Food Industry: Automation and PLC
Recently, we worked on a project for a company designing a new food product. Before contacting us, the customer reached out to an engineering firm to assist in building a system. After receiving their preliminary quote, he decided to keep looking. We were referred to the customer from our boiler manufacturer as someone looking for an electric steam boiler to heat up a steam kettle for cooking.
We met with the customer, sized up the boiler and quoted the project. The project was approved and we delivered and completed the installation of the steam system. After a few months, the customer called us back and asked if there was a way to monitor the temperature of the product and control the steam automatically so they didn’t have to open and close the steam valve constantly to maintain their process temperature. We designed and installed a temperature control system to modulate the steam supply to the kettle to keep his product at a set temperature automatically.
The system needed to be designed to operate all sensors and control wiring in a flammable environment. This required the use of an intrinsically safe barrier system. Another few months went by and we received another call wanting to add some more automation to the system as well as a second process line. We installed a plc to control the processes and included remote turning on/off of the steam boilers, pressure sensors to monitor boiler pressure and cooking tank pressure, directional control valves to automatically fill and drain the product and also a water filling and metering system to clean the kettle when process is completed.
Both systems operate independently and can be controlled through a HMI (human machine interface) display and can be accessed remotely.