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Turatti Sees Increased Productivity in its Food Washing Machinery

Italian machine builder delivers higher productivity and seamless data distribution thanks to the PlantPAx™ Process Automation System from Rockwell Automation

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  • Shorter time spent on lines programming and installation on site
  • Enhanced troubleshooting
  • Considerable decrease of machine downtimes, of up to 80 percent


Constant investment in R&D and innovation and the highest attention to food quality are the main reasons behind Turatti's ever-growing success in the food industry. The Italian company, based in Cavarzere, near Venice, designs and manufactures machinery and complete processing lines and invests 15 percent its sales income into R&D, while 82 percent of its machines go for export. In addition to its headquarter in Cavarzere, the company has established offices in Yorba Linda, California (US) and in Allonnes, France.

“We are a family-run company founded in 1869 with a long history of innovation in the agro-industrial field. Today we are able to offer a wide range of processing solutions for canned food, frozen and fresh products, fresh-cut and convenience food,” explains Alessandro Turatti, Sales Director of Turatti Srl and President of Turatti North America – representing the fifth-generation of Turatti family.

Turatti manufactures custom solutions for the food industry and works both for food service companies, which refurbish fast-food chain equipment, and for big multi-national end users.

“Our customers require maximum safety, stable working cycles and smart resource consumption in their processing lines,” Turatti elaborates. “Turatti's production is fully oriented to satisfy these requirements, thanks to our cooperation with the best hardware and software machine automation technologies providers.”


Two years ago a big corporation in the fresh food market asked Turatti to realize a washing and treatment pilot plant for fresh salad. After the first master plan, the customer commissioned Turatti for eight other plants in three different key locations. The eight new Turatti plants started running between 2012 and 2013. “For this customer we designed and realized a patented continuous-flow washing and treatment system. This revolutionary system utilizes the proven closed pipe flume concept to transport water and fresh salad, which is mainly based on thermal shock (from 60 to 3°C). This closed flume features full submersion of the product, which means excellent washing and treatment process and minimizes microorganism growth,” Claudio Gaffarelli, Head of Automation and Software Department of Turatti, explains.

Turatti's customer needed to control water conditions (pH), micro-organism presence and temperature. At the same time, the customer demanded easier and more precise process regulation, to help ensure the best product quality. They needed to perform working speed cycles up to 5 tons/hour. “In order to help ensure product quality in the lines, we had to design a solution which could avoid any severe fluctuation or sudden variation of level, flow, pressure or temperature conditions. Even minimal temperature variations, in a range of 0.1 or 0.2°C, could irreparably damage the fresh salad in some steps of the treatment or washing process. Thus, the project required seamless integration of field instruments and valves, which should be managed directly by the automation and control platform,” Gaffarelli adds. When realizing the washing and treatment plants for fresh salad, Turatti selected the PlantPAx™ Process Automation System from Rockwell Automation.


The eight washing and treatment lines for fresh salad commissioned by Turatti's customer feature PlantPAx, integrating process control, safety and connectivity solutions. The PlantPAx system uses an EtherNet/IP network and supports direct management of the field process instrumentation.

The PlantPAx platform designed by Rockwell Automation for each of the eight Turatti's plants is based on one PlantPAx controller layer with safety functionalities, and four human-machine interfaces (HMI).

The controller and the HMIs share an EtherNet/IP ring network. Sharing the same ring network are 12 Endress+Hauser Promag 53 flowmeters and four SMC EX260 valves. The flowmeters and valves share another EtherNet/IP star network. Direct communication between measurement instrumentation, HMI and controller is based on the connectivity provided by PlantPAx, including five unmanaged switches, four embedded switches and I/O modules, with dual port Ethernet adapters with standard and safety I/O.

The system also features 14 variable speed drives. The drives manage conveyor belts, fans and run the 11kW pumps driving water and fresh salad into the closed pipe flumes.

The PAC manages both safety and process control functionalities. It controls the main washing and treatment steps in the plant, including the heat exchangers functions: salad uploading and submersion in the prewashing zone, salad transport in the warm-washing and cold-washing zones, final unloading and weighing.

Two HMIs are placed in the warm-washing zone, one is in the cold-washing zone, one is in the maintenance cabinet, while the fifth HMI provides operators with access to overall data history and exchange management. The HMIs integrate FactoryTalk® View ME software for process parameters monitoring: temperature, pressure, flow and pH values. The HMI solution also provides operators with remote access, process control and machine diagnostics data sharing, thanks to the integrated web browser.

The PlantPAx system is entirely programmed with RSLogix™ 5000 software. “We set up the overall Endress+Hauser instrumentation and programmed the safety and control functionalities in the single programming integrated platform from Rockwell Automation,” Gaffarelli explains.


PlantPAx made it faster and easier for Turatti to build the eight plants for its customer. “Thanks to easy-to-use programming software,” Gaffarelli explains, “our engineering team minimized not only time spent on I/O, control, safety programming and instrumentation set-up, but also on the plant's installation on site.”

Furthermore, Turatti also delivered washing and treatment plants with a process control solution based on a single EtherNet/IP backbone for HMI, control, safety, pneumatics and process instrumentation devices. The customer can take advantage of excellent operational safety, the direct link between field devices and the supervisory network and real-time data communication. “Thanks to the single EtherNet/IP ring network which the PlantPAx system leverages, data communication results are more robust and the risk of signal transmission breaks is minimized; our customer also achieves more seamless integration between control and safety functions,” Gaffarelli underlines.

The PlantPAx system features multiple-loop control and main process parameters regulation on Turatti's plants. Turatti's customer is now able to check overall operating costs and throughput quality. With the PlantPAx system, Turatti's customer can rely on one common, sophisticated platform of diagnostics, alarms management and supervision. “Our customer gained enhanced troubleshooting operations, faster production cycles and a considerable decrease in machine downtime of up to 80 percent,” Gaffarelli concludes. “Moreover, thanks to the PlantPAx HMI solution, operators have access to role based information and can visualize it through the user-friendly screen shots displayed in FactoryTalk. Operators can access both technical operating instructions and alarm instructions directly from the HMI panel too. The integrated web browser application also offers improved access to the overall plant data.


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