Mitigating risk to control systems from unsupported PLC hardware
Ardagh operates a high volume canning facility in Hastings. We were required to deliver the replacement of hardware, develop software and install the system within a tight time frame.
The particular challenge for this project was upgrading three lines, each with 2000 I/O points. Production logistics required scheduled shut downs so lines could be upgraded one at a time. The narrow time frame still presented a loss to schedule running into tens of millions of cans. The upgrade had to work. There was no time or opportunity to rectify mistakes.
The CR Solution
This upgrade was a big test of engineering capability and ability to manage complex projects. We performed a thorough investigation into the existing control system, determined the functional description and developed software for every machine on the line. Extensive consultation with production engineering and line production staff was key to making the project a success.
The solution was applied over nine days and worked to specifications. We also future-proofed the control system, significantly reducing risk to the operation. We improved the operating diagnostics, enabling operators to identify faults and efficiency issues. Production throughout also improved as a result of optimising line control.