Industrial automation and control system

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1.1 Introduction

Industrial automation utilizes sensors, embedded design, control systems and information technology to reduce the need for human intervention. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the physical requirements of work, automation greatly reduces the need for human sensory and mental requirements.

Most of the world automated their industries knowing the fact that mass production is no longer efficient at hourly worker rates, which completely changed the way of getting information, information analysis, decision and action selection and the action implementation for long time. Industrial automation is always an area of concern in all over the Pakistan. From the early area of industries till today they are suffering from automation problems similarly if we talk about the cold storage industry we will see this problem in high percentage over there, Pakistan is one of the largest producers of major corps, fruits and vegetables in the world as shown in the table 1. But instead of having excess like other agricultural countries we mostly have shortages because most of the corps and fruits produced here are not properly utilized and hence wasted or exported due to lack of proper storage facilities.

1.1.1 Importance of Controlled Environment

Preservation of food by proper storage assumes great importance in a country. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain high water contents and are generally more perishable than other crops. These are biologically living individuals, and continue normal life processes e.g. respiration and other biochemical processes even after harvest. After detaching from plants their nutrients and water needs are not completely fulfilled and their internal reserves play their part to carry on their biological activities.

These activities are largely influenced by the environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity in which they are kept after harvesting. Hence in order to maintain quality, improve their shelf life and extend marketing period of fruits and vegetables, the control of environment conditions during storage and transportations are very much important. There are almost 2500 cold storages in Pakistan and none of them is automated and a few of them which are having this facility they invested a lot for that. So a cheap solution of this problem is the need of time.

1.1.2 Food Storage problem

For storage of food items in a cold storage various measurements are required to record the temperature, humidity and other factors in different parts of the large cold store to make the automation work effectively. Accurate measurement of temperature with high resolution and stability at low temperature for fresh saving is a big problem in a cold storage thus a temperature sensor having high resolution and stability is desirable.

Sr. No


World Production rank

















Onions, Dry



Sugar Cane



Fruit Tropical















Peas, Green


Table 1: Agricultural output of Pakistan 2009-10

1.1.3 Existing solutions and benefits of automation

The conventional monitoring system is very expensive and complex. In conventional cold storage the temperature adjustment and storage method depends upon the experience of the expert operator. This creates the problem that an operator/ assistant should always stay at the cold storage to adjust the temperature and manage the system by periodic measurements. There is always a factor of negligence and inaccuracy due to human intervention and a slight negligence can cost the perishing of the whole stored product. This issue can be resolved through automation. The major attributes of desired automation and control system are listed below:

  • Automation system is required to control the storage environment and to perform decision automatically for the preset values so no need an operator to always stay at the storage.
  • To ensure a controlled environment, the proposed automation system is required to measure temperature accurately with high resolution. A higher measured resolution would provide more time for initiating an accurate and appropriate response. For example, potatoes are to be stored within temperature range of 0-20C. Recession of temperature below 00C would blacken potatoes and exposure to temperatures above 20C would increase starch production is stored potatoes resulting in depreciation in net worth of stored produce.
  • Automation can reduce the role of operator to just check whether the system is working correctly and the system has provision of remote monitoring through wireless network.
  • Power consumption and continuous power supply is also a factor in stability of the system. So less power consumption and automatically operated generators can be an important feature of the automated system. Less power consumption can be achieved by having throw away sensors and their monitoring by a central controller instead of having multiple sensors and measuring their temperature separately.
  • Providing remote access is also a key feature of the project as it provides the user with the freedom to control the system from any place instead of remaining at the site all the time. For this purpose central controller sends the data to remote user using existing wireless mobile infrastructure.

1.1.4 Automation:

“Automation is a process or systems which control the operation of different equipment” or “the technique, method or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as are electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum”.

Automation is the use of information technologies to reduce man power in the production of goods and services. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation greatly decreases the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. Automation plays an increasingly important role in the world economy and in daily experience. Accurate measurement

Accurate measurement of temperature with high resolution and stability at low temperature for fresh fruits and vegetables is a big advantage. It reduces the human errors part and increases the storing period of food by maintaining the same product quality. Cost

Automation reduces the cost of labor which is a great benefit at both ends. Automatic alarming decisions

Automatic alarming and decisions on the preset threshold is a very a big advantage in case of emergency as well as any circumstances. Remote access

Remote access is provided to give user a extra benefit so that he can control the decision making powers on the way. Low Power

Low power consumption is one of the great benefits in present circumstances for Pakistan.

