- corosys needed to adopt a new control system for the US brewing industry, which entailed a complete redesign of its existing architecture
- Integrated Architecture
- Allen-Bradley CompactLogix Programmable Automation Controller (PAC)
- Allen-Bradley PanelView HMI
- Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 525 and 755 Variable-Speed Drives
- EtherNet/IP Network
- Engineering time cut from four to two days
- Simpler deployment and integration due to hardware and software running in a single platform
- Single, open communication protocol offers more streamlined access to wider control infrastructure and remote maintenance channels
- All hardware already certified for US market
- Simpler programming than incumbent supplier
Engineering time cut in half and legislation addressed for brewing carbonation system, thanks to Integrated Architecture approach
corosys Prozeßsysteme und Sensoren GmbH (corosys Process Systems and Sensors plc) is a manufacturer and supplier of sensors, components and complete process systems for the worldwide brewing, beverage, chemical/pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
It provides engineering solutions ranging in size from single sensors to turnkey plants and systems. As a medium-scale enterprise, it is always in a position to react quickly and flexibly to customer needs. For over ten years it has provided innovative, high quality and individual customer solutions, with more than 600 projects in six continents demonstrating the quality and efficiency of its solutions.
In its desire to offer applications to a more global audience, the company recently embarked on a programme to develop control and process architectures based on Allen-Bradley® products and solutions from Rockwell Automation. Following this development work, not only has the company increased its export potential, but it has also realised many of the technical benefits inherent with the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture approach.
The primary challenge for corosys was the development of completely new control infrastructures for many elements within its line of machine and process solutions. For the US market it also needed a solution that would already be compliant with local and national legislation and the bespoke legislation within the brewing and beverage industry.
For this migration project, it knew it would have to rely heavily on automation engineers from its new supplier, who not only knew the industry, but also the many challenging demands of the processes; as well as having an intimate knowledge of their own hardware and how it would interact with existing enterprise-level systems at the customer sites.
One machine to benefit from the new solution is the company’s Carbonation System (CCS), which continuously and highly accurately controls the CO2 content of beer, beer mix drinks, soft drinks and mineral water by precisely regulated dosing of CO2. The process is well established in the brewing and soft drink industry for the production of carbonated beverages and can be installed between beer filtration and the bright beer tank (BBT) as well as directly before the filler. A blending system or a premixer can also be combined with the unit. The system is characterised by highly accurate and reliable analysers and precise control algorithms.
Stefan Feider, Head of Automation at corosys explains the process: “The US market has a lot of manual filters and our idea was to engineer a carbonation system to carbonate beer to a very accurate value, without the need for a buffer tank. Normally you need a buffer prior to carbonation and then a filler tank afterwards. With our unit, running on the Allen-Bradley hardware and Rockwell Software® solution, we can run without a buffer tank. It is also a very small unit compared to other solutions. And with many of our customers having real estate at a premium, the compactness of the Allen-Bradley CompactLogix™ programmable automation controller (PAC) suited the small cabinet size, while still delivering the performance we needed.”
In operation, CO2 is injected into the beer via a GDI gas injector developed by corosys. The gas injector splits the CO2 into very small bubbles to ensure that the CO2 completely dissolves in a very short time. The homogeneous dispersion and the absence of gas bubbles can be monitored using a sight glass situated at the outlet of the dissolving path and the CO2 content is continuously measured in-line at the outlet of the unit. The productspecific set point is compared with the process value and the CO2 flow is adjusted accordingly using a control algorithm. The control valve, which is located at the end of the dissolving path, keeps the pressure in the system constant, even if the flow is unsteady.
“We measure the CO2 content at the end using a sample system.” Feider explains, “The CompactLogix PAC is used to calculate the levels using advanced algorithms and then changes the flow to adjust it to reflect the optimum mix. The PAC looks at the input and the output, so the levels do not have to be retrospectively adjusted. This approach means that there is no need for a buffer tank as the flow is adjusted inline.”
In addition to the CompactLogix PAC, the machine also deploys an Allen-Bradley PanelView™ HMI to provide operator interactions, Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® 525 and 755 variable-speed drives to control the pumps, and a number of I/O modules for data capture and sensor inputs. By deploying an EtherNet/IP™ based network infrastructure, the machine can also be controlled by a wider process control system.
By using EtherNet/IP as the primary communication protocol, corosys has given itself the opportunity to more easily offer its customers remote monitoring and maintenance, while also having the option to connect the machine into its customers’ Connected Enterprise. The Connected Enterprise, an approach manufacturers are adopting to leverage the use of connected machines, supply chains and customers, allows them to establish manufacturing processes that are data / information rich, supported, secure and future ready for market demands.
Ultimately, a Connected Enterprise approach for manufacturers and their suppliers such as corosys, 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.
Feider elaborates: “With Allen-Bradley products on board, we can now offer different options for our customers. We have seen real benefits in terms of flexibility and engineering time – reducing the overall engineering effort from four days to just two. Rockwell Automation is also the standard process control solution in the USA and the Americas and the team at Rockwell Automation in Germany gave us incredible support, especially in the engineering of the first export units.
“We use standard CompactLogix PACs, which allow us to make all the I/O very small,” Feider continues. “Also, by using PowerFlex drives, we have been able to leverage the Integrated Architecture environment and we now have standardised software which works across the PAC, the drives and the HMI. In our case, full parameters are stored in the PAC, which makes it much easier to monitor and programme. The integration is really superb across the PAC, the drives and the HMI; it is so easy to make adjustments.
“By using EtherNet/IP,” he elaborates, “we are also able to offer remote maintenance and diagnostics, something we recently deployed with a customer based in San Diego. Another big advantage of the CompactLogix & EtherNet/ IP combination, is the easier integration into customer sites, irrespective of the customer’s existing hardware.”
Feider is also keen to point out the advantages over the company’s other automation supplier: “The Rockwell Automation HMI is easier to programme as we can use stored parameters, make templates and then link these to other code blocks; there is no need to re-establish programming links. The drives are completely integrated and can be set up in the PAC. It is also easier to programme as it is all in ladder logic, which is more maintenance friendly; and by using an Ethernet based solution, we don’t have extra expense of costly programming plugs. Finally, all the hardware is certified for the US market and there is no need to make adjustments for different states’ requirements.”