Case Study: Ignition at Large Food Manufacturer
A large food manufacturer requested assistance from ECS Solutions in replacing a SCADA/HMI system that was unreliable and difficult to maintain. After consultation with us, they selected the Ignition platform from Inductive Automation. Ignition provides a reliable platform that can be supported and developed internally or by system integrators. Ignition would provide the power to reliably replace the existing system and the flexibility to extend the application to other functional areas of the plant, allowing visibility across the plant from a single system. Additionally, Ignition allowed one common platform to be used to control the processing and the packaging areas of the plant.
The existing SCADA provided a bridge between the control systems and the SAP system. SAP was utilizing MII, the manufacturing module with OEE. The system was not documented and the configuration was not well organized, making it difficult to understand and difficult to support. The disorganization of the data also made additions and improvements difficult to implement. The End-users desired a standardized approach. To ensure a standard approach, Ignition was chosen as the SCADA system to replace the existing system. Along with the migration from the old system, the manufacturer wanted to implement additional improvements to help the facility.
ECS implemented a migration strategy to install and commission the Ignition system in parallel with the existing system in an effort to not require a major system disruption. The existing system reached the processing areas, the packaging areas, and into the SAP system. Minimizing any impact on production was vital to continuing operations without disruption.
The new system has provided the users not just the original functionality required but also the ability to extend it throughout other functional areas of the plant. One such extension came in 2020 when the plant required a Thermal-Access tracking system to account for COVID-19 related risks. Partnering with other suppliers of the thermal imaging cameras, ECS utilized Ignition as the user interface and integration with other systems in the facility.
Prior to the upgrade, operations personnel experienced a frequent loss in production due to reliability issues with the existing SCADA system. In some cases, they had no support for custom applications that had been developed to interface between OEM systems and the old HMI system. With the help of ECS and Ignition, the manufacturer now has a supportable, predictable system that is used in multiple functional areas of the plant. Once disparate systems and custom applications have been united under a common platform.