PlantPAx can integrate all automation processes in a single plant-wide system for process, power, safety and other non-process control systems, as part of The Connected Enterprise – the realisation of Industry 4.0 principles, which increases productivity, improves efficiency and reduces the total cost of ownership.
Cans, kegs and beverage containers
One example of a company using the software is Comac Group, in Italy, which designs and manufactures keg and bottling machines for bottles, cans, kegs and beverage containers.
The company chose to create a beer kegging plant featuring a control system based on the EtherNet/IPcommunication protocol.
It installed PlantPAx for the 8,000m² facility in Bonate Sotto near Bergamo, Italy, including washing, filling and handling sections.
The project includes HMIs running FactoryTalk View SE, Allen-Bradley ControlLogixPACs, Allen-Bradley Point I/O, industrial switches Stratix 8000 and Stratix 2000 and Endress+Hauser for its process instrumentation.
“Due to results obtained, increased speed of data transmission and ease of deployment, the EtherNet/IP formula will be repeated, especially on large systems over 1,000 kegs/hour,” said Daniele Gotti, software and automation, Comac Group.
“Our choice was successful, especially compared to other protocols we have used so far, together with hardware provided by Rockwell Automation: we did not have any problems with installation, and the number of elements that can be installed on the network is not restricted.
“We were the first to modernise plant data collection, making systems more technologically advanced and higher performing and it is now one of our standards.”
The main objectives were to speed up the communication network, make it more secure and flexible and gain real-time visibility over the whole process.
EtherNet/IP meets this objective, being a much more powerful protocol in terms of flexibility and ease of implementation, and allows control of various disciplines, such as motion, control, process and safety using a single network.
The collaboration between Rockwell Automation and Endress+Hauser, and their business and product development strategies was a good fit in relation to Comac Group’s targets.
Endress+Hauser, an Encompass and Alliance partner of Rockwell Automation, proposed the use of Promag 53, an electromagnetic flowmeter that features EtherNet/IP capabilities that fully integrate with the Rockwell Automation control .
All the information, including alarms or how many liters of beer fit in a keg, pass through a single source and with Promag 53, the operator and remote service support can access diagnostic data via a web browser.
Rockwell Automation will carry out several demonstrations of PlantPAx for a plant-wide and multi-plant environment.
This includes a fictional control panel that provides real-time data. An effective Connected Enterprise collects data from IoT (Internet of Things) devices connected via EtherNet/IP across the whole plant to deliver performance-critical information.