Electrical supplier, Graybar, knew Acadian Seaplants was already using Allen-Bradley® CompactLogix™ programmable automation controllers (PACs) from Rockwell Automation. To help Acadian Seaplants grow capacity without adding hardwiring for motor controls, Graybar proposed using Allen-Bradley CENTERLINE® motor control centers (MCCs) with IntelliCENTER® technology. Enabled by EtherNet/IP™, the MCCs easily integrate with controllers in the existing system.
Acadian Seaplants continued to automate their existing space and increased their production capacity by about 50 percent between 2008 and 2009. But by 2011, the company needed to expand again, and decided to build a much larger plant across the street.
“We had gained a proven, reliable solution in our existing space, but needed to implement it on a much larger scale,” said Wade Hazel, engineering manager for Acadian Seaplants. They also wanted to avoid any downtime so they could continue to meet orders. In the new facility, Acadian Seaplants also wanted to expand their recently implemented integrated MCC and controller solution, and enable remote support to reduce maintenance time.
Over three years, the Acadian Seaplants engineering team moved existing processes and equipment into the new facility, named the Deveau Center. The plant science division gained three times more manufacturing space, meaning they needed more equipment. Given their experience in the 2009 expansion, Graybar knew how to help Acadian Seaplants implement the same MCC solution at a facility five times the size of the original operation.
With counsel from Graybar, the Acadian Seaplants engineering team designed an integrated plant-wide infrastructure for system monitoring and motor control over EtherNet/IP.
The network became critical when the Acadian Seaplants team worked in stages to move existing processes to the new site. To start, the team built a piping system over land and under the street to move liquid product between the two facilities. As the team installed new equipment, they connected it via EtherNet/IP to the existing equipment on the other side of the street.
Acadian Seaplants subscribed to the TechConnectSM service from Rockwell Automation for many years. The service’s 24/7 phone support helped the engineering team solve issues quickly, especially in the early stages of plant automation.
The engineering team installed three CompactLogix PACs to manage all system functions. The PACs seamlessly connect with other system components via the EtherNet/IP network. System information is fed to a desktop computer on-site, where staff can monitor operations in real time.
The Acadian Seaplants team moved the existing CENTERLINE MCCs and installed additional ones to provide precise motor control and power throughout the seaweed-processing facility.
The team easily set up and configured the MCCs using the same software as the PACs – Rockwell Software® Studio 5000 Automation Engineering & Design Environment™. The IntelliCENTER software that monitors the MCC can also send the motor control device information directly to Studio 5000 software. The Rockwell Software Studio 5000® software recognizes the intelligent components in the MCCs, including variable speed drives and full-voltage starters. The add-on profiles immediately provide parameters for each component for faster configuration.