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Brains Brews a Smart Migration Solution with ProSoft Technology
Whether it's football in the United States or rugby in Great Britain, the two entirely different sports have one thing in common - many of the spectators like drinking their beer. One of the prominent beers in Great Britain is SA, manufactured by Brains Brewery. SA’s slogan is "It wouldn't be Wales without SA."
Brains Brewery in Wales, founded in 1882, has the beer to satisfy any beer connoisseur, from those who prefer unique craft varieties, such as Calypso and Bragging Rights, to those who like more traditional ales like SA. Brains has a wide variety of brews. Other more traditional brews include Brains Bitter, Brains Dark, and Brains Black, among many others. Brains is also famous for its many pubs as well.
Brains, based in Cardiff, Wales, with its ever increasing variety of brews, decided it was time to upgrade its yeast handling control system to a Rockwell Automation® CompactLogix™ system. We all know how important yeast is to beer, and Brains postponed the upgrade until after the Christmas festive period to avoid downtime.
Mike Cooper of IAC Engineering proposed using ProSoft Technology's AN-X2-DHRIO Gateway to allow the CompactLogix system to communicate with six racks of 1771 Remote I/O over Ethernet. He had met ProSoft Technology Regional Sales Manager Myles Heinekey at a Rockwell Automation event in Birmingham.
“The main aim of the project was to upgrade two PLC-2 controllers, which were 27 years old. Limited downtime was available, only 3 days, so the old 1771 I/O racks would be retained, but two obsolete PLC-2 controllers were replaced by the CompactLogix.”
“The commissioning time was reduced massively because the existing Remote I/O cards and wiring could be retained,” Mr. Cooper noted. “Only the processor and software needed to be added and commissioned, not the field wiring.”
With ProSoft Technology’s solution, Brains Brewery was able to reduce project costs by installing a CompactLogix PLC system. Without the ProSoft Technology gateway, a more expensive system with a Remote I/O card would have been required. ProSoft Technology's solution didn't just reduce the project cost. It reduced it by 40 percent in terms of the other option. One additional yet important benefit of the solution is that the system still retains the PLC-5 Remote I/O cards with the CompactLogix processor. This means no additional spare I/O cards need to be carried.
And finally, ProSoft Technology's solution allowed for flexibility.
"The Remote I/O to Ethernet gateway allowed a great level of flexibility, so the different racks of I/O could be moved onto a network and controlled from different PLCs, if required,” Mr. Cooper said. "The ProSoft gateway also gets the I/O data onto Ethernet which can be accessed anywhere on the plant network at a higher speed."
Learn more about ProSoft Technology’s Modernization solutions here.
Improving the Cleaning Process, One Module at a Time
By Lauren Robeson
When your food or beverage products are made in – or go through – a variety of machines in a processing or bottling facility, a top priority for their manufacturers is cleanliness. In this day and age, automated cleaning systems just make sense.
Cleaning in Place (or CIP) systems provide a perfectly regulated way to keep every piece of equipment clean. These systems essentially allow users to clean machinery and pipes without having to dismantle a whole system. By coordinating with the production PLCs in a facility, a CIP system is able to schedule, perform, and complete the cleaning operation. The coordination of these separate systems is critical to assure that production cannot resume until the entire cleaning cycle is complete. The communication is used as a handshake between the production PLC and the CIP PLC so that both systems know when cleaning starts; when it ends; and when product can safely be put back into the devices.
MAGMA SAP of Poland manufactures CIP stations for a variety of beverage manufacturers.
“Fifty years ago, you would have had a guy with a garden hose washing down the equipment,” said Maciej Alksnin, MAGMA CEO. “With our system, it is both hygienic and completely automated.”
MAGMA builds four to six stations per year. Their stations are constructed and controlled in accordance with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards, which analyze and control hazards involved with material production and distribution. MAGMA’s CIP stations are set up to supervise the temperature and concentration of the closed-loop washing solution; the timing of the cleaning process’ steps; the configuration of the circuit connections throughout the system; and the flow inside the equipment being cleaned. The cleaning solution’s setup is protected with a password, and the solution’s parameters can be set up individually, making it easier to customize your setup or make adjustments as needed. The cleaning stations are equipped with a controller that communicates with an HMI, which is used by the operator on each cleaning cycle, which is used to archive data that is set by the controller.
For a recent CIP station done for a bottled mineral water manufacturer, a Rockwell Automation® CompactLogix™ was used. Siemens® systems are widely used in the food and beverage industry in Poland, so you can see where there would be a communication issue. That’s where ProSoft Technology helped.
“MAGMA wanted a partner that was reliable and would work with them through the process,” said Krzysztof Hajzyk, Regional Sales Manager for ProSoft Technology. “They have a good relationship with their Rockwell Automation distributor and ProSoft Technology had provided on-site support with their first few applications. They have worked with Allen-Bradley® controllers containing ProSoft in-chassis PROFIBUS cards in several other applications and had success.”
MAGMA has also used ProSoft products for other applications, including pigging systems in food processing projects.
ProSoft’s in-rack PROFIBUS solutions allowed the CompactLogix to communicate with the Siemens equipment used throughout the facility. The module enabled the controller to exchange data with the facility’s existing PLCs and measuring equipment, which tracks flow, temperature, pressure, and level, ensuring that any issues are communicated quickly. Without ProSoft’s PROFIBUS modules, it would have been far more costly and complicated to communicate with the existing production line and coordinate data transfers involving the statuses of equipment such as tanks, pipes, and valves.
Without ProSoft’s PROFIBUS modules, an alternative would have been the addition of extra I/O, which would have been more expensive and taken more time to implement. The new setup also allowed for direct access to data in other processors’ memory, allowing for ease of use when it came to monitoring the system. In addition, having one network for all equipment and data exchanges helped simplify the operation: With the process machines connected to each other, connecting to one allowed access to the rest.
These improvements allowed MAGMA and the end user to focus on the most important part of the process: keeping the mineral water clean.
For more information about ProSoft Technology’s PROFIBUS modules and gateways, visit http://psft.com/BJ0.