Large Plant Sees Numerous Improvements from Switch to Ignition

3 min video  /  2 minute read

Project Overview

The purpose of this project was to swap out the site’s previous SCADA system with Ignition. The site previously used 23 servers to run its SCADA system; the Ignition system now uses four. The site previously ran on Windows, but as a part of this upgrade the SCADA system (servers and clients) is exclusively running on Linux. This has provided a lot of flexibility to tailor the system architecture to the site’s needs.

The total licensing savings from this upgrade will result in a three-year ROI on the project.

There were a lot of improvements made to the SCADA system as a result of this project. The site previously stored 14,000 tags in history. After the installation of Ignition, 180,000 tags are being historized. This amounts to 80 million rows of history stored daily.

Every shape on the screen can be trended by right-clicking on it and selecting “add to trend.” All the HMI screens can be replayed using the Plant Replay module developed by Tamaki. Alarming and auditing information, though previously stored, was difficult to extract and interrogate before Ignition. Within weeks of the installation, production teams were tracking down and solving process issues with data that had been previously unavailable.

Now with Ignition, Southwest Cheese is using SQL databases to record externally measured process information that was previously unavailable to the control system. This has enabled real-time batch visualization, aggregated statistics, and relational measurements to production teams. Southwest Cheese is planning future projects to further integrate other disparate systems into one unified plant information system which will help simplify work done by the controls team and provide further savings by removing licensing costs of other applications.

Southwest Cheese is planning a $150 million expansion that will push the plant to process 15 million pounds of milk per day — and will use the current Ignition infrastructure in that expansion.

Project Information

Created By:   Tamaki Control

Tamaki Control is an industrial control systems integration company that loves to make factories more productive by providing informative automation solutions using PLCs, SCADA, and MES. With branches in the United States, Ireland, the U.K. and New Zealand, Tamaki creates value for customers by making factories easy to operate, easy to troubleshoot, and easy to tweak for process optimization. Tamaki provides services in a wide range of industries including food processing, manufacturing, power generation, and waste water.


Project For:   Southwest Cheese Company

Southwest Cheese Company LLC is one of the largest and most successful cheese and whey protein manufacturers in the world. Southwest Cheese has grown to become a leading manufacturer of nutritious cheese and whey protein ingredients that help feed the world. Its customers are among the top global food processing companies, receiving the highest quality, best-value dairy products available in the dairy industry today. Southwest Cheese processes over 12 million pounds of milk daily, and produces in excess of 388 million pounds of superior block cheese and 29.1 million pounds of high value-added whey proteins powders each year. Its facility generates sales in national and international markets and employs a first-rate workforce of over 300 employees.

Posted on October 1, 2016