Large Scale Dairy Plant
Creating Unhalting Production with PID Engineering and Rockwell
PID Engineering Inc., founded in 1993, develops, designs, and automates liquid flow and process control systems for major international manufacturers. Specializing in dairy processing, PID takes raw liquid ingredients and puts them through the pasteurization process to create market ready products. Their specialization in liquid processing and 30+ years of process control experience provides customers with solutions that consistently exceed expectations. PID is one of few Rockwell Toolkit partners, giving them full access to Rockwell’s software and support suite. Having this Toolkit partnership gives PID the unique ability to take any automation project from concept to completion.
In a complex production environment, our integrator partner’s customer needed a solution which could continuously run their production line without the risk of downtime or production loss.
Working closely with expert partners, Westburne helped develop a comprehensive network design and fault tolerant control system to prevent system halts. The implementation of over 3800 inputs, 1200 outputs, and hot swap redundancy controllers now allow the switching of controllers during production process if a fault is detected, creating a continuous process stream.
The effectiveness of this solution prevents downtime costs equivalent to $35,000 per hour. The success of this implementation has led to the procurement of four more of these systems with the same customer.
The Heart Of The Project
PID reached out to Westburne to take on a customer project with a unique challenge. The customer, a large-scale dairy producer, had a new continuous process application which couldn’t safely accommodate down time or interruption because it ran the risk of ruining the product. Once the process had begun, it could not be stopped or the customer would risk losing an entire batch of product. The customer required a process that could be continuously monitored and controlled throughout production in order to collect crucial data to ensure the customer’s compliance with dairy regulations and standards.
Creating A Best In Class Solution
For this large scale project, an extensive planning and designing phase for the network and control system was key. With the goal of eliminating downtime, PID Engineering and Westburne’s team of technical specialists developed a unique system layout which could navigate the customer’s complex network to prevent system halts. The new system implements over 3800 inputs including temperature sensors, flow sensors, pressure sensors, and speed sensors, and over 1200 outputs including valves, pumps and heaters. PID partnered with Canada Dynamic to build and test the panels to ensure quality and reliability before shipping to the customer’s site.
Innovation Ensured Safety
Using a complete Ethernet back bone and Device Level Rings, our solution permits one connection loss without affecting or halting the process. The redundant hot swap controller racks prevent unexpected downtime or interruptions as the redundant secondary controller takes full control of the process if any issues are found with the primary controller. The system identifies and resolves problems then alerts the operator that an issue was seen and the process has been recovered. With the updated system, the customer has dramatically reduced their downtime, which previously cost approximately $35,000.00 per hour.
By assisting with staging and acceptance testing of the system, Westburne helped ensure the smooth integration of a system which would ultimately exceed the end user’s initial requirements. Westburne worked in conjunction with Canada Dynamic who built panels according to the new system design and provided a site for PID’s and Westburne’s technical teams to test system performance. Westburne specialists assisted by performing firmware updates, I/O configuration, network switch, general communications configuration, and redundancy synchronization. Following extensive hardware and software failover testing, the installation teams implemented the panels at the client site. After the successful instillation, PID Engineering performed the final start-up and commissioning. The success of the system integration has led to the end user partnering with PID and Westburne to replicate the new process at four additional facilities.