Responsible for approximately 30 percent of the world’s dairy exports, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited is New Zealand’s largest company that owns a network of biggest and most advanced processing facilities across the globe.
The company collects 22 billion liters of milk in order to make dairy products available to millions of consumers in 140 countries annually.
A few years ago, Fonterra commissioned its first European dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen in the Northern Netherlands.
Peak production will see the plant process up to 2.7 million liters of whey per day, with annual production figures of around 25,000 tonnes of lactose and 5,000 tonnes of protein products.
In Fonterra’s New Zealand plant, it uses Allen-Bradley® programmable automation controllers (PACs) and SCADA solutions from Rockwell Automation, with motors and motor-control technology from other suppliers.
But for the Heerenveen plant development, the company opted for a comprehensive wall-to-wall solution of automation, process and motor control based around Allen-Bradley products.
Therefore Rockwell Automation and Beenen B.V., a Rockwell Automation Recognized System Integrator, helped Fonterra to set up a completely integrated control solution from one single supplier that also offered effective communication from the shop floor to the top floor.
When the new plant received the first order in February 2014, challenges were brought to Fonterra — 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 the company’s process library.
A Complete Integrated Solution
The solution for Fonterra was made up of multiple elements of the Rockwell Automation product offering, many of which are part of the company’s cutting-edge Connected Enterprise offering.
Along with the deployment of various Allen-Bradley hardware and motor control centers (MCCs), they installed FactoryTalk® View, FactoryTalk Historian, FactoryTalk VantagePoint® and FactoryTalk AssetCentre to make process data freely available in an easy-to-read format as well as specific format required for each job roles.
The plant can centrally secure, manage, version control, track, and report automation-related information across its entire facility.
Also, a Rockwell Software® CPG Suite® manufacturing execution system (MES) is installed to deliver 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 TechConnectSM support contract and in-depth training for the Fonterra operatives.
Just One Needed
Today, Fonterra is very satisfied with the Heerenveen plant’s performance, and the operation teams are enthusiastic about the benefits of system-device Premier Integration.
Thanks to The Connected Enterprise approach, the company is able to leverage the manufacturing data effectively and then share it with everyone that needs to see both historic and real-time information.
Rockwell Automation is now the Fonterra standard in the Netherlands and by deploying a complete Rockwell Automation solution, it has and it needs only one supplier instead of two, which offers extra benefits in terms of maintenance and spares.
“We selected our suppliers based on total cost of ownership (TCO),” explained Hans Berghorst, operations director at Fonterra. “We not only looked at the CAPEX, but also at the life costs over 10 years and determined that the Rockwell Automation approach developed by Beenen was the best solution.”