How automating, integrating brix monitoring changed a winery’s operations

A California winery successfully overcame manual sampling inefficiencies by implementing an IFM integration project, achieving fully automated in-tank brix monitoring.

By Automation Group April 2, 2024
Courtesy: Amara Rozgus, CFE Media and Technology

IFM integration insights

  • A leading California winery has successfully transitioned to automated Brix monitoring for their wine production, enhancing precision and efficiency by integrating IFM technology with the assistance of Automation Group.
  • This innovative project involved configuring IO-Link masters for accurate data retrieval and crafting durable stainless steel enclosures, marking a significant advancement in the winery’s operational capabilities and quality control processes.

Challenge

A prominent California winery, known for its award-winning wines, faced operational inefficiencies with manual wine sampling, lacking the precision of an automated brix measurement system. Seeking a solution, they turned to Automation Group, an E Tech Group company, for an IFM integration project. The goal was a seamless transition to fully automated brix monitoring, overcoming delays and potential inaccuracies associated with manual methods. Our proposed solution involved configuring IO Link Masters for Modbus TCP data retrieval, coupled with the construction of two durable NEMA 4x stainless steel enclosures housing six IO Link Masters. The customer’s decision to engage Automation Group was influenced by our proven expertise in implementing solutions based on the IO Link Platform, promising a reliable and advanced automated brix measurement system to elevate their winemaking operations.

Solution

Automation Group began by verifying whether a new IFM pressure transmitter could deliver the required precision for accurate brix measurements. The winery even partnered with IFM and a well-known research university to create a document proving the accuracy of these measurements. The next step was finding suitable space for the control panels. Our team visited the site, working closely with the customer’s maintenance team to secure dedicated space.

The integration process was a collaboration with Tanknet integrators, experts in temperature control and web-based fermentation management. We set up an IO Link Master to communicate through Modbus, allowing the Tanknet team access to all registers for visualization and control. Establishing a direct connection from the server to the IO Link Panel ensured seamless integration of the IO Link Masters into the TankNet network, ensuring cohesive functioning among the technical solutions. This teamwork led to the successful implementation of the automated brix monitoring system.

Results

The project effectively met the customer’s goals by acquiring brix measurements within the tanks. Leveraging our extensive experience with IO Link Masters, we navigated the challenges of the project with our system integration expertise. Our controls engineers configured the Modbus IO Link Masters, supporting seamless integration into the system. The collaborative efforts and technical expertise of our team resulted in a positive outcome, meeting the customer’s goals for automated brix monitoring within the tanks.

Automation Group is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.

Original content can be found at Automation Group.


Author Bio: Automation Group