Enterprise SCADA Gives New Zealand Meat Producer Standardized Control
Tamaki Control Limited — 2023 Finalist10 min video / 6 minute read
ANZCO had a critical requirement to modernize and standardize the control systems across its sites. While some of the existing SCADA systems were outdated and unsupported, others were not standardized, leading to inconsistencies and inefficiencies. ANZCO needed a seamless solution that could replace the outdated systems, standardize the entire control system, and provide a framework for new applications. The solution also had to be comprehensive, user-friendly, and forward-thinking, due to an OT strategy that aimed to ensure:
- People have access to the right information and control where and when they need it, to safely and effectively operate, repair, or maintain equipment.
- Data provides visibility into the true operational status, condition, and efficiency of plant assets, and is acquired, stored, and analyzed to drive increased business value.
After evaluating various options, ANZCO identified Ignition's Perspective Module as the ideal solution for its needs. It chose the Perspective Module in order to provide a standardized control system framework that could support existing applications without requiring changes to the PLC code.
Adopting Ignition as an enterprise-wide platform required upgrading all existing Ignition SCADA systems to version 8.1 and re-engineering them to work with a common database system in Microsoft SQL Server. This involved consolidating pre-existing solutions from different automation engineers and harmonizing them to function cohesively. ANZCO successfully addressed this requirement to achieve its goal of a modern, efficient, and standardized control system.
The project presented a multitude of challenges, including the development of a comprehensive library of Perspective views for symbols, pop-ups, navigation, and piping. Given the versatility of the Perspective platform, Tamaki Control had to carefully balance performance, reliability, functionality, alarming, security, and responsive displays, while also ensuring stylistic consistency across 10 different sites.
Moreover, the Perspective components had to be compatible with varying tag data types inherited from existing structures. To minimize symbol and component variations and make engineering more straightforward, Tamaki Control needed to design Ignition UDTs that could work across multiple component views without compromising performance.
The project also entailed dealing with varying hardware resolutions throughout different plants, while also ensuring that the application could be accessed on mobile devices with responsive designs. The challenge was to develop a UI that could adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions without sacrificing functionality or performance.
Stylistic consistency proved to be another significant challenge, as different plants had varying color preferences, even when adhering to Abnormal Situation Management standards. Tamaki Control had to find ways to accommodate different preferences while still ensuring consistency in its approach.
The upgrade from Ignition 7.9 to 8.1 presented its own set of challenges, as the plants could not afford to stop running during the transition. Moreover, migrating years of historian data from Postgres to MSSQL needed to be done quickly and efficiently to avoid disruptions.
Finally, integrating Ignition with ANZCO's ERP system CloudSuite via REST API and developing an operator interface to interact with manufacturing orders posed several challenges. One of the challenges was the need for a label management system capable of importing, storing, and parameterizing label templates from BarTender. ANZCO needed full control over label template versions and to test label designs easily, with the ability to revert to previous versions.
To overcome the project's challenges, Tamaki Control utilized Perspective to its full potential by creating lightweight SVG graphics that formed the foundation for the symbols. The CSS system and Perspective styles were the sole sources of all colors and styling used, with strong colors and blinking employed to indicate alarm priority and status. The pop-ups, designed to work seamlessly on both desktop and mobile devices, utilized the carousel component to access additional information for each device. Browser developer tools were used to optimize performance when required.
To reduce the number of symbol components required, Ignition's UDTs were designed to work with various PLC data structures using tag inheritance and overrides. Tamaki Control leveraged Perspective's tag-drop feature to establish an association between UDTs and symbol components.
To ensure device-based access control, Tamaki Control designed a security system that used Ignition's identity providers, with roles and areas governing access levels at the tag level, and optionally at the component level. The areas also propagated through to the alarm banner filtering system, and the security accounts were integrated into ANZCO's enterprise-wide Active Directory.
The Perspective theme system accommodated different user preferences via different themes. The new themes were additive to the standard themes, ensuring any future upgrades are catered for.
A standard Perspective layout was designed that could accommodate different resolutions by utilizing docks around the screen's edges. The layout featured a navigation menu and a sidebar that displayed critical data.
To integrate with ANZCO's ERP system, Tamaki Control utilized the WebDev Module to create the API endpoints, while Ignition's SFCs provided a structured sequence for operator interaction and code execution. Tamaki employed Ignition's Python scripting and database connectivity to create a reliable and user-friendly label management system and printing driver.
The outcome of the project was an innovative and sophisticated Perspective framework that enabled operators to visualize their plant with precision and securely access any device or control point. This ensured all device instances could utilize their full potential and more by providing complete functionality of a broad range of features.
The SCADA engineers utilized the tag-drop feature, which enabled seamless tag integration into any view with the option of selecting the appropriate component, thus streamlining the development process. Moreover, the collection of pre-built bespoke inanimate plant equipment, such as vessels, conveyors, and heat exchangers, could be easily resized and modified. With the pipe tool, engineers could draw lines, and the theme system enabled color selection based on variables like water, product, steam, and more.
By upgrading all gateways to 8.1 and connecting them via the Gateway Network, ANZCO gained centralized visibility and control over its sites through the Enterprise Administration Module. This allowed Perspective projects to be launched from anywhere on the ANZCO network, subject to security protocols. As a result, this broadened the user base beyond just the operators to include managers, supervisors, engineers, and analysts, all of whom could now contribute to the support and continuous improvement of the plant.
The project inheritance feature was leveraged to separate standard from site-specific components, which let governing engineers easily deploy the standard project from one site to another. ANZCO users can access the SCADA system from an iPad using the native Perspective iOS app at one of its grain tempering and milling plants. The integration of Ignition's ERP solution was a crucial component of ANZCO's manufacturing operation.
The ability of the Perspective framework, developed to operate without modification on both 32” monitors and iPads, meets the strategic objective of having the right information and control where and when people need it. Additionally, the combination of Ignition’s historian using each site’s on-premises SQL Server, and the Tag Splitter Module sending the data to a central enterprise Canary historian, is integral to ANZCO’s goal of being a data-driven organization. Brian Ingham, ANZCO’s Operational Technology Manager, believes this is a foundational and transformative project that will underpin ongoing business value.
Deploy Date: March 2023
Tags: 220,000 across 10 gateways
Screens: 100+ screens
Clients: 25 fixed Workstations plus many browser-based
Devices used: 10 Sites, 3-30 AB PLCs on each site. Various Modbus scales and power meters as well as ethernet IP labellers and scanners
Architectures used: Enterprise
Databases used: Microsoft SQL
Historical data logged: Most tags are logged in Ignition and pushed to Canary
Created By: Tamaki Control Limited
Tamaki Control is a leading provider of advanced control systems for industrial applications. With a reputation for innovation and reliability, Tamaki Control offers a wide range of customizable solutions designed to optimize performance, increase efficiency, and improve safety in various industries, including food & beverage, manufacturing, and energy. Their expertise in control systems, combined with their commitment to customer satisfaction, makes Tamaki Control a trusted partner for businesses seeking cutting-edge solutions to enhance their operations.
Project For: ANZCO Food Limited
ANZCO Foods Limited ANZCO Foods is a global food company that specializes in the production and export of premium meat products. With a history spanning over 30 years, ANZCO Foods is known for its high-quality beef and lamb, sourced from trusted farmers in New Zealand. The company operates state-of-the-art processing facilities and has a strong commitment to sustainability, animal welfare, and food safety. ANZCO Foods serves customers in over 80 countries worldwide and is recognized as a leading player in the international meat industry.