1.1.5 Economic situation of Pakistan

The economic situation of Pakistan demands a cheap and accurate automation system which everyone can easily afford. The only way to achieve minimum cost is to develop a home grown solution. After looking into matter and to overcome the problem, the system we have designed for the automation of cold storages is cost effective, accurate, power efficient and scalable with automatically operated alarms, chillers and generators when required. Instead of automated decisions, functions of system can be controlled by a remote authorized user using remote access.

1.1.6 Ultimate Solution

After looking into matter and to overcome the problem, the system we have designed for the automation of cold storages is cheap, accurate, power efficient and scalable with automatically operated alarms, chillers and generators when required. Instead of automated decisions, functions of system can be controlled by a remote authorized user using remote access. Below are previous development and our further work on the automation of cold storages

1.2 Objective of the project

Our project is aimed to provide a cheap solution in the field of industrial automation regarding the cold storage industry, and it will improve overall progress of the cold storages. We have design a prototype of automation system which will monitor the environmental conditions of the cold storage like temperature and humidity and it will respond automatically on the preset values of the sensors in case of automatic mode. Remote access is provided to give administrator the freedom to not get fixed to a fixed location they can check the system on the go. The remote access device consists of wireless module, user interface and microcontroller. The central controller sends all the alarm alerts and automated actions taken to the remote user using wireless medium, user can proceed with the automatic action or take some action himself. Using Man-Machine interface user can interact with the system and can be able to set/change temperature alarm limit or can bypass automatic decision process of the central controller and can turn on Chillers/Generators himself.


From the beginning of industries, Pakistan is suffering from automation problems similarly if we talk about the cold storage industry we will see this problem in high percentage over there, we try to minimize this major problem of automation by providing cheap and accurate solution to serve our country in better way.

CHAPTER 2: Related Work and Hardware Description

2.1 Literature review

  • The Rinnovando group [1] has studied tomato greenhouses in the South of Italy with Sensicast devices for measuring the air temperature, relativity humidity and soil temperature measurements with wireless sensor network. They have also developed a Web-based plant monitoring application. Greenhouse grower can read the measurements over the Internet, and an alarm will be sent to his mobile phone by SMS or GPRS if some measurement variable changes rapidly. Bridge node gathers data from other sensor nodes, which transmit the measurements of temperature and relative humidity in one minute intervals [1].
  • Mohsin et. al. [2] have researched automation of poultry farms in Pakistan with wireless sensors based on Crossbow's TelosB Mote TRP2420 and temperature and humidity sensor sht111, which measures temperature with accuracy ±0.3 and humidity with accuracy ±2%. Multiple sensor are
  • Deployed and temperature and humidity from every sensor is measured after 10 minutes. Due to wireless network their indoor communication distance with tolerable packet loss is 40 meters. These results are then stored in a computer program and decision is performed by the operator on the computer [2].

  • Lim et. al. [3] worked on the automation of the cold storage. They developed a remote monitoring system using serial communication. The system is useful for managing a cold-storage. The composition of the system includes a cold-storage, a freezing unit, a temperature controller, a data collection device, a communication device, and monitoring program. In their system the computer programs collets the data and an operator is required to monitor computer program and to make decisions [3]
  • Freitas et. al. [8] proposed a system for monitoring and control of a cooling system in a commercial store based on PLC's. Their system collects data through computer program and makes action according to needs. Their system generates GSM alert to the operator. Operator will perform the action required. They worked more on software design for collecting 2 temperature data showing its graphical and average values and generating reports for the authorities [8].

These are some existing solutions available but drawbacks of these solutions are:

  • They are not fully automated as they require some operator to make decision on calculated values.
  • There is not reliable communication on long distance due to their design.
  • Their sensing and decision making accuracy is very less.
  • They are also too expensive for local buyers.

