The spice blending plant at the Leigh site was originally installed 10 years ago, and used a bespoke coded batching system which the client found they could not edit easily. In addition to this, the hardware used was beginning to fail and spare parts were becoming increasingly difficult to source due to it becoming obsolete. The plant is 6 spice silos and one mixer, with equipment for the manual addition of spices both directly to the spice blend and also to the spice silos.
Simonswood Automation re configured the system to modern standards, changing the existing Allen Bradley SLC and RSView SCADA systems to a Rockwell Control Logix PLC and FT View SE SCADA. The batching system was replaced with Rockwell FT Batch which is an S-88 compliant batching system. The existing SLC I/O modules were re-used, with the Control Logix communicating with them over remote I/O. New weigh scale instruments were added to give more accurate representation of the weights of the 6 spice silos and the mix tank. These also communicate to the Control Logix over the remote I/O network.
The SCADA and Batching systems were implemented using the Factory Talk suite of products, using 3 touch screen HMI PCs for scheduling of batches and operator control and 3 virtual servers stored on the client’s virtual server array. One of the servers runs the FT Batch engine, one is the FT View SE and activation server and the other runs SQL Server for batch data recording.
Using the new batching system, the client now has a fully compliant S-88 batching system, giving them better control of the spice recipes and production schedules. Reports are generated as required allowing back-tracking batches made. The system is now easy to maintain as all the hardware is up to date and because it now uses off the shelf solutions, rather than a bespoke coded systems. Because the batching engine is resident of the client’s server array, future expansion to other processes within the client’s site is possible.