Big Production Increase for Chocolate Factory

5 min video  /  2 minute read

Project Scope

  • Tags: 113,324
  • Screens: 60
  • Clients: 3
  • Alarms: 453
  • Devices: LogixDriver
  • Architecture: Standard
  • Database: MySQL
  • Historical data logged: 
  • Historical Group 1: 30 tags, sample time = 1 seg, 7'776.000 row 
  • Historical Group 2: 6 tags, sample time = 10 seg, 777.600 row 
  • Historical Group 3: 16 tags, sample time = 30 seg, 259.200 row 
  • Historical Group 4: 2 tags, sample time = 60 seg, 129.600 row

Project Overview

This is a new SCADA system powered by Ignition for the new Grupo Alimenticio Alba del Fonce (GAAF) chocolate factory located in Piedecuesta, Colombia. The new system upgrades the old standalone control to enable a fully integrated chocolate plant.



GAAF was operating at 40% of its installed capacity and it was required to increase production by 170% in order to meet market demand. In addition, the company needed a system that would provide complete control of the production line, in order to optimize productivity and traceability.

GAAF could not reach the required production levels without reviewing and controlling the process variables efficiently and reliably. Therefore, it was essential to migrate from manual control and manual record management to automatic and integrated control.



Factory Compass by Dautom was developed in Ignition; it is a platform for the supervision and operation management of industrial plants. The development of the system was based on ISA 88, 95 and 101 standards, as well as on Rockwell Automation PlantPAX libraries, allowing for the standardization of components both in control and SCADA.

Factory Compass is essentially a modular, scalable and flexible industrial automation platform that supports open communication protocols, developed with standardized code for the most positioned controller brands in the industry (Rockwell Automation and Siemens).

Four production lines (reception, cocoa, table chocolate, and industrial services) were integrated for the GAAF plant, using a standard architecture with a Lenovo ThinkServer TS150 server and a ControlLogix 1756-L81ES PAC. The Ignition Vision, SQL Bridge, and Reporting modules were used on the Ignition platform. It is worth highlighting the use of the SQL Bridge Module for the integration of historical variables and operational parameters with MySQL, which simplifies tasks that with other SCADA providers would have required extensive development work.

Even without the redundant license, Ignition's flexibility allows for rapid system migration to a backup server, equipped with a mirror copy of the database and pre-installed license package without activation, allowing short downtimes for low-criticality applications.


  • Dashboard customized to the information requirements of operator, production, and executive profiles.
  • Migration of paper reports to digitized formats, which are automatically filled out using direct process data, or by the operators through an HMI.
  • Management of configurable operational parameters of the production process.
  • Historical record of process variables: Grain-roasting temperature curves, raw-materials reception (cocoa beans, sugar, and fats), and dosage and mixing of chocolate batches.
  • Inventory management of raw materials, product in process, and finished product.
  • Monitoring of production parameters for continuous improvement.
  • Recipe management.
  • Integration of the energy parameters of the plant, to contribute to the cost analysis of the company.

Project Information

Created By:   Dautom

Dautom is a Colombian company founded in 2013. It belongs to the sector of the orange economy of the technological base, focused on the design, development, and integration of industrial-based projects, specializing in the food & beverage industry, with an international projection. The company’s services include design, detail engineering, assembly, and commissioning of electrical, control, and instrumentation.


Project For:   Grupo Alimenticio Alba del Fonce (GAAF)

GAAF is based in Santander, Colombia. Initially, it was in the business of processing cereals for mass consumption in the area. In 2011, the company was acquired by the Hernández Hormiga Family. The new owners added coffee and cocoa to its production and marketing portfolio, to supply market demand nationwide. The company conducts operations in Bucaramanga, Barrancabermeja and Piedecuesta. Its new chocolate plant is serving the three lines of cereal, cocoa and coffee production.

Posted on October 1, 2020