Grain elevators are facilities at which grains are received, stored, and then distributed for direct use, process manufacturing, or export. Most facilities, however, are home to other operations such as cleaning, drying, and blending. For the most part, these processes have stayed the same for the last 150 years. Of course, better elevators and facilities have been developed and implemented as time has passed, but the basic engineering has stayed the same. In recent decades though, while those same engineering principles have stayed the same, systems and controls changed and evolved as the expansion of computer technology exploded.
For years, businesses and governments have been talking more and more about the environmental impact of modern industrial manufacturing processes and the costs associated with conventional energy sources such as coal and oil. That combined with the projected increase in fossil fuel consumption in countries such as China and India has lead to a resurgence of new investment and research in the renewable energy commercialization sector.
Robert Maxfield, the Vice President and Control System Architect of Third Evolution, recently got to see just how cutting edge companies can be in this sector while deploying ThinManager in a new state of the art facility specializing in Biomethane capture and processing. “Our client originally came to us wanting to implement a Citrix XenDesktop thin client architecture into one of their existing facilities. Having worked with it before, I knew that ThinManager was much easier to deploy and operate as well as offering greater management capabilities, so I offered to show them proof of concept of our proposed architecture using Wonderware InTouch and ThinManager instead. After seeing it in person, they were sold.”
For decades, industrial automation in North America has seen consistent growth in both volume as well as technological development. In many parts of the world, however, there has been a slower adoption rate of these new innovations in the manufacturing sector. One such innovation, Virtualization, has forced companies to reexamine their stance on waiting to adopt new technologies.
Enter NeoDyne, located in Cork, Ireland. Specializing in creating production performance monitoring and process improvement solutions, this fifteen year old system integration firm has plunged into these new technologies head first as they continue to modernize facilities across Ireland. One of their current deployments is a Manufacturing Information System (MIS) at the main processing facility owned and operated by a global leader in the cheese and whey protein market.
In America today, there are currently more than 14,000 operational chemical manufacturing facilities. Each of them provides their own challenges requiring unique and individually crafted systems to monitor and manage their manufacturing processes. When beginning a project with zero room for error, deploying the proper resources is critical.
Factory Automation Systems, founded in 1992, has been providing system design, deployment, and management services for a global leader in chemical manufacturing for a decade. Specializing in Programmable Logic Computer (PLC) integration, Factory Automation Systems partnered with their customer to grow along with their industry while never losing sight of where they started.
ESE Inc., the Engineering Solutions Experts, recently became a ThinManager Platinum Integrator after a number of successful, large scale deployments. When we initially contacted ESE, their Director of Manufacturing Information Systems John Tertin stated, “This is going to be the new standard, and ThinManager is part of that standard. Going forward, ThinManager will be employed wherever the SE system goes.” Apparently, John wasn’t kidding because when we checked in with him again, he had another successful integration story to share with us.
When a large globally recognized beverage company needed to expand their North American facilities from coast to coast, they called on the Barry Wehmiller Design Group. With more than 25 years of experience as a global supplier of manufacturing technology, and over 600 dedicated technical professionals, they were the obvious choice for such a large project. When it was time to improve and upgrade those facilities, the Barry Wehmiller Design Group called on ThinManager.
“We looked at a number of different options and settled on the ThinManager Platform because of its great reputation as it was created specifically for industrial applications. It seemed to be an ideal solution for the plant floor. It doesn’t carry a lot of overhead and it is very easy to install. That was one of the primary considerations when we chose ThinManager,” said Mike Sommars of Barry Wehmiller Design Group. He then explained the totality of this large multi-phase, multi-location project that was deployed and expanded upon over a period of time.
Here at ACP we are constantly speaking to customers and integrators about their experiences with the ThinManager Platform so we can continue to improve our product and provide better service. Recently, we had an opportunity to speak with Mike Dunstan from Matrix Technologies, Inc. to discuss their ongoing ThinManager deployment for a leading food manufacturer in North America.
Q- How many of their facilities have you performed services as an integrator?
A- Five total. Four in America and one in Canada.
For nearly thirty years, ESE, Inc, the Engineering Solutions Experts, has seen continuous growth in plant automation engineering. Headquartered in Marshfield, Wisconsin, ESE specializes in Rockwell solutions for global food and beverage manufacturers. Yet, after years of providing support and upgrades, it became apparent that there was a missing piece to the puzzle. That piece turned out to be ThinManager.
Contacted by a major cheese processing plant in California, ESE was brought in to upgrade their existing processes with a combination of modern hardware and a Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk View SE distributed SCADA system. They replaced the older PanelView terminals as well as a legacy RSView32 SCADA system that were on the factory floor with Allen-Bradley 200R VersaView Industrial PCs to give them more computing power and greater flexibility.
Jordan Engineering Builds a ThinManager Thin Client Solution “One Brick at a Time” for Canadian Precious Metals Company
There just aren’t many companies that run their businesses on old school principles. Regular face time with customers, doing a job right the first time, and giving back to the people around them are just a few. Jordan Engineering does all this and more. Giving indeed seems to be the secret ingredient for this integration company’s success.
CEO and founder, Sandra Murre has always worked hard to build success. Sandra and Jordan Engineering share that success with their employees, their customers and the world around them. The profits from the business get split into thirds; one third is returned to the employees through profit-sharing, one third goes back into the business to improve customer service, fund growth and business performance and yet another third goes to charity.
Polytron, Inc. jumped in to help a major juice processor and bottler resolve hardware and software issues with approximately 100 Human Machine Interface (HMI) terminals at their facility. The bottler found that maintenance and replacement of failed computers, required software updates, and the multitude of applications, resulted in production downtime and overall inefficiencies.
Hardware and software complicates life on the plant floor – Environmental conditions on the plant floor and the heat generated by each individual computer caused the HMI computers to fail frequently, compromising the manufacturing plant where system uptime is critical. When an HMI computer hardware failure occurred, plant maintenance personnel would spend hours setting up another computer to replace the one that failed.