2.2 Design architecture:

Our design divided in three major parts:

  • Sensing unit
  • Central controller
  • Remote access unit

2.2.1 Sensing unit

In sensing unit there are a lot of temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide sensors to control temperature, humidity and air quality of cold storage. We used throw away temperature sensors.

We place temperature sensors at different heights in cold storage to take decision on average temperature value.

2.2.2 Central Controller

Central control unit consist of

  • Micro controller
  • LCD display
  • User interface keypad
  • Relays and Contactors

2.2.3 Remote Access Unit

In remote access unit we have provided remote access to administrator because not to get fix at fixed location. Remote access device consist of wireless module, user interface and microcontroller.

2.3 Component selection:

After literature review we start to analyze the problem and gathered the idea of developing a prototype for industrial automation specifically cold storage industry, moving toward that we gathered the problems of the present scenario and environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity were a big factor for the spoilage of food and vegetables in the cold storages. To maintain the environmental stability we started to work on that step by step.

2.3.1 Temperature sensor

Our first aims was to monitor the temperature accurately and maintain its stability for that purpose firstly we develop a temperature sensor of 0.10C accuracy level using LM35 but in our case high resolution of temperature is required so shifted towards DS1820 to maintain high accuracy level Using lm35

LM35 is an analogue sensor which gives 10mV across a single step in temperature. We have achieved 0.10C. But it was not up to the mark for our desired problem in sensitive environment like cold storages. Output of this sensor gets easily affected by noise and hence the received temperature is neither accurate nor reliable for 0.10C accuracy. So in search of better accuracy we found DS1820 as the most accurate and reliable solution.[19] Using ds1820

DS1820 is a digital sensor having scratch pad of 9Bytes. Temperature is calculated and stored in 9bits in sensor. One Wire Communication protocol is used while communicating with sensor. So both transmission and receiving occur at the same pin. We achieved accuracy of 0.06250C first time by changing its internal parameters. This accuracy was satisfactory for our desired problem.

2.3.2 Humidity sensor

We use h34DL humidity sensor it is also an analogue sensor and easily available in the market to measure the humidity level in the environment. The output of this sensor is relative humidity.

2.3.3 GSM Module

Remote access is also provided to the administrator knowing the fact that he cannot be available at the central controller all the time. For that purpose we use GSM module named SIM300DZ.

2.3.4 Microcontroller

We use PIC microcontroller instead of ATMEL and DALLAS microcontroller, because it is easily available in the market and cost effectiveness as well as microcontroller is free development tool and they have greater memory as compared to other choices. Selection of microcontroller was totally relying on the memory usage by our control system that's why we change the microcontrollers time by time according to our requirements and progress of the project.

  1. Pic16f873
  2. Pic16f877A
  3. Pic18f452

We started our project with PIC16f873 but as the project went our memory requirements increased then we opted for PIC16f877A. But as further devices are interfaced our memory requirements increased. So we opted for PIC18f452 which has 32k of programmable memory and our project till now is working well with this controller.[16][15]


This chapter describes about the previous work done in this regard. And then a proposed idea for the required solution is discussed. Then used hardware components and there selection procedure is discussed. This chapter is basically giving the idea on what has been done so far and what we have done as a new solution.

Chapter 3: Prototype Development

3.1 Sensors Interfacing

Two types of sensors are interfaced in this system

  1. Temperature Sensor
  2. Humidity

3.1.1 Temperature sensor

DS1820 Temperature sensor was interfaced with microcontroller PIC18F452. We use PORT D (D3-D7) of microcontroller to communicate with the temperature sensors. Temperature sensors DS1820 sense temperature then convert it into digital form because of built in A/D converter by the CONVERT T commands or [44h] and store it in the scratchpad memory.

Ow_Write (&PORTD,3,0x44);

We calculated our desired temperature by following:

Temperature=temp_read - 0.25 + (COUNT_PER_C - COUNT_REMAIN) ∕ (COUNT_PER_C).

First, read the temperature, and truncate the 0.5°C bit (the LSB) from the read value. This value is TEMP_READ. COUNT_PER_C and COUNT_REMAIN are the registers of the scratchpad of DS1820. The fabricator of DS1820 makes a constant value of 10h of COUNT_PER_C but the values of

COUNT_REMAIN changes with the changing of temperature.

