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Coronavirus special newsletter #1

DSL Systems are completely focused on supporting their customers and helping them with the challenges they face with the Coronavirus outbreak. We continue to operate a skeleton staff at our head office with the rest of our employees working from home. A number of issues detailed below have arisen in the last two weeks which are useful to share with our customers and the wider industry.


For UK customers, the AIC have advised that as long as you can demonstrate on an ongoing basis that the equipment is working within acceptable tolerances by means of regular internal checks, external calibration can be delayed. We therefore recommend that site visits for calibrations in the next few weeks (possibly beyond) are postponed. During this time, we can assist with internal calibrations over the phone. If you do not have calibration weights the following checks would be useful: –

  1. Check main weighers by making a batch of meal and weighing on the weighbridge
  2. Check liquids by monitoring usages
  3. Check platform scales using premix bags

PLC spares

It is advisable that you check that you have adequate PLC spare modules on site. These devices are normally very reliable but with supply chains possibly disrupted it would be advisable to at least keep a spare input, output and power module of each type of PLC you have. DSL have stock of Mitsubishi Q series modules and used modules of some older types.

Remote working

Under current circumstances many of your production staff are working from home. There are several possibilities to enable their continued access to the AutoPilot4Feed mill control system. We have a stock of PCs which can be configured with access suited to your system. Sometimes mill staff are tied to site due to paperwork which may be overcome using some features of AutoPilot4Feed. Please contact DSL to discuss your requirements.

Android tablets

DSL currently supply rugged Windows 10 tablets to provide mobile access to the AutoPilot4Feed system around the mill. This is a very robust solution, but the tablets are expensive. We have recently tested much cheaper Android tablets that can be configured to access the control server via remote desktop (RDP) if you have this type of configuration. For those without an RDP server, the tablets can also be configured to access (take-over) a desktop workstation to provide mobile working. Mobile working enables operators and / or maintenance staff to distance themselves from other operators in the control room. A cost-effective case can provide protection for these devices. Again, please contact DSL if this is of interest.

Plant performance

DSL are aware that many mills are currently running at full capacity and it is therefore even more critical to monitor mill performance. DSL’s OEE4Feed provides a whole tool kit of mill performance data to show Key Performance Indicators and help identify where there are issues and inefficiencies. Information is delivered via a web page and is therefore easily remotely accessible on phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Further information is available on our web site; www.dsl-systems.com/products/oee4feed/.

If you need to contact anyone at DSL Systems, please ring the office on +44 115 9813700 and we can transfer you.