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FOOD & BEVERAGE AUTOMATION Maximising dairy production with integrated processing plant

Aug 7, 2019

India is one of the largest consumers of milk in the world, which leads to dairies aiming to deliver constant quality, while keeping costs low, which can be accomplished by tighter control and higher level of automation. The case study explains about one such dairy that turned to Rockwell Automation with its requirements of bringing about process optimisation, manpower reduction, and an integrated liquid milk plant.

A growing middle class in India has created a growing market demand and increased consumption of dairy products. Likewise, one of Asia’s largest dairies has a processing capacity of 5000 lac litres of milk a day. With the increasing demand for quality milk throughout India, the plant is challenged to increase production for various dairy products. To meet demand, they need an integrated liquid milk plant.

The challenge

The goal of the expansion was process optimisation, manpower reduction (doing more through automation) and faster time to market. The dairy also focused on maintaining low operating margins.

In addition, the control systems of various plants would need to integrate with the systems in the dairy. The plant required greater visibility and productivity, while optimising resources including water, air, gas, electric and steam (WAGES).

The solution

The goals of the plant included reducing batch cycle time to increase productivity of plant and creating a flexible storage matrix for raw materials to improve operations. Given the scope and complexity of the project, the dairy recognised they needed a single vendor to manage the design and implementation of the control system. Choosing a company with the right set of skills and experience was critical.

The dairy selected Rockwell Automation due to its extensive experience in automation and global reach. With a local sales office and distributor located close to the project site, Rockwell Automation had the required expertise and partnerships to manage the entire project from initial design through engineering and implementation.

Effective solutions included seamless integration on a single EtherNet/IP network; process optimisation by deploying controller-based modular predictive control (MPC) on the pasteuriser; real-time energy monitoring; scalable engineering practices and standardisation.

Rockwell Automation Global Solutions implemented a batch solution that:

  • Monitors and controls 50 LLPD of milk daily

  • Allows operators to create and run different recipes, specify daily production rates and run multiple batches in parallel via the batch production entry system

  • Provides trending, alarming, & exception handling, and real-time monitoring of parameters at the refrigeration plant for energy saving

  • Allows the plant manager to have complete and accurate production information at any given time, and provided different types of reports, including performance, quality and material

The solution is built on:

  • The PlantPAx® distributed control system using a common control engine with a common development environment to provide high performance in an easy-to-use environment. The system’s tight integration between the programming software, controller, and I/O modules reduced development time and cost at commissioning and during normal operation

  • ControlLogix® L7X controllers from various plants integrated on one EtherNet/IP plant-wide network and add-on instructions (AOI) to increase productivity and make troubleshooting easier

  • E300™ electronic overload relays for better motor control, protection and predictive diagnostics

The results

The project was delivered by the Rockwell Automation Solutions Business through various OEMs including GEA Process, IDMC, Tetra Pak, Frick India and Forbes Marshall. Each of these OEMs relied on Rockwell Automation control systems to enable plant-wide visibility and real-time monitoring. The dairy is now in discussions to create real-time dashboards for production and utility data.

The solution increased productivity from 5 to 5.5 million litres per day. The dairy now enjoys a significant energy savings as clean-in-place (CIP) cycles have been reduced and temperature control is more precise and much faster. Overall, the solution offers equipment OEE monitoring and real-time, role-based dashboard reporting tools for better decision-making.

Courtesy: Rockwell Automation

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