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Controlled industrial combustion processes

ICAM Industriële brandertechniek based in Mijdrecht, the Netherlands, is a specialist in advanced burner technology and supplies a wide range of products, services and customised installations for industrial applications. They supply gas burners for muffle furnaces, spray booths and drying ovens; oil burners and various components. Especially for a pyrolysis oven, ICAM, in collaboration with PYROX bvba, went in search of an automation system with sufficient freedom in adjustment possibilities.


Pyrolysis is also known as cracking or dry distillation. It is a process whereby organic material is decomposed by heating it to a high temperature. The temperature range is between 200 and 900 °C, without oxygen being able to enter. This causes large molecules to break down and become smaller and smaller. This is in contrast to combustion, which takes place with the presence and consumption of oxygen. A practical application of pyrolysis is the cleaning programme of some modern ovens that removes all caked-on residue at up to 518°C. Oil cracking is also a pyrolysis process.

ICAM / PYROX pyrolysis furnace

The furnace of ICAM/PYROX is used by a client for recycling equipment. Many industrial appliances need to be stripped of paint and varnish residues as well as persistent grease or dirt for recycling. Pyrolysis is ideally suited for the removal of such contamination. During this process, the furnace must be set to a certain temperature.

For the firing process, a number of steps are necessary. At the start, all necessary actuators and inputs are checked by the automation system for errors. If there are no error messages, the next programme step is started, the air in the furnace and the after-burning chamber is ventilated for a short period of time, after which the after-burning chamber is heated.

When the desired temperature has been reached, the oven burner is started. The furnace temperature will follow the set value of the process program. When the oven burner is switched off, the afterburner will continue to burn for a considerable time in order to guarantee clean air. When all burners are turned off, the air vents can be opened to cool down the product in the oven until the set temperatures are reached. When these are reached, the fan stops and the process is finished.

JUMO mTRON T build in pyrolysis furnace

JUMO mTRON T build in pyrolysis furnace

Schematic representation of the pyrolysis process

Schematic representation of the pyrolysis process

Solution approach

It goes without saying that industrial combustion processes must be controlled. For the application at ICAM, an automation system was sought with customer-specific adaptation possibilities to control, monitor, regulate and record the entire combustion process. JUMO mTRON T provides the option of selecting different user levels.

The flexibility to make adjustments led ICAM to decide to cooperate with JUMO. Thus, from the operator mode of the mTRON T system, the client can control the furnace, from the manager level, furnace settings can be adjusted, and from the master level, the user has authority to change user settings and operate components in manual mode.

For individual control applications, the JUMO mTRON T automation system has a PLC controller (CoDeSys V3), program controller, limit value control functions, and mathematical and logic modules. The configuration of the hardware and software and the configuration of the measured values and control functions are carried out in the setup program.

The user of ICAM's oven can easily modify an existing programme or create a new one himself with the help of CoDeSys' programme editors in accordance with IEC 61131-3. This significantly increases process efficiency.

Because not only the oven temperature but also the air pressure, gas pressure and water pressure of the built-in extinguishing system must be regulated, various industrial sensors from JUMO are also used.

JUMO safety temperature limiters and monitors were used in addition to the mTRON T system to monitor the maximum furnace temperature, the thermal protection of the internal ventilation system, and the gas leak detection system.

Project outcome

For the application at ICAM, the company was looking for an automation system with customer-specific adjustment possibilities to control, monitor, regulate and record the entire combustion process. JUMO mTRON T provides the option of selecting different user levels.