The primary challenge for the new site was the relatively short timescales in which the plant had to be up and running – the first orders were received in February 2014 and the plant needed to be up and running by the end of 2014. Beenen, with support from Rockwell Automation, was instrumental in addressing this challenge in its commitment to meet the 12 month timescale, compared to an industry average of 18 to 24 months.
In addition to the timescale challenge, Fonterra has its own standards for motor control and faceplates – with interfaces to devices from other providers and competitors. During the project, they were converted to the Rockwell Automation standards by using our process library.
The complete integrated solution chosen by Fonterra, comprised multiple elements of the Rockwell Automation product offering, many of which are part of the company’s cutting-edge Connected Enterprise offering.
By using EtherNet/IP™ as the primary communication protocol, Fonterra has given itself the opportunity to move easily into The Connected Enterprise®, an approach manufacturers are adopting to leverage the use of connected machines, supply chains and customers. Manufacturers are able to establish manufacturing processes that are data / information rich, supported, secure and future ready for market demands.
Ultimately, a Connected Enterprise approach for manufacturers will create a more competitive, innovative enterprise that can deliver insights to improve productivity, sustainability and economic performance through faster time to market, lower total cost of ownership, improved asset utilisation and enterprise risk management. Other benefits of access to real-time, contextualised information, include minimised downtime, improved technology and process optimisation, greater workforce efficiency and smarter expenditure. Because EtherNet/IP is based on standard, unmodified Ethernet, it means that there is very little that needs to be done for these connections to be established; and full security solutions are also available for user control and to prevent unwarranted access.
From a product perspective, Fonterra has deployed multiple Allen-Bradley ControlLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs), working in conjunction with Allen-Bradley CENTERLINE® 2500 motor control centres (MCC), complete with Allen-Bradley E300™ Electronic Overload Relays and more than 250 Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® variable-speed drives, some with dual-Ethernet capabilities. Arranged in 42 cabinet columns, the MCC installation is 50m in length. As well as providing intelligent centralised motor control, the CENTERLINE MCCs also offer advanced energy management capabilities and integration into the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture – delivering true plug-and-play capabilities.
According to Alex van Dalen, the General Manager from Beenen BV: “Beenen worked very hard to win this project and was initially bidding against two other local system integrators. We go for quality and the best solution, therefore Beenen employed Rockwell Automation to design and develop the MCC solution, while Beenen undertook the remainder of the electrical and automation work based around other Allen-Bradley solutions. We built up a real team ethic with Rockwell Automation and the positive effects of this cooperation was evident in the dealings with Fonterra and, of course, the success of the project.”
The software installation is just as impressive: FactoryTalk® View offers overall visibility into the processes and interface with the ERP and process-control systems; FactoryTalk® Historian is used for collection; and FactoryTalk® VantagePoint is used for information, visualisation and dissemination. By making data freely available in an easy-to-read format, when you need it, in the specific format required for each job role; operators and managers are able to make much more informed decisions, much quicker and with greater positive effects on the line optimisation. FactoryTalk® AssetCentre gives Fonterra the ability to centrally secure, manage, version control, track and report automation-related asset information across its entire facility. AssetCentre also provides automatic scheduled backups of controllers thus supporting “disaster recovery”. Rockwell Software® CPG Suite® delivers value-based applications that can help Fonterra achieve operational excellence, increase supply chain effectiveness, adhere to regulatory compliance guidelines and meet sustainability goals.
Completing the installation is a number of value-added service offerings, which include a parts-management contract providing critical spare parts, a TechConnect® support contract and in-depth training for the Fonterra operatives.