As part of SIPOS Aktorik’s impressive global portfolio of electric actuator installations, the company’s technology plays a pivotal role in a two million Euro modernisation programme at Rakowice Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Poland.  As a result of the upgrade, the station, supported by SIPOS electric actuators, will be designed to be maintenance free. A complete overhaul of actuation technology at the plant has resulted in a suite of SIPOS actuators replacing all existing valve control devices.
Due to the scale of the scheme, with just under 100 drives, SIPOS Profibus DP enabled actuators were selected to manage the valve control automation processes. A primary reason for the adoption of SIPOS’ actuators was the devices integrated frequency converter, which enables the actuator speed to be adjusted in-situ to precisely meet the scheme’s process requirements.
Rakowice WTP, which has been in operation since 1961, is the primary plant for the area. Together with the Modlowa station, the WTP, which comprises 14 filter tanks, provides 90 percent of the region’s water. The WTP features 13 active wells with an average depth of 98.4 feet (30 meters): four wells have been newly constructed, and five have been modernised.
In-situ speed adjustment influences selection of SIPOS Aktorik actuators at Rakowice Water Treatment Plant.
The commissioning of the actuator installation including sales, service and support was managed by SIPOS’ local partner, AUMA Poland. Commenting on the significance of the contract, AUMA’s Kamil Gawel says, “This is a prestigious WTP scheme which is a primary plant for the area. The modernization initiative is a major investment which has required the most advanced automation solutions and the co-ordination of a large number of suppliers. The installation is therefore a flag-ship project which illustrates the capabilities of the actuators, the skills of the local team and the working synergies between AUMA and SIPOS.
“The station will be maintenance free and fully automated. There will be a modern automation system control with monitoring: this is important to ensure water safety.
“Extensive consultation was held and, in discussion with the WTP, an agreement was reached regarding the number of drives and the best control solution, which was PROFIBUS DP.”
Rakowice is the latest in a series of water sector contracts secured in Poland by SIPOS; other schemes that have previously adopted the company’s actuators include the Belchatow water treatment plant and WwTWs at Sieniawa and Siedlce.
An ability to counter the damaging impact of water hammer and dedication to service/support were common selection themes for SIPOS across all the Polish applications. Reasons for adoption of SIPOS actuators at Belchatow included an ability to support the scheme’s large scale emergency valves and capability to address water hammer.
Modernisation of the Sieniawa plant has supported the work’s role as provider of the largest drinking water supply to the City of Krosno. Originally built over twenty years ago, a full scale automation upgrade is taking place with SIPOS’ open-close actuators featuring PROFIBUS DP playing a key role. Variable speed functionality was cited as one of the reasons for selecting SIPOS for the installation.
A further water industry application for SIPOS in Poland is the waste water plant at Siedlce. Soft start/speed reduction, a Polish menu, fieldbus capability and high service standards were listed among the selection criteria for SIPOS’ products.
The scope of SIPOS’ actuators extends to the automation of water level management and a Polish case-study example of a hydra scheme application is found on the Gwda River. Requirements to ensure precise control included an extremely long actuator run time of over half an hour at 160 revolutions per minute and 7000 revolutions per stroke. The demands were met by non-intrusive, encoder version actuator devices.
With established credentials for providing high performance solutions, SIPOS impressed operators with the capabilities of its valve control devices. Sophisticated features that set the company’s products apart included soft-start functionality and an automatic ‘retry if blocked’ response. Other options explored, including alternative actuators and a potentiometer, could not meet the exacting demands of the scheme: the maximum revolutions achieved by alternative technology equated to just five thousand turns.
Sophisticated actuation control from SIPOS includes 7000 revolutions per stroke at the Pila hydro scheme in Poland.
Growth in Poland reflects global expansion for SIPOS’ electric actuation technology. Along with its innovation, investment in research and development, training services and high quality products, SIPOS places key focus on providing comprehensive, pro-active service. Technical support goes beyond planning and reliable delivery, complete support is provided throughout the installation phase to ensure rapid start-up and long term, trouble-free actuator operation. Regular inspection and preventive maintenance increases operational safety, reduces the risk of failures and enables early detection of damage or potential system problems. Spare parts requirements are also reduced as SIPOS actuators have been designed to keep these to a minimum. Design and software adaptability also reduces spare parts, as most elements are interchangeable. ■
About The Author

Gerda Noelp is an international sales manager for SIPOS Aktorik, a world leading actuator manufacturer with around one hundred years’ experience. For more information, email or visit

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