Servelec Controls to help engineer Big Science at the European Spallation Source

A photograph of an aerial view over an ESS construction site.
Posted in Press Release on October 9th, 2018

Servelec Controls has been contracted to play key role in strengthening the integrated control systems for what will become the world’s most powerful next-generation scientific research project.

The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a multi-disciplinary research facility currently under construction in Lund, Sweden. The vision is to build the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron source, enabling scientific breakthroughs in research related to materials, energy, health and the environment, and addressing some of the most important societal challenges of our time.

The 1.84 Billion Euro construction comprises one of the largest active infrastructure projects in Europe and will enable scientists to see and understand basic atomic structures and forces, unachievable at other neutron sources.

Servelec Controls will be working onsite, full-time at the ESS construction site in Sweden to act as both consultant and PLC software developer, in order to strengthen the execution of software development activities for the world-class science facility.

Servelec Controls will support the Personnel Safety System Team and be involved in the design, implementation and functional verification of safety software for the control systems, personnel safety systems and machine protection systems for the ESS facility.

It was Servelec Controls’ industry-leading reputation for quality and its skilled and accredited workforce that the ESS to choose the company in a procurement process. With in-depth knowledge of Siemens TIA portal programming tools, HMI development and PLC programming in accordance with functional safety standards on complex automation and critical control system projects, Servelec Controls’ highly skilled team is ideally suited to the ESS’s requirements.



The local control room. Credit: Ulrika Hammarlund/ESS

The ESS will use spallation, a process in which fragments of material (spall) are ejected from a body following impact or stress. A linear accelerator will accelerate protons into a rotating, helium-cooled tungsten target which will then emit intense pulses of neutrons, led through beamlines to experimental stations, where research is undertaken on different materials. This will help discover and develop new materials with applications in manufacturing, pharmaceutical drugs, aerospace, engines, plastics, energy, telecommunications, transportation, information technology and biotechnology. The integrated control system will monitor and control most of the operational aspects at the facility.

Bryn Thomas, Sales Director for Servelec Controls said: “The European Spallation Source is an incredibly exciting Big Science project and one that we’re immensely proud to be involved in. The control and safety systems will form a crucial element of the facility’s development and ongoing operation, and we know that our expertise in safety systems for critical industries will provide ESS with the functional safety and operational reliability that they need to help make this new research facility a resounding success.”

ESS will provide neutron beams up to 100 times brighter than any current neutron source and is also designed to be one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable research facilities.

Banner image: Aerial view over ESS construction site 6 September 2018. credit: Perry Nordeng/ESS