We read different applications of the scratchpad of DS1820 by following command

Ow_Read (&PORTD,3)

We compare the temperature values according to the preset values in the scratch pad for automatic alarming purpose in case of alarming it set alarm flag.

3.1.2 Humidity sensor

h34DL Humidity sensor was interfaced with microcontroller PIC18F452. We use PORTA(A0-A4). Humidity sensor the humidity of the environment and generate an analog signal according to Relative humidity level and send to the PORT A of microcontroller then we convert the analog data into digital form by following command

ADC_Read(pin no)

3.2 LCD Interfacing

A display unit of our prototype is LCD 16x4. We use PORT B for this display unit. We initialize and display results on the LCD by following commands.

LCD_init (&PORT B)

LCD_out (row,column, text)

LCD_chr (row,column, char)

Data coming from different sensors is displayed on it and all other parameters such as alarming information and user interface displayed on it. It is 4 bit LCD which uses 4 higher bits of PORT B to display data on the LCD.

3.3 Keypad Interfacing

A user interface 4x4 KEYPAD is also interfaced with the microcontroller PIC18F452 to set the required preset thresholds for different purposes such as alarming and we can also monitor the specific sensor of the network and perform the desired operation.


We used CD4010 for buffering data in between SIM300DZ and PIC microcontroller and maintain their functional capabilities according their threshold level.

3.5 GSM Module (SIM300) Interfacing

Remote access is also provided in our prototype. The communication protocol we used is GSM. To provide GSM communication we used SIM300DZ GSM Modem. We interface this module with PIC18F452 microcontroller at serial port (TX/RX)

We use AT command set to configure our GSM module with the controller which perform the following task:

Send SMS

Receive SMS

To configure our GSM module we provide the table of AT commands in the APPENDIX of table.

3.6 Hardware and Software Design

3.6.1 Simulation

We used MikroC for coding and Proteus 7.4 for simulation. Proteus Simulation

We simulated our final prototype in Proteus version 7.4 time to time and upgrade the required changing's in our final design. The final simulation diagram is provided below. Coding

Coding of the whole system is done using MIKRO C and code is provided in a CD.

3.6.2 Final hardware implementation

We implemented the final circuit diagram of our prototype by interfacing all the components with the microcontroller PIC18F452 and enabling the controller a power supply of 5V DC.

We constructed hardware interfacing one by one on vero board. After interfacing of whole system on very board we then converted it into the final stage on PCB (Print Circuited Board).

We use PIC18F452 as a central controller having 40 pins including 5 i/o PORTS having memory of 32KB. Power consumption is important factor of our final prototype. Features of microcontroller provided at the APPENDIX.

3.7 Hardware Diagram

3.8 Results:

Following table shows some of achievements of our product.



Temperature Step Size


Temp. Data transmission range using wired medium

Greater than 250meters

Time for measuring temperature of a single sensor

1 Second.

Total No. of cold storages in Pakistan


Min. Power saved per storage due to automation

10-15 kWh per day(minimum)

Total power saved if all storages in Punjab, Pakistan are automated

i)5330-7995 kWh per day

ii)1945450-2918175 kWh per year

Average cost of commercially available systems

25,000 - 30,000$

Total cost of our developed system

350 - 400$

Table 2: Results & Conclusions

As from table the temperature step size is 0.06250C so we will have more instances to perform decisions and this will contribute in saving power. The reliable temperature transmission range is greater than 250 meters so size of the store doesn't matter our system can easily manage large stores. As system is précised so power can be saved and an average of 10-15 units per day per cold storage are saved. And all of us

Know that power is the major crisis in Pakistan these days so we can save up to 2MW to 3MW of power per year if all the storages are automated which is quite an achievement. There are already some cold storage automation systems available in market but they are not installed in our country because they are too expensive. So taking in account this problem we have reduced to cost of the system to a great extent.

3.9 Operating System Interaction

3.9.1 Keypad Control

Direct Control is provided on the system using keypad user can perform different function while operating in manual functionality. There are two type of functionality provided on the system

  • Automatic
  • Manual Automatic:

In automatic menu temperature of all the sensors is calculated and decision is performed according to presets set by the user. Humidity is also calculated at the automatic menu.

