Mixer Bowl Batching System Upgrade

A customer asked Sterling Systems to analyze their existing batching system and do a mixer bowl batching system upgrade. This resulted in offering upgrades to reduce manual handling of batches, eliminate equipment and increase production.

The original system to be modified was supplied by Sterling Systems in the mid 1990’s, old and well used. An updated design was proposed to increase batch size by 10 times in order to reduce number of mixes for the customer, and to reduce handling of small mixer bowls and the associated conveyor equipment to move bowls and the mixers. The new/upgraded system would also replace scaling
equipment for both dry and liquid ingredients, including scales and liquid meters as well.  The batching control system was updated to include formulation, inventory, lot tracking and data acquisition.

The customer in this situation had goals for their mixer bowl batching system upgrade to also:
– reduce cleaning
– reduce maintenance
– have mixer bowl in a single location for batching
– create best configuration stack-up of equipment for optimal processing
– eliminate existing equipment stack-up
– have oil and starter metered directly into the mixer bowl rather than being weighed and discharged
– include new water meter
– size scales for flour based upon larger formula
– size scale for sugar based upon larger formula
– salt and potato flake supply bins with low level indicators, vibratory feeder, scale hopper w/ gate
– automation for flour and sugar pneumatic conveying systems (reuses existing equipment)

Process controls considerations included:
– update PLC panel to Allen Bradley PLC and current technology of weight instruments
– upgrade four (4) weight instruments (flour, sugar, salt & potato flake)
– add a local control panel to the equipment frame with remote I/O; eliminate wiring between panels
update PC to Windows 7 software
– all devices will be on Ethernet (PLC, PC, weight instrument, etc.)
– reuse existing motor starter panel; maintain hard wiring between PLC and motor starter panels
– airlocks will be on VFD’s

Sterling Systems & Controls supply for this mixer bowl batching system upgrade project included:
* Transistions
* Airlocks
* Chutes
* Scale Hoppers (flour, sugar)
* Starter liquid flowmeter
* Oil liquid flowmeter
* Water liquid flowmeter
* Use bin and scale hopper support frames
* Salt system including bin, low level probe, feeder, scale hopper, load cell, gate valve
* Potato flake system including bin, low level probe, feeder, scale hopper, load cell, gate valve
* Batching System software upgrade, new back panels, PLC, operator interface and others
* Adds to existing motor starter control panel
* New remote equipment control panel with weight instruments for new scale hoppers and other
* Complete engineering services including onsite and remote commissioning and support

SSCI .Net Software Replaces Legacy Software for Mixer Bowl Batching System Upgrade
Upgrade Software SSCI .Net Software – Modified Stackup