1. Systems Integration Case Study:

Control Design Solutions, Ltd. (CDSL) provided electrical systems integration services on a line that packages a mixture of frozen vegetables with a liquid sauce in a single serve, sealed bowl.

As the electrical technical manager on the project, CDSL integrated two tote dumps and associated conveyors, tray de-nester, piston filler, volumetric rotary filler, combination weigher, checkweigher, freezer, surge table, sleever, case erector and case sealer. CDSL system integration services included preparation of a functional description, procurement assistance, shop drawing review, development of the electrical construction bid package and vendor visits.

A functional description was developed at the start of the project and reviewed with the owner and approved vendors. The functional description included production through-put parameters, a description of the equipment involved, general operating philosophy, operational sequences, operational parameters, and safety issues. This document provided a basis for equipment vendor quotations. The description evolved through-out the design process as changes occurred and as vendor operational sequences were developed. As a part of the functional development CDSL recommended implementation of a multi-color light stack to provide the operating personnel with the status of machines in both local and remote work areas. The multi-color light stack provided the owner’s personnel with critical information needed and the flexibility that fit their work culture. CDSL interfaced with all equipment vendors to; insure compliance with the owner’s specifications, review vendor interface requirements, and to review vendor specified controls hardware. CDSL worked with the plant and vendors to standardize vendor specified controls hardware to reduce the owner’s spare parts inventory. Standardizing the hardware also reduced the maintenance training requirements. CDSL worked with the owner and equipment vendors to incorporate the upstream and downstream conveyor controls into the panels of the adjoining equipment. This eliminated the need for independent conveyor control panels and integrated control of the conveyors into the associated packaging equipment.

The owner specified that all furnished equipment was to be skid mounted with vendor supplied controls integral to the unit. This approach increased initial equipment costs but reduced integration requirements and significantly reduced installation time and costs. CDSL generated the electrical construction package which consisted of a construction scope of work; power distribution and system interconnect drawings.

2. Control System Design Case Study:

Control Design Solutions, Ltd. (CDSL) provided electrical controls support for the design, procurement and construction phases on Project Travolta. This project transferred production of an existing product and a reformulated product to an existing line in the Midwest for a major food manufacturer. With engineering starting in mid-October, the project met the client goal of producing a one day commitment of each product by the end of December.

CDSL was involved with the project from the concept as a member on the client’s core design team. A sequence of operation was provided to help achieve member buy in to the process and packaging changes required.

Some of the tasks required to incorporate these additional products into the existing line included:

  • Divert bulk rice to the mix system
  • Increase the sugar delivery rate from the existing bin to the surge bin
  • Deliver honey from the existing bulk tank to the slurry system
  • Deliver almond butter to feed after the mixer
  • Revise the vitamin feed system to handle graham flavor
  • Install a scalper in the system and route the fines to the regrind system
  • Revisions to the slurry make-up and batching system
  • Activate existing slurry enrober
  • Install a relocated air classifier
  • Install new dust collection system for classifier
  • Upgrade system to deal with allergens
  • Packaging modifications for new products

CDSL developed PLC programs to control the equipment noted in the modifications above and to provide operator interfaces. The existing PLC program was also modified to support a Foxboro framework. CDSL also designed and supplied a new PLC panel for the air classifier, almond butter skid, scalping conveyor, dust collector blower and rotary valve.

CDSL then provided on site support for I/O check-out, dry and wet mechanical check-out and engineering start-up. Once the line was accepted, CDSL conducted training classes for both the operators and the instrument technicians.

This project illustrated CDSL’s ability to work across the entire process and packaging system, both modifying and adding equipment.

3. PLC and HMI Programming Case Study:

OEM Support

A local machine builder which builds custom industrial machinery and material handling systems was experiencing a temporary overload of programming work. Control Design Solutions, Inc. (CDSL) was retained to provide programming services for machines that were currently in production.

CDSL was involved in the projects for PLC and HMI programming. The electrical designs were completed by the machine builders’ engineering staff. CDSL reviewed the electrical documentation and was given a basic functional overview of the each machine. From there CDSL created complete functional specifications which became the basis of the PLC programs. CDSL interfaced with the machine builders’ design staff to assure that CDSL was kept aware of all mechanical changes as the machines were being built. CDSL performed the PLC and HMI programming in-house and then spent time with the machine builders’ design staff testing each machine. CDSL quickly became an extension of the team playing a vital part in the final design of the machines.

