Electrical systems and PLC automation

In general, the electricity and automation team uses PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) for controlling automation systems. These systems can be found in the linac, the storage rings, as well as at the beamlines, and also controls the subsystems, such as temperature, magnet, water, and vacuum equipment. The design and installation of electrical systems is the second category of work in the team.

An important aspect of automation control is for the systems to have built-in safety protocols, to protect people from accidents caused by electrical (and other) equipment, and to protect the accelerator, rings and beamlines from preventable accidents due to power failures, vacuum breaches, etc.

The team make sure that all electrical installations are licensed, and formally inspects and approves all electrical installation work at MAX IV Laboratory before it is used.


The automation team works closely with the people from the IT and control systems group. The team works on the entire process of automation control: from designing the electrical hardware and programming the PLC, to developing and installing the hardware, and then testing its safety and function.

The different areas in which the team works include Machine Interlock/Protection Systems (MPS); controlling the power supply for the magnets in the storage rings (MAG); Personal Safety Systems (PSS); and controlling the water cooling system (WAT), and ventilation systems (VENT) for both the rings and the beamlines. If you would like to receive help from us, please consider the following:

What we need from you is:

  • A summary of the project
  • List of hardware
  • Manuals for the different hardware programmes
  • Functional descriptions
  • Timeframe


After receiving this information, we can take care of:

  • Electrical blue-prints
  • Building the control cabinets
  • Connecting the cables between equipment and control system
  • Performing I/O and function tests


On completion, you will receive:

  • Electrical blue-prints of the system
  • Reports from the I/O and function tests



The automation team works closely with the IT and control systems group. Whereas the automation team takes care of the management and safety of the different systems, the IT and control systems group is responsible for logging the various PLC signals and supplying them, via a graphical user interface, to users of the various systems.

Electrical safety

Personal safety is our first and most important goal. The intention is to implement necessary safety measures for people and property in order to avoid dangers and damage that can occur even during the normal operation of electrical installations and equipment.

The greatest dangers of working with electrical equipment are:

– Strong electric currents

– Electric arcs

– High temperatures, which can cause burns, fires and other harmful effects

– Proximity of electrical equipment to other subsystems (water, chemicals, gases, etc.)