adi Group has completed a full turnkey control system upgrade at the Mondelez, Daim factory in Stockholm, meeting an ambitious 4-week plant shutdown to ensure uninterrupted supply.
Built in 1993, the Daim factory produces 900 million chocolate bars each year, which are distributed across the world. Following more than 20 years of production at its 90,000 sq metre site in Stockholm, the company took the decision to completely overhaul its production automation system, in order to meet growing global consumer demand, as well as providing Daim production with greater manufacturing flexibility.
Daim manufacturing consists of two separate production lines which provide simultaneous size variation. A raw ingredients system feeds in to dedicated cooking plants with a common Cleaning In Place (CIP) system with the plant effectively running as a continuous batch process; all controlled and monitored from a central control system.
Given the high plant utilisation and the age of the plant control system, production was faced with a host of inefficiencies, leading the company to search for a solution that would ensure reliable and enhanced supply of the Daim product across its global network.
Daim commissioned adi Group to provide the business with a number of potential upgrade options, including a complete electrical, control and software re-write as an option, which would see the entire legacy control system including all control panels replaced and the entire process operational interface streamlined.
A crucial requirement for the company was to remodel the automation process in to the International S88 Batch Standard. This would provide a common method of defining the process plant in automation terms, to give greater consistency across the plant processes. The S88 standard also provides a suitable platform for the new Wireless based Track & Trace system which tracks raw ingredients through to finished product. Considerable manual effort will be reduced and the automated Batch Reporting will further improve efficiency and provide reliable product traceability.
Over a period of 9 months leading up to the planned 4-week shutdown period, adi Group re-defined the functionality, wrote the new software, designed and built a suite of replacement control panels and took advantage of the latest available technology to remodel the control philosophy and architecture.
Supply of spare parts
Lars Rörström, business development and engineering, from Daim comments: “The hardware that we had in place was becoming increasingly costly to maintain and the supply of spare parts had also become an issue, as many of the components were no longer supported by our previous supplier.
“The system had essentially become unreliable, often resulting in unexpected downtime and the risk of a major breakdown that could completely stop production, was one that the business could not take, especially at a time of product and market diversification. In addition, the old system was inflexible; preventing us from making any recipe improvements and also stopping us from adjusting process parameters to support on-going product development initiatives.”
The approach provided by adi Group and eventually chosen by Mondelez was based on a direct exchange of the old control panels for new, thus enabling existing field cabling to be re-utilised as necessary without time consuming re-laying of cables and avoiding unnecessary downtime. The new technology architecture meant that many cables could be rendered obsolete and therefore considerable termination time was saved during the shutdown which all helped to ensure the ambitious shutdown window was maintained.
High demand for the product meant that the planned stoppage time could not be exceeded without directly affecting deliveries to Daim’s customers. In addition to the careful design and planning undertaken to help streamline the installation effort during the shutdown, adi’s system underwent extensive testing to make certain that it was fit for purpose and could be commissioned with a high degree of confidence that when the time came to start up, the plant operated as seamlessly as possible.
Furthermore, to maximise production efficiency post start up, it was imperative that Daim’s staff were also trained prior to installation. Line operators were given the chance to work with the new system and hone their skills in a simulated environment, ready for when the system went live.
The replacement of the entire control system was completed within the 4-week shutdown window and early production results are showing an overall increase in production efficiency at the Daim production process.
Further to this, adi Group now offers on-going support to Mondelez through a servicing and maintenance contract, which includes remote technical support if and when necessary.
Lars Rörström, adds: “Due to the detailed planning and dedicated work from everyone on the team, installation and commissioning was delivered according to plan across the four week shutdown. We were pleased to see that our production output for the first production week was far above what we expected. With such a short time scale, it was essential for us to work with engineers that were efficient, reliable and highly skilled and the smooth install and excellent solution is testament to the team at adi.”
Harry Booker, managing director for automation at adi Group comments: “Working with Daim on this upgrade project has been a very rewarding experience for all concerned. We worked closely with our Mondelez colleagues as well as our technology partners in Germany, to adhere to the stringent deadline. We developed innovative solutions that all parties committed to. The result has been a great success for what has been a challenging project. The S88 model approach and methods we deployed during the early design phases reaped benefit during the testing and validation stages, and will offer improved flexibility for the future. The integrated team approach assisted mutual understanding and the building of good working relationships, minimising the final handover process - – and at the end of the day the Daim bars taste just as good now as they did before. We couldn’t have hoped for better than that!”
To learn more about control system upgrades and other engineering projects, please visit www.adiltd.co.uk.