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Case Study: Consumer Products Batch Control System

The Challenge

HMI System UpgradeA Global consumer products supplier was running a legacy version of FactoryTalk Batch and Wonderware InTouch in the making department of their liquid soap manufacturing facility. The system was utilizing a workstation-based Microsoft Access database to store historical batch data, leaving the system vulnerable to data loss. The existing system required significant manual entry of data, which resulted in error and inefficiency. Additionally, the system was plagued with power outages and resuming operations proved to be very time consuming, causing significant downtime. The instability of the system and obsolescence of both the batch software and physical servers necessitated migrating to a modern batch control system.

The Solution

We worked with the customer to design and implement a new control system architecture utilizing Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk Batch 10.0 and Microsoft SQL for data logging. All of the existing historical data from the Access database was migrated to the SQL Database. The new batch system was connected to the existing Allen-Bradley PLC-5 processors, and the existing standalone Wonderware InTouch 10.1 HMI was used as the primary operator interface. The InTouch HMI application was modified to track operator logins and batch commencement. Batch system data logging and reporting was incorporated into the new system to provide enhanced capabilities. McEnery engineers developed custom ActiveX controls, which were incorporated to allow data to be seamlessly integrated between the Wonderware InTouch HMI with the FactoryTalk Batch Server. Upon completion of the project, an extensive set of documentation including system architecture and user manuals was delivered to the customer to assist with maintaining and operating the new system.

The Result

During the migration effort, McEnery Automation engineers identified and resolved operational inefficiencies. As a result of these improvements, the customer was able to increase production and performance, resulting in increased system throughput. The new system incorporated direct data transfer of recipe and batch information, eliminating the need for operators to interface directly with the batch client tools. The new system provided production personnel with improved batch tracking information. Upgrade reporting systems provided users with real time, actionable data in an easy to access format.