Not All Automation is Equal

Not All Control Integration Is Equal Introduction I wonder how many readers have had the benefits of a well-automated production system that just operated seamlessly when recovering from power outages or operator mistakes?  Maybe there is another segment that has had to suffer the problems caused by a poorly designed control system.  Maybe some have experienced both.  Is it just luck or is there some science involved? Information Gathering & Planning At the very start, it is important to work at gathering all the data you reasonably can to deliver a proposal that fits the end-user’s needs and expectations. This deliberate, up-front communication with stakeholders allows us to determine the client’s process and how that process relates to the client’s business and project goals. From this collection of information, the Control System Integrator (CSI) can develop a Design Specification Document that can be reviewed and agreed upon by all the stakeholders before even starting the Design Phase of the project. Contingency Management Having nailed down the core of the deliverables for the project, it’s time to consider what potential contingencies need to be incorporated into …

Batching Best Practices

Batching Best Practices INTRODUCTION This intent of this paper is to present a few Best Practices I have discovered over the years that lead to an improved performance of ingredient automation (batching) systems. LOAD CELL INSTALLATION Site Preparation All mounting surfaces for the base and loading plate must be level. The distance between the mounting surface of the loading plate and base must within 1/32” of the nominal height (for proper elevation of vessel). The Load Cell Assemblies in a system must be level to within +/- 0.5 degrees. When mounting the base plate on concrete, use grout to secure the plate after leveling. A classic 4 bolt system with anchor bolts embedded in the concrete foundation with nuts above and below the sole plate are used for leveling both within the sole plate and between sole plates. Any welding should be done prior to installation of the load cells. Proper drainage should be provided to prevent the load point assembly from standing in water. Installation All load cells must be on the same plane (level) within 0.5 degrees of each other (which is approximately an …