A large processing facility has nine individual, continuous process production lines each producing different products. These nine production lines required the products to be distributed to 31 different packaging lines and nine temporary storage areas. These products are distributed via a complex conveyor matrix. This matrix presented several unique challenges to EAD including prevention of different products being mixed together prior to packaging, minimization of waste products due to spillage caused by a breakdown of packaging lines, and integration of over 40 PLC controllers.
EAD performed several projects on this matrix system including adding new conveyors to allow products to be distributed to more packaging lines, installing gates to protect products from cross contamination, and installing new photoeyes on storage bins that were susceptible to dust accumulation, other improvements included upgrading obsolete Allen-Bradley PLC-5 Controls systems to the new contrologix platform, utilizing SQL and OSI/Pi based database systems to monitor conditions and troubleshoot using historical data and using barcode systems and lot tracking to ensure the right products are packaged in the right container.