CDSL continued as a representative of the machine builder throughout the FAT and startup of the machines.

CDSL has completed several projects with this local machine builder. Our relationship has been cultivated such that we are quickly integrated into the machine builders design staff.

In conclusion, CDSL has contributed to the success of the local machine builder in the following ways:

  • being available to the machine builder,
  • being able to walk into an unfamiliar project and quickly come up to speed,
  • being able to contribute to the success of the project, and
  • by acting as a machine builder representative.

The machine builder was able to maintain their aggressive sales schedule without increasing their staff.

4. On-Site Support Case Study:

Control Design Solutions has always had a commitment to provide their clients with the services that they need to get their projects operating at the desired level. This can range from construction support to check-out and start-up all the way through operator training.

A recent series of projects for a food manufacturer in the Midwest illustrates the range of on site services that CDSL is able to provide. On these projects, CDSL provided the electrical power and control design and construction documents. They also provided project management both internally and for the clients other engineering services and vendors.

CDSL attended the factory acceptance tests for several of the major pieces of equipment. When additional modifications were required on the equipment due to changes made to the packaging materials, CDSL served as the client representative at the production tests and trials at the manufacturer’s facility.

Once the design had been completed and the construction contracts issued, CDSL was asked to provide on site support during the installation. Their role was to answer contractor questions and resolve any issues due to a lack of technical expertise at the site. This enabled the project to meet its construction schedule.

During this time period, the client had a separate project to relocate a production line to this facility from a plant that was being closed. CDSL provided personnel to supervise the equipment removal and to provide documentation for the installation.

On all the projects, as construction was completed, the CDSL personnel provided I/O check-out and bumped motors to verify rotation. They then remained on site to provide assistance during production start-up.

After the lines were in production, CDSL engineers remained in the plant to work with and train the plant maintenance people on troubleshooting the line. While there they were asked to and did provide technical assistance on other lines, both existing and new.

Finally, the client wanted to upgrade some of the components on the lines and do some additional facility work. CDSL was able to provide construction administration services to fill this gap. The on site person was responsible for scheduling of the contractors, resolving problems and working with the production people to coordinate downtime.

This series of projects for a single client in a single plant illustrates the variety of services that CDSL can provide once the design has been completed.

5. Specialty Equipment Design Case Study:

Right Angle Transfer

Control Design Solutions, Ltd. (CDSL) provided the equipment and engineering services for a right angle transfer to replace the existing spinner and lane dividers on four packaging lines.

This project arose from CDSL’s desire to provide a total system solution to what they had observed to be an ongoing problem. The existing spinner and lane divider took a single row of product in cartons with the long side leading and rotated it 90°. The cartons were then separated into two rows for loading by the case packer. This arrangement had unacceptable production downtime and maintenance expenses.

CDSL did extensive research and prototype testing to develop a unit which received two cartons, long side leading, in a pair of three vane rotary feeders. As the second carton is received, the rotary feeders index 120° and drop the two cartons onto a take-away belt conveyor running perpendicular to the infeed conveyor and feds the case packer with the two cartons side by side with the short side of the cartons leading. Once, CDSL felt comfortable with the concept, the client was approached with the idea, potential savings determined and the final project scope developed.

The CDSL built right angle transfer vane feeders are indexed by Indramat servo motors. Metering belts are used to control the feed and spacing of cartons into the right angle transfer. The existing lines ran straight through to the case packer, using the spinner to orient the cartons. A 45° turn was added in both the infeed and discharge conveyors to the right angle transfer to orient the cartons properly for the case packer.

For all four lines, CDSL procured and integrated the mat top infeed conveyor, the speed-up and metering belts, the discharge conveyor and splitter with the right angle transfer. The CDSL system integration services included preparation of a functional description, procurement of the components, shop testing, programming and development of the installation and electrical construction bid package.

CDSL also provided the client with construction and start-up assistance. Of note, start-up of the first line was accomplished within two production shifts. At that time, the line was in full production and has operated in such a manner as to justify all the client cost saving projections.

To date, this equipment has been installed on a total of four lines in the plant and has been proposed on the remaining two lines.

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