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Case Studies

Supervisory Integration

Spiroflow Automation Solutions was awarded a contract to implement supervisory control on a frozen meal food manufacturing line in the United States. Approximately 50% of the existing equipment remained & the balance was replaced with new equipment sections. All equipment PLC processors were updated with the PackML communication standard, providing commonality among all equipment modules & effective communication to a supervisory PLC for line section control & data acquisition. The designed system architecture resulted in a networking strategy, which reduced the number of discrete communication networks from 4 to 2, resulting in $70,000+ networking hardware cost savings for the customer. SASI coordinated with all equipment suppliers to implement the PackML layer into their respective PLC programs, resulting in a near vertical control system commissioning.

*PackML is a standard for machine automation developed by The Organization for Machine Automation & Control (OMAC)

Customer Realized Benefits:

Expedited Change Over: SMED

  • Improved changeover time from 1.5 hrs on average to 0.5 hours or less.

Equipment Status Dashboard

  • Centralized christmas tree status board for fast diagnosis of equipment problems.

OEE Dashboards

  • Real Time Operating Equipment Efficiency dashboard

MES Ready: Data & code ready for synchronization between Production, Performance & Enterprise Management systems:

  • Recipe Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Equipment Utilization
  • Process Data Historian

Palletizer Safety

Through a series of Risk and Hazard Assessments, the customer became aware of numerous opportunities for improved functional safety of plant operations in two centralized automatic palletizing groups. The customer installed mechanical guarding where feasible and contracted with Spiroflow Automation Solutions to design, fabricate, and implement a safety control system, which included functional safety solutions for areas, which were not feasible to mechanically guard. To provide maximum flexibility in a complex equipment group a safety PLC was selected to run the safety logic. Safety rated output components were employed to disable power to motors and maintain a safe state when access to protected areas are required. Type 4 Light Curtains with muting were used in areas where guarding had to be discontinuous for pallets passage. Access doors were protected with Guard Locking Switches to prevent entry to operating areas until the area achieved a safe state.

Customer scope & deliverables for this safety upgrade project:

  • Conform to ISO 13849-1 Cat 3, PLd
  • Functional Requirements Specification (FRS)
  • Ten automatic palletizers in two functional groups
  • Two Safety rated PLC processors
  • Distributed safety IO for reduced installation cost
  • Thirty-three Type 4 Safety Light Curtains with integrated laser alignment for protection of access points.
    • Single direction Automatic Muting for passing pallets
    • Blanking for passing empty pallets
  • Guard Locking Switches for positive access denial for personnel when area is not in a safe state for entry
  • Safety Mats for personnel presence sensing
  • Dual channel Estop push buttons located in strategic locations
  • Safe Torque Off VFDs & redundant safety contactors for disconnecting motor power

Process Survey & Hardware Upgrade

Through a series of process surveys across the customer's facilities, Spiroflow Automation Solutions, Inc (SASI), identified value adding process improvements to help with safety & productivity of the facilities. These audits have created opportunities for the following:

  • SLC 500 & PLC 5 to Control Logix Upgrades
  • Process Improvement using changes to control sequence
  • Safety Improvement by making effective changes to the safety circuit design