New process control system at Hilcona AG

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Starting situation

The production of different foods always requires individualized plant parameterization. In some cases, recipe and data recording are already implemented on plant control systems, but the data can only be maintained or retrieved locally. Article- and order-specific data are also maintained in the ERP system, but these data are not used by the plants. The vast number of plant systems by different manufacturers and their communication with a central database pose additional challenges.

Objective of the project

Simple operation of the production lines using a central, fail-safe control console was the goal. All order and process data had to be compiled in a common database, analyzed, and reported back to the ERP system.

Technical implementation

The new process control system was developed based on Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft .NET. For this, we used our proven IMT Factory modules for recipe, alarming, and user administration and adapted them to the specific requirements of Hilcona. Gap-free recording of process values was implemented using the tried and tested Historian Server by Wonderware (now Aveva).

Results

The process parameters are now maintained centrally with the IMT process control system and transmitted to the different production plants throughout the entire site – from pasteurization to packaging. Periodic adjustments to the production lines can now be made individually with little effort. The relevant operating data are continuously logged and can be retrieved at any time in prepared format.

“Thanks to the flexible modules of the IMT Factory we can operate all kinds of plant systems at any time with the right parameters.”

Christian Hartmann, System Engineer

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