System Check for SMS all the time whether manual or automatic.

Go back to Main Menu(B) Manual:

In manual functioning system can perform different task by pressing following keys

Setting of Temperate Limits (#)

Checking Specific Sensor Data (Sensor Number 1,2,3…)

Setting New System Password (A)

To shutdown System(*)

Turn Chiller ON(7)

Turn chiller OFF(8)

Go back to Main Menu(B)

3.9.2 Remote Control:

Remote Operation is carried out by Checking NEW SMS all the time and after the function is performed notification of the function is also sent.

Basic GSM SMS format

<Password><Command><command requisite>

Following are the set of different GSM commands to interact with system

<Password>pc<new password> Password Change

<Password>nc<new number> Number Change

<Password>amABCDEFG Automatic or Manual Conversion

A=1 Manual

A=0 Automatic

B=1 Chiller ON

B=0 Chiller OFF

B=t Send temperature

B=l set temp limit

C=u upper limit

C=l lower limit

DEFG=XX.X temperature Limits

<Password>td Send temperature Data

Apart from these commands if some non registered user tries to assess the system a notification is sent to the registered user of unauthorized access.


After gathering the idea implementation was the most important stage of any project for that purpose we move towards the final structure step by step and chose the components which were easily available in the market. This chapter also concludes the impact of project on the community as well.

Chapter 4: Wireless Sensor Module

Wireless sensor is basically a sensor sending measured data using air as a medium. Firstly we developed the whole system working on wired topology. Then we decided to completely make the sensors throw away so we decided to make the sensor wireless. The proposed architecture for the wireless sensor module is described in this chapter.

4.1 Essentials for a Wireless Sensor Module:

There are certain basic requirements to develop wireless sensor modules which are listed below.

  1. Sensor (Temperature or Humidity etc)
  2. Microcontroller
  3. Wireless Transmitter
  4. Wireless Receiver
  5. Battery

4.1.1 Sensor:

We have developed a wireless temperature sensor module. The sensor used in this module is the same sensor used previously in the Wired topology system i.e. DS1820. Our proposed design is integrate able for large number of temperature sensor as well as humidity sensors together in one module. So in this sense system can be easily made cost effective also.

4.1.2 Microcontroller:

As there are less programming requirements for a wireless sensor module so we have used Pic16f877A as the controlling device. It completely satisfies the memory requirements of the system. And it is used keeping in mind integration of multiple sensors on a same module in future.

4.1.3 Wireless Transmitter:

The requirement of wireless transmission bandwidth is very low for our system. So we have used a 4 Bit RF Transmitter using encoder PT2262[18] for that purpose. Wireless transmitter consists of a decoder and an antenna. The working of transmitter is described in following steps

  1. Set the binary data on the data pins
  2. Set the enable pin to high
  3. Data will get transmitted till enable pin is high
  4. Data wont get transmitted if enable pin is low
  5. For a good and accurate reception the minimum time for transmission is 250ms. Means you have to keep data pins and enable pin high for at least that much amount of time.
  6. After the data is transmitted set the enable pin to low.
  7. To send further data go to step one

4.1.4 Wireless Receiver:

To receive the 4 bit data transmitted a 4 bit Radio Frequency receiver is used. Receiver also consists of an antenna and a decoder. The signal received at antenna is decoded using the decoder. The decoder used for this purpose is PT2272[17] 4 bit RF decoder. The working of receiver is as follows.

  1. When the data arrives at the receiver it will decode the data
  2. When the data arrives the enable pin will get on
  3. After checking that enable pin is on the status of data pins can be read
  4. After reading the data of 4 data pins for 250ms it can be stored.
  5. To receive more data go to step one.

4.1.5 Battery:

There is no wired connection to supply power to a wireless sensor module. So we need a battery to supply power for the operations of the module. This module can work on any battery greater than 5Vs.

4.2 System Design:

The whole system is designed as follows

  • A sensor and transmitter are connected to form a wireless sensor module. Plus a battery is attached for continuous power supply.
  • A receiver is attached to controller which will collect the data of all the transmitting sensor modules. The data will be sent in the allotted time for the sensor. There is another event based approach also which will be discussed later.
  • After receiving the data it is passed to central controller which will compare it with preset values and perform the necessary actions described in the working of central controller in previous chapter.

