MELARECON is used in industry
Our customer, a medium-sized family business in the southern Oldenburg area, has been concentrating on the production and sale of high-quality meat products for 75 years. In order not to leave the quality of the end products to chance, the company lovingly rears the ducks and geese in its own stables. The company has also developed its own methods for slaughtering, in which the important flavors remain in the epidermis.
But after all the years of constant growth, the electronics in the production halls were no longer state of the art. The failure of a drive was usually detected very late and the search for the error often took a long time. Production stood still during this time. In addition, the current production progress could not be monitored from the office.
Due to the different methods used during slaughtering, the analogue control devices used up to now had to be set and activated either the day before or the night before production started so that work could start on time in the morning. From an energetic point of view, this was no longer economical today. In addition, small notes were used to record which temperatures had to be set for which production process. Here, too, the customer’s desire to digitize these “recipes” grew, in order to secure the know-how acquired over the years.
The conversion was carried out during a vacation break and during ongoing operations in two steps:
- Conversion of all temperature controls and collection of data for system monitoring
- Modification of the ventilation in the production hall, as well as further optimization of the production process
There were several sub-distributions throughout the production building. This was also connected decentrally to the main controller in the first construction phase using a CANopen bus system. Additional drives, error messages, temperatures and other digital and analog inputs and outputs were integrated. A total number of 424 different peripheral data points are processed via CANopen today.
Today every drive is monitored. Both the operating time and the downtime are determined here. The speeds of all frequency-controlled conveyor belts are specified via analogue outputs. Operating points that previously had to be set using switches have been replaced by push-button points and can now be adjusted remotely via a smartphone app or on a PC. The complete system visualization can be operated and monitored either on the touch panel in production or on SolidBlue. The management and some of the employees have an overview of the entire production process on a large television at all times. If an error message occurs, those responsible will either receive an e-mail and/or be informed by push notification on their smartphone. This has drastically reduced downtime. According to the managing director, the failure of a refrigerated warehouse in which finished goods were already stored could be detected early on by the system over the past six months, thus avoiding major economic damage.
All measurement data is automatically stored on SolidBlue. The temperatures can not only be monitored, but also evaluated and verified. All functions are first clearly displayed on a dashboard and can either be edited or further diagnosed on this basis.
Another important point was the planning of the production and the securing of know-how. It is now possible to plan production in advance using a calendar. Settings that previously had to be made on site the day before or the night before by the management themselves or by the shift foreman are now made automatically by the system. In addition, important presettings for the different slaughtering methods can be stored in the system using production templates and loaded accordingly into the system. Despite the default settings, the respective shift manager can adjust the settings on site at any time on the touch panel or via a button. If the work is finished earlier than expected, the system can be switched to standby mode at the touch of a button. All of these optimizations reduce working times, energy consumption and possible incorrect entries.
As already mentioned at the beginning of this article, our customer also operates his own stables and takes care of the rearing of the animals himself for the most part. The main advantage of the SolidBlue platform is that the employees of the company only have to work with a single system, in which both the slaughterhouse and the individual stables that have been converted to this system are available. MELARECON and SolidBlue can be adapted so flexibly that the existing sewage treatment plant can also be controlled via the system.
We would like to say a big thank you to the entire staff at Geflügelhof Nobis GmbH for the great cooperation. Special thanks go to the managing directors Stefan and Franz Nobis, who always had an open ear for every question during the implementation.