Food and Beverage Case Studies

Case Study 115: Oven Control Baking Industry Sector: Food and Beverage • Cake Machine

Technology Replaced:

  • Old VFD System

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley SLC 500
  • Allen Bradley PanelView
  • Allen Bradley VFDs

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation was approached to design a system to control a multi-layer cake baking machine. The machine consisted of multiple conveyors which produced a continuous baked cake. The operator entered the number of cakes per minute required. This number was used to calculate the speed of the conveyors, which determined baking time by changing the transit time through an oven. The speed information was sent to multiple VFDs to change the speed of conveyors. The speed control had to be accurate enough to prevent the tearing or bunching of cake as it transitioned between conveyors and as the multiple layers were brought together. VFDs with feedback were used to obtain the required accuracy. The cake was then delivered to a cutter to divide the cakes into the correct size.

Project Outcome:
The old VFD system was hard to adjust since each VFD needed to be individually adjusted. With the new system, VFDs were adjusted based on operator’s input which allowed for less downtime when the line was changed for different products. As a result, a significant increase in product throughput.

Process Control Case Studies

Case Study 105: Polymer Process Industry Sector: Process Control • Polymer Process Machine

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley ControlLogix
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus HMI

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a control system for polymer mixing machines. Polymer is used in the process to remove particles from both drinking water and treated sewage. The system involved monitoring the level of a polymer tank. When the level dropped to a pre-determined point, a new batch of polymer was added. First water was added to a mixing tank to a pre-determined level. When the tank reached this level, a polymer powder was weighed and added. As the powder was added, a mixer started blending the water and polymer. The pre-determined polymer concentration was calculated. The mixture was then sent to a second mixing tank where more water was added to get the polymer concentration down to the required level. Finally the polymer was pumped into the final polymer tank. The system was set up to operate in two modes, demand batching and bulk batching; each having different control characteristics.

Project Outcome:
System allowed for customization of recipes enabling quality control of the product. HMI alarm indication reduced operator error and increased the machine life cycle.

Case Study 114: Batching
Industry Sector: Process Control • PVC Compounder System

Technology Replaced:

  • Relay Panel

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley SLC 500
  • Allen Bradley PanelView

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a control system to produce batches of compounded PVC. The system automatically weighed out batches of PVC resin and calcium carbonate. The material was conveyed with a pneumatic conveying system into a compounder drum. The drum was rotated and heated with the temperature being monitored. A liquid stabilizer and additional chemicals were automatically added to the mix when the temperature reached predetermined temperatures. At the end of the cycle, the material was unloaded into a cooling drum until it was cool enough to be transported into a storage silo. The material was then automatically distributed to several lines of extruders based on demand from the extruders.

Project Outcome:
The new control system eliminated repeat failures which were greatly impacting production and quality.

Machine Control Case Studies

Case Study 101: Servo Industry Sector: Machine Control • Fiberglass Fiberization

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley ControlLogix
  • Allen Bradley Servo Drives
  • AMCI Encoders
  • Rockwell RSView32 SCADA System

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a fiberglass insulation machine which operated faster and more efficiently than the old equipment. Four fiberizer units deposited fiberglass on a moving conveyor. Any three could be used or all four depending on the type of insulation being made. The fiberizers were pivoted and deposited the fiberglass in a sine wave pattern. The pivot speed and conveyor speed were all adjustable depending on the product and stored recipes. To make uniform fiberglass, the pattern on the conveyor had to be adjusted. The phase angle of each pivoting fiberizer had to be calculated (frequency of pivot and conveyor speed both affect the phase angle). The information was used to control servo motors which controlled the motion of the pivot.

Project Outcome:
The key to successful resolution of this process problem was deciphering the complex relationship between belt speed and controlling the deposition sine wave of the fiberizer. The result was improved consistency, quality of product, and higher production rates.

Case Study 114: Extruders Industry Sector: Machine Control • PVC Compounder System

Technology Replaced:

  • Relay Panel

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley SLC 500
  • Allen Bradley PanelView

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed a control system to produce batches of compounded PVC. The system automatically weighed out batches of PVC resin and calcium carbonate. The material was conveyed with a pneumatic conveying system into a compounder drum. The drum was rotated and heated with the temperature being monitored. A liquid stabilizer and additional chemicals were automatically added to the mix when the temperature reached predetermined temperatures. At the end of the cycle, the material was unloaded into a cooling drum until it was cool enough to be transported into a storage silo. The material was then automatically distributed to several lines of extruders based on demand from the extruders.

Project Outcome:
The new control system eliminated repeat failures which were greatly impacting production and quality.

Case Study 110: Blending Industry Sector: Machine Control • Alloy Blending Machine

Technology Replaced:

  • Obsolete Relay Pane

New Technology Applied:

  • Allen Bradley MicroLogix 1500
  • Allen Bradley PanelView
  • AMCI Stepper Motor

Project Description:
Staneco Corporation designed controls for a machine that produced alloys in small batches. There were 20 recipes for different alloys. The cycle started by purging the chamber of air followed by gases being introduced into the chamber. The metal was heated to the required temperature by an induction heater. When at temperature, the crucible was then tilted in steps at different speeds using a servo motor to pour the metal into a mold. The crucible was then returned to the home position and atmospheric pressure was re-introduced. Temperatures were recorded on an electronic chart recorder.

Project Outcome:
The new control system provided increased reliability along with a more efficient operator interface.