Cheese Powder Facility Plantwide Control, Information & IT/OT Upgrade

Cheese Powder Facility Plantwide Control, Information & IT/OT Upgrade

A cheese powder facility was suffering from poor performance being tied to obsolete recipe execution systems and dated PLC/HMI technology.



The plant relied on a manual (handwritten on clipboards) process to acquire ingredient information, enter it into the system, and then submit tracking of ingredients. The legacy PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and HMI (Human Machine Interface )system leveraged an unsupported infrastructure. The plant relied on an old PC-based system via outdated Windows software. The linear batching system was proprietary and unsupported by the developer and required hand-entered values, meaning each ingredient had to wait for the previous one to finish. This was time-consuming and resulted in many items being manually bypassed. There was no visibility into the operation and no data collection available.


Cybertrol facilitated the upgrade to a Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk® solution, which included:

  • PLC Upgrade – Migration to ControlLogix® utilized existing IO structure but consolidated PLCs for optimization of control programming. Five small PLCs migrated into two ControlLogix using proven programming standards.
  • HMI Redundancy – Server client system is a distributed application with thin clients. The application was backed up and changes only in one location.
  • Batching Process – Standard ISA88 batching solution was put in place, eliminating the proprietary software.
  • Historical Data – Logging and archiving allow for looking back at operations or problems to improve production.
  • Reporting – Trends and dashboards display batch reports, CIP (Clean-in-place) reports, and more using templates.


The project provided access to real-time information to help make real-time decisions, in addition to reducing maintenance costs on equipment spending for repairs. Downtime went from 49 hours per year to less than 15 hours per year, allowing maintenance to focus on true asset reliability. This gave 11 days of production back to the facility over two years.