Crush control optimizes wine production

With more than 20 varietals in its portfolio, the Clos du Bois winery in California is known for producing sophisticated wines that offer complexity and aging potential. But consumer demands, increasing competition and thinning margins forced Clos du Bois to look for ways to cut costs and increase production.

03/01/2008


With more than 20 varietals in its portfolio, the Clos du Bois winery in California is known for producing sophisticated wines that offer complexity and aging potential. But consumer demands, increasing competition and thinning margins forced Clos du Bois to look for ways to cut costs and increase production. In a $2 million renovation, this process manufacturer replaced individual analog machine controls on its grape press system with a centralized control architecture that governs the entire system, from the conveyors that bring grapes into the presses to the pumps that push the must into the winery. The result was a 10% increase in production and a complete payback of system costs after just two harvests.

In November 2004, Clos du Bois identified that the grape presses as a system had a significant influence on overall production and yield. To keep up with a schedule that required meeting the same throughput goals even after fruit had to hang on the vine longer to ripen, the grape presses needed to process up to 1,200 tons of fruit each day. However, the existing system’s capacity was only 600 tons per day. This not only backed up the downstream process once the fruit was pressed, but also delayed the truck delivery schedule.

The Clos du Bois plant process engineer and his team worked with Rockwell Automation to develop a replacement strategy that reconfigured the grape press system on a centralized control platform, an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix Programmable Automation Controller (PAC). To help improve system performance and efficiency, the team implemented an Intelligent Motor Control solution. Allen Bradley PowerFlex 700 AC drives deliver precise motor torque, speed and position control for optimizing the grape crushing and minimizing the amount of solids generated in the pressed fruit. System communication is accomplished via an EtherNet/IP network, which allows operators to access valuable diagnostic and monitoring information. This helps reduce maintenance and troubleshooting time, address safety issues, and increase productivity and motor protection within each press.

To monitor production in real time, Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk View SE human-machine interface software gives operators access to production information via graphic displays on standard PCs housed in four stations at the grape presses. Operators can interact with the displays in English or Spanish, and the entire system can be run with just a few mouse clicks.

As a result of implementing the solution, the winery has seen an increase in throughput and crushed grapes by 2,500 tons — a 10% increase in overall production achieved using the same number of workers. This resulted in higher profits, and in labor resources being been freed up for other work. The new system also has reduced cycle times and made changeovers more efficient. The Logix Control Platform on which the ControlLogix PAC is based made the system scalable for future growth, as well.

The upgraded crush pad system improved winery operations in other ways. Changing the way grapes are received, crushed and processed through the winery has made it possible for Clos du Bois to meet new production goals and maintain its quality standards. The new system changes how employees interact with the process, giving them more visibility and insight, and helping them better control production for increased uptime.






No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.