Salad Days for Kraft

Kraft Foods produces salad dressings at three plants in Garland, Tex., Allentown, Pa., and Champaign, Ill. The company wanted to maximize ingredient usage in its pourable dressings, maintain and/or improve product quality where necessary, and find a standard control solution that could be applied at its three plants.

12/15/1999


Kraft Foods produces salad dressings at three plants in Garland, Tex., Allentown, Pa., and Champaign, Ill. The company wanted to maximize ingredient usage in its pourable dressings, maintain and/or improve product quality where necessary, and find a standard control solution that could be applied at its three plants. This would require new, improved batch process controls, since the existing control system hardware and software differed among plants and across lines.

IAS Process Applications (Mayfield Heights, O.) developed and implemented a prototype control system on one line at the Garland, Tex., facility to allow Kraft to test the system. Once system performance was verified, Kraft and IAS rolled out the control system at the other two facilities.

Each system consists of one Rockwell Software (West Allis, Wis.) RSBatch Server servicing one or more process lines. An Allen-Bradley programmable controller communicates to its respective server and to Allen-Bradley analog and discrete I/O modules over Ethernet, using Remote I/O communications.

Operator interface is accomplished using off-the-shelf PCs with touchscreen monitors housed in NEMA 4X enclosures running the Rockwell Software RSView32 operator interface software and the RSLogix5 controller programming software.

Each system tracks setpoints, changed setpoints, actual process values, phase start and stop times, and overall batch time. The system can create electronic batch sheets, thereby replacing manually generated sheets.

By installing the new process and control system, Kraft now has a standard solution for all three plants. Having one solution allows users to leverage batch and control information across plants, and can cut training costs through the use of standard equipment. Because Rockwell Software and Allen-Bradley products easily integrate, using RSView32 with the Allen-Bradley controllers helped save time and decrease complexity during installation.

Kraft has estimated that the combination of the updated manufacturing process and the rollout of the new batch control solution will result in millions of dollars of cost savings per year. These savings are expected from reduced formulation costs, reduced batch times and conversion costs, improved product uniformity, and deferred capital investments through increased capacity. System performance has been so successful that Kraft has asked IAS to begin a similar system rollout on other Kraft food lines.

Comments? Send e-mail to: mdrakulich@cahners.com

For more information on IAS Process Applications on Rockwell Automation, visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo .





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