Danish microdairy gains data foundation
An integrated EtherNet/IP solution provides dairy staff with full control of all processes and safety aspects, and can be rapidly reconfigured to produce multiple products in one plant.
Perfection is more important than profits at the Løgismose microdairy in Tivoli Gardens. Here, in one of Copenhagen's most attractive locations, the Danish dairy industry has a unique showcase both for its proud craftsmanship traditions and for its groundbreaking production technology. The micro-dairy is an integrated part of the magnificent NIMBcomplex, one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Tivoli Gardens. NIMB comprises an exclusive hotel, a gourmet restaurant, a chocolate factory, a delicatessen and its own production of organic dairy products. Like microbreweries elsewhere, this micro dairy is known for unique, high-quality,small-batch products.
Løgismose MicroDairy: NIMB has two key tasks: to demonstrate the very best Danish dairy production, and to develop new gourmet products based on organic milk. The control system for this food processing operation needed to let dairy specialists experiment their way to outstanding organic dairy products in a high-tech production environment, while delivering the utmost in safety and control.
Everything at NIMB has been handpicked to be the best—the furniture, the service concept, the packaging—and the dairy's production equipment is no exception. The Løgismose dairy specialists have every imaginable monitoring and control technology at their disposal as they work with the delicate organic milk products. "Quality is a fundamental principle for us—and this requires monitoring, control and precision," says Kim Ernstsen,dairy manager.
Another principle guiding system design was flexibility. Despite its small size and limited production capacity, the dairy supplies Tivoli's guests at the hotel, restaurant and delicatessen with a full range of dairy products. Milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, sour cream and chocolate milk are all produced in just one plant—something that places great demands on production processes, says Ernstsen.
The high-tech plant consists of 10 production tanks, a standardization tank, homogenization and pasteurization tanks, and three cleansing tanks, all supplied by APV. Rockwell Automation provided the overall control system, and Endress+Hauser provided the process instruments. The Rockwell Automation control system includes an Allen-Bradley Controllogix with Guardlogix safety I/O programmable automation controller (PAC/PLC) and an integrated EtherNet/IP network that allows control of all processes and safety procedures from the same PLC.
Specific products used include:
Allen-Bradley CompactBlock GuardI/Oand safety sensors and interlocks;
Flex I/O with HART instrument interface;
Standard EtherNet/IP-connected I/O for controlling valves, etc.;
Allen—Bradley PowerFlex 70 drive connected by EtherNet/IP;
Allen-Bradley E3 electronic motor relays; and
Dairy staff control each and every pump and mixer equipped with a PowerFlex drive connected to the EtherNet/IP network. This solution gives dairy specialists complete control of pump speeds, mixing frequencies, air mixtures and other factors that affect milk and dairy end products—all from touchscreen interfaces.
Says Ernstsen, "The Rockwell Automation solution gives us the same control of raw materials as dairies used to have using old-fashioned, manual methods. At the same time, we comply to all the food safety requirements that modern food processing companies must meet and that legislation requires."
Main ingredient: data
The network provides dairy specialists instant access to all data collected in the production plant. All processes are registered in order to create a reliable basis for quality control and quick action if products do not meet the dairy's exacting demands. Should electricity fail, a centrally placed uninterrupted power supply (UPS) provides data backup. Process data also plays a role in the dairy's day-to-day production and in product development.
"Process data provide a treasure chest of information and give us a high-quality, empirical foundation for what we do. For example, if we make a really delicious butter product, we can dig into the data to see what the pasteurization temperature was and determine exactly what we did to the cream to achieve just that taste," says Ernstsen. "We do not make standard products where productivity is the main priority—we keep our focus on quality. In our constant search for the very best, data is a key parameter, so it is a great advantage for us that everything is recorded and can be easily retrieved by our dairy specialists,.
Machine safety is also managed through CIP Safety over the Ether-Net/IP network. The GuardLogix controller combines automation and safety control into one unit. With the use of I/O blocks on EtherNet/IP for both automation and safety data, the dairy is not locked into a hard-wired solution. This delivers great flexibility when it comes to changing the production set-up without installing new cables. Everything is controlled on screen, so dairy staff can easily transfer control from one safety zone to another and define which tanks and pumps stop when tank doors are opened.
Morten Kiil Rasmussen, APV's business development manager, says the solution provides more than just flexibility: It reduces the possibility of mistakes and safety breaches, and also makes it easier to keep the dairy clean since the number of cables is greatly reduced. Integrated safety and the UPS emergency system gets production systems up and running faster after power outages or other shutdowns. Quicker, simpler reprogramming makes it possible to produce all product types in just one plant.
"This is a state of the art solution that meets all directives for machine and product safety," says Rasmussen. "The interaction between the modern dairy plant and its high-tech control system is a perfect demonstration of both APV's and Rockwell Automation's global competencies in the dairy industry. All programming was carried out abroad, and the development process has been quite flexible—a good example of Rockwell Automation's global support."
When control system experts and professional dairy staff collaborate, innovative and flexible process technology is the result. The Løgismose microdairy in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark is proving just that.
Read this online at SEPTEMBER 2009 at www.controleng.com/archive for links to more about industrial Ethernet.