A growing business producing specialty animal nutritional products wanted to build a state-of-the-art production facility to fulfill market demands of current and new products.
This project required maximized automation and the full-time staff operating at the plant was targeted at seven per shift. This required automated bulk truck and rail raw material receiving, automated batch reactors, dryer automation, fluid bed cooler, automated batch dry ingredient blending, and packaging line automation. Minimized maintenance staff with limited control and information system expertise also posed challenges.
A flexible recipe management, scheduling, and batch execution system was designed and implemented by Cybertrol. This allowed operations management to control validated recipes in a quickly changing formulation environment. The solution included:
- Configurable procedure for each recipe
- Configurable formula for each recipe
- Ability for each reactor to run a different recipe
- Detailed batch reports for each batch
- Use of new ingredient with only recipe change — no PLC code changes needed
HMIs were located in a central control room and at certain functional control areas. HMI system design utilized a Thin Client environment for easy central management from a server system. Every station has visibility across the plant, but can only control local equipment.
A virtualized server system was specified and configured by Cybertrol in conjunction with corporate IT, supported by both parties remotely with clear lines of responsibility.
Cybertrol provides support for:
- 24/7 trouble call support for all control and information system subject matter expertise areas
- Monthly diagnostics
- Automation system optimization
- System maintenance and software patching
- Strategic planning
The plant is now fully functional as a low-cost, highly flexible manufacturer of specialty worldwide animal nutrition organic trace mineral products, producing over 200 different recipes. The facility produces 8,000 pounds per hour, meeting the targeted staff level.