4.3 Results:



Temperature Step Size


Temp. Data transmission range using Wireless


Time for transmitting temperature

2 Second.

Total cost of our developed wireless system

Vary with number of sensors used.

Table 3: Results for Wireless Module

As given in the above table the temperature precision is reduced due to low data rate of the wireless module. The achieved reliable transmission range between a receiver and a transmitter is 25meter in case of line of sight communication. As data rate is low so we send temperature of 12 bits into 3 sequences of 4 bits. To transfer these three sequences approximately 1 sec is required. And one second is the time required to calculate the temperature of sensor. Total time for measuring temperature using wireless medium is 2 seconds. As the system can integrate any numbers of sensors so its cost will vary with number of sensors used. Accuracy of the system increase with increased number of wireless temperature sensors used.


This chapter completely describes the wireless sensor module formation and action performance. In this chapter all the essentials for a wireless sensor module are discussed in details.

CHAPTER 5 Conclusion and Future Works

5.1 Social Impact

Following are all the results which include system analysis, economic analysis and impact on common men.

5.1.1 System Analysis

After thoroughly studying the power requirements and working capability of the system we have found out the system is working well under the desired conditions. Each and every block of the

system is giving the desired results so system is ready to be deployed in the cold storage industry. This system is easy to develop so mass production is also very fast for the developed system.

5.1.2 Economic Analysis

As shown from the results section the cost of the system is greatly reduced. So as far as we are a developing country it will be of great benefit to the industry who don't automated there warehouses due to cost problems because imported system are very expensive. But apart from the cost the major factor that automation introduced is the saving of electrical power. As we all know we are passing through a power crisis so this will be of huge impact. There are two possible ways to fulfill power need one is to increase production and 2nd is to reduce usage. So by adapting to this system we are opting for the 2nd option which is less expensive and have good present as well as future impact on the power crises in our society.

5.1.3 Impact on Public

Previously due to lack of proper storage capacity most of the extra food production got wasted. And hence in shortages common men have to bear high inflation rates. So they can't afford to buy those things but by adapting to automation this problem also get resolved. Now if we have proper storage we can curtail food shortages and hence no inflation and buying power of common men remain same throughout the year.

5.2 Conclusion

An accurate, reliable and low cost industrial automation system with remote monitoring and control features has been presented in this project. The system is intended to reduce food spoilage and shortages and is found to conserve power as well. The communication among sensors has been found to be reliable and rate of error is minimal as wired communication is used to transfer data from sensors to central control unit.

Compared to wired system wireless is more scalable due to elimination of wires. The wireless sensor created is completely throwaway. But due to use of wireless the precision of transmitted temperature data got less to 0.1 with compared to 0.0625 that of wired. As compared to wireless wired system is more reliable.

5.3 Future Works

In future, we wish to introduce efficient Wireless communication among sensors and include better, energy efficient, non round based communication protocols.

We have searched for a future enhancement which is as follows.

The new proposed system will use a high data rate and long rage RF transceiver RFM22B.

RFM22B Features:

  • Frequency Range: 433/868/915MHz ISM bands
  • Sensitivity = -121 dBm
  • Output power range: +20 dBm Max
  • Data Rate = 0.123 to 256 kbps
  • FSK, GFSK, and OOK modulation
  • Power Supply = 1.8 to 3.6 V
  • Ultra low power shutdown mode
  • Digital RSSI
  • Wake-up timer
  • Auto-frequency calibration (AFC)
  • Power-on-reset (POR)
  • Antenna diversity and TR switch control
  • Configurable packet handler
  • Preamble detector
  • TX and RX 64 byte FIFOs
  • Low battery detector
  • Temperature sensor and 8-bit ADC
  • -40 to +85 °C temperature range
  • Integrated voltage regulators
  • Frequency hopping capability
  • On-chip crystal tuning

Dimensions:16 x 16mm (0.63 x 0.63 in) [14]

Future Applications:

  • Body Sensor Network
  • Wireless monitoring system
  • Wireless File Transfer
  • Long Range Wireless communication using ADHOC network