Asia’s top hygiene product manufacturer enjoyed beneficial outcomes from a successful conversion of a legacy control system to modern DCS.
Perhaps it is more economical to keep legacy control systems running than to upgrade to new ones.
However, finding replacement parts and getting support for maintaining its useful life were certainly some tough challenges.
Even some professionals claimed that it was almost impossible to obtain the updated functions needed to improve efficiency.
But if the distributed control system (DCS) reaches the end of its useful life, or more commonly, hits the bottleneck of productivity, system migration will be necessary.
Apparently, system migration will need to be completed quickly yet safely and securely, with no downtime or risk to meeting production targets. These are the inevitable challenges, but resolvable if the right tool is used.
Time to Migrate: From Legacy to Modern
A customer of Rockwell Automation, Asia’s top leader in the home and personal care industry – Yuhan-Kimberly, a joint venture between Yuhan-YangHang and American company Kimberly-Clark, has successfully overcome such challenges. They have proved to worldwide manufacturers that their decision of migrating outdated DCS to an integrated modern one is far more cost-efficient.
Yuhan-Kimberly has been engaging in manufacturing and distribution of sanitary products for many years, and their personal care products have now become an important part of everyday life in South Korea.
Realizing that importing raw materials from the U.S. for processing and packaging household supplies was no longer efficient or effective, Yuhan-Kimberly had decided to move their machine in the U.S. facility to Kimcheon, to their hygiene paper manufacturing plant in South Korea, to handle a rapidly increased demand for paper towels.
They began working toward replacing the legacy control system, Honeywell’s PlantScape®, and modernizing the architecture, once they recognized the old system that they were running in the plant could not answer the challenges brought up by the new manufacturing plan nor fulfill their new targets on productivity and safety.
A Unified Process Solution
Yuhan-Kimberly was determined to convert their legacy system, which includes controller, human-machine interface (HMI) and machine safety. They adopted PlantPAx®, a modern DCS based on the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture® system, to provide full production line and recipe capabilities, solving quality and consistency issues.
The new process control system centers on the Allen-Bradley® ControlLogix® programmable automation controller (PAC). One of the differentiating capabilities of the ControlLogix PACs is that they build the tools, protocol, and architecture into one fully integrated, scalable control platform that can be used throughout the manufacturer’s plant.
The PlantPAx DCS provides a broad range of architecture options for increased flexibility. The same platform can be utilized for single stations or large distributed architectures.
For the project, the modern DCS consolidates control technology, offering scalable system capabilities – HMI, batch management and data collection that do not require a server or workstation, which is perfect for process skid equipment and rapid integration.
Based on open communication standards leveraging EtherNet/IP™ as its backbone, PlantPAx makes real-time information readily available throughout the enterprise for better business or operational decisions.
Moreover, PlantPAx Library of Process Objects contributed to accelerating the migration process, maintaining consistency and reducing installation time. As system operators and engineers were able to minimize system deployment and test time, production efficiency and time-to-market were improved.
Significant Optimization Improvements
“It was not an easy project. We thought we would need various network interfaces with many products from different makers,”Jong-Kyu Lee, Project Leader, Yuhan-Kimberly Project Leader expressed. “But we were able to deploy PlantPAx DCS and GuardLogix Safety on a single hardware/ software through Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture products and solutions, which allowed us to implement a reliable, robust system.”
PlantPAx Library of Process Objects saved two months from the total implementation time; the stable and successful conversion from PlantScape legacy DCS to PlantPAx process automation system was completed ahead of scheduled time.
Because the library is simple and convenient to use, the overall migration procedures have become easier. Unlike that with the legacy system, operators can skip checking the Logic programs one-by-one; instead, they check and make changes to the operating condition of the machine and view the interlock status via a single faceplate.
Other than supporting on hardware and software, the domain expertise of the Rockwell Automation Global Process Technical Consultant (GPTC) team provided technical supports and coaching sections to Chumdan FA, Rockwell Automation Process Solution Integrators (SI) engineers and the Korean manufacturer’s operators. The engineers and operators received training on acclimating to the new system and leveraging the features. The GPTC led Yuhan-Kimberly through its well-defined and strategic technology migration path.
“We could also conduct an independent test and a simulation test effectively before the Site Acceptance Test, which allowed us reliable and fast system startup,” said Se-Yong Jang, Project Lead, SI partner Chumdan FA.
Yuhan-Kimberly partners with Rockwell Automation for ongoing support and training, reducing their operational costs.
With the smooth migration completed on an integrated platform, they have improved knowledge transfer and minimized the cost for the spare parts and training remarkably with the one common plant-wide platform. Additionally, PlantPAx has reduced their total cost of ownership (TCO) while satisfying the customer’s request for improved machine safety.