Gelatine is a multitalented ingredient for countless applications. It is a key ingredient in gummy candies, marshmallows, yogurts, desserts and much more. Food applications are perhaps the best known examples but they’re not the only ones with pharmaceuticals, emergency medicine and photographic films also utilising gelatine products.
Derived from the collagen found in the bones, connective tissue, and skin of pigs, cattle, and other animals, gelatine manufacturers must adhere to stringent national and international food processing requirements.
These regulations include but are not limited to cleanliness of the plant, equipment; and adhere to allowable percentages of additives, flavourings, and colourings.
To help safeguard future production of a large-scaled gelatine manufacturing plant, an innovative risk management approach was undertaken to identify and subsequently replace legacy equipment with assistance from Rockwell Automation.
The ultimate goal was to identify and replace legacy equipment with minimal interruption to production.
Safeguarding Gelatine Production
The existing legacy distributed control system (DCS) was over 15 years old and although it was still in operation, if it were to malfunction or breakdown, there was limited ability to have it operational in a timely manner which presented a production risk too great to ignore.
A vendor selection process was undertaken by the manufacturer to assess new technologies that could provide an effective solution for the plant’s requirements.
Through this process it was identified that the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx® distributed system was the most appropriate choice for this application.
The PlantPAx process automation system is built on a standard-based architecture using Integrated Architecture components. This system helps operators make faster, informed decisions and respond quickly to changing demands. It utilises a common automation platform for seamless integration to increase efficiencies and productivity.
The PlantPAx system connects process, discrete, power, information and safety control into one plant-wide infrastructure, leveraging EtherNet/IP™ as its backbone. As a result real time information is readily available throughout the enterprise.
According to Sean Doherty, account manager – Food & Beverage at Rockwell Automation, “In addition to the technology capabilities provided by the PlantPAx solution, a key focus for this project was to design a solution to meet the requirements of the plant, while minimising any production loss and operational risks associated with the changeover to the new system.”
Innovative Project Execution
In the first stage of this project, the Rockwell Automation Global Solutions team were engaged to conduct a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) specification. As part of this process, technical specifications, scope definition, and risk assessments were evaluated to reduce overall project risks and execution time.