Tomato peeler system upgrade: Cutting downtime, boosting efficiency

An efficient PLC and SCADA upgrade successfully minimized downtime, reduced costs, and improved the operational control of a tomato peeler system, enhancing product quality and competitiveness for a food manufacturer.

By Automation Group March 19, 2024
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology

Peeler system insights

  • An efficient upgrade of a tomato peeler system’s programmable logic controller (PLC) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system significantly reduced downtime and costs, enhancing operational control and product quality for a food manufacturer.
  • The upgrade involved transitioning to a modern EtherNet/IP control system and implementing new software for better system visibility and real-time monitoring, leading to smoother operations and market competitiveness.

A prominent food manufacturing company specializing in tomato processing faced a significant challenge with their existing peeler system. The controls hardware was outdated, causing a higher risk of downtime, limited maintenance support and poor controls performance and control network communications. The company needed to resolve these challenges and sought the support of Automation Group, an E Tech Group company. The food manufacturer chose Automation Group for their proven track record and expertise in control systems, supporting a swift and successful automation project.


The customer needed to upgrade their existing panel hardware for a modern EtherNet/IP control system. Automation Group analyzed the customer’s existing system and provided the customer with a detailed plan to meet their specific needs of an upgraded system. This upgrade involved converting their programmable logic controller (PLC) to the Rockwell Automation ControlLogix platform using the programming environment. The customer also needed support connecting the ControlLogix platform to a new EtherNet/IP control network, converting several Powerflex VFDs with EtherNet/IP communications and programming human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software for improved system visibility and real-time data monitoring. Automation Group supported the system upgrade, retagging and remapping the existing logic to the new EtherNet/IP controlled hardware. The HMIs and SCADA system were redesigned and programmed to provide the customer’s operators with better usability and improved access to critical data, ultimately enhancing their operational efficiency.


The project was completed on schedule, minimizing downtime. This led to significant cost savings as system failures were reduced. Improved control performance ensured smoother tomato peeler operations, enhancing the customer’s product quality. The enhanced system visibility enabled data-driven decisions and proactive issue resolution, reducing operational risks and improving efficiency. Ultimately, this project supported the food manufacturer’s competitiveness in the market with a more modern control system.

– Automation Group is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.

Original content can be found at Automation group.

Author Bio: Automation Group