Experience example

Production Cell Safety Upgrade

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Industry
Food

Sector
Processing & Manufacturing

Project

  • The client is an agricultural and food manufacturing business, employing over 2,000 people across Australia and New Zealand.
  • The Tasmanian facility had a conveyor system in the palletising section of the plant, which was worn, and the safety system was not up to standard. The conveyors were causing numerous faults and required operators to shut down the entire conveyor system before being able to remediate faults resulting in lost production.
  • Foodmach were engaged to upgrade the conveyors, but due to Covid 19 restrictions were unable to attend site in Tasmania.
  • Cromarty had worked for the client on many other upgrade projects and therefore suggested that Foodmach partner with Cromarty to deliver the conveyor upgrade.
  • Foodmach subsequently engaged Cromarty as the specialist integrator to implement the PLC and SCADA changes required for the upgrade.

Solution

To ensure that the manufacturing schedule was not interrupted the project was performed during planned shutdown at the facility. Main works included:

  • Conveyor operational changes had to be made across two Rockwell PLCs due to mechanical differences in the conveyor systems
  • Programming two new Sick Safety PLCs to perform the required safety functionality for the palletising system
  • Install and commission communications between the existing Rockwell PLCs and Sick Safety PLCs
  • Update the Factory Talk View SCADA system to monitor and control the new conveyor system

Outcome

The safety and automation upgrades were successfully completed in a tight schedule over the last 3 days of the planned shutdown with no subsequent adverse effects on production. The full functionality of the conveyor system was not able to be fully tested until production had restarted so a Cromarty engineer was embedded on site to optimize the performance of the conveyor system with the operators whilst in production.

Operators are now able to safely enter certain cells without requiring a shut down the entire conveyor system and the new conveyor system results in far less faults and resulting production losses.

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