Regulus Control Systems marked a turning point, introducing PLC-based technology that not only enhanced user interfaces but also ushered in improved memory and processing speeds. The discontinuation of older models, such as the R150, and the introduction of the R1000, R2000, and R400 showcased FS-Elliott's commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation. Exploring the benefits of modern technology types revealed a spectrum of advantages, from intuitive touchscreen interfaces to advanced control modes, PLC-based flexibility, data logging capabilities, energy monitoring tools like Energy Advisor, and sophisticated maintenance tracking through the Maintenance Notification system.

As we embrace the era of Industry 4.0, FS-Connect's IIoT interfaces offer remote monitoring, ensuring comprehensive machine oversight and timely notifications. In adopting these modern technologies, users not only experience heightened operational efficiency but also secure maximum compressor up-time, reinforcing the importance of staying current in the ever-evolving landscape of compressor control systems.

For more information on FS-Elliott control systems, please contact an authorized FS-Elliott channel partner. 



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