Our customer Cargill makes a specific promise to its customers and ultimately to end users. The wording is as follows: Cargill is committed to helping the world develop and grow. The company focuses on creating and maintaining a network within the global food system. What does this network look like? Stakeholders like the farmers in this network are linked to markets and customers to create sustainable food solutions. Producers, manufacturers, retailers and governments also have a role in this. Cargill’s goal is to feed the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.

Cargill is a global organisation. The company has been active here since 1959 and currently operates from 11 sites in the Netherlands. In the past, Cargill operated mainly as a trading company. Today’s organisation is a key player in the production of food ingredients (agricultural products), which it processes, distributes and markets.

The customer's requirements

To keep production running smoothly, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, a business unit based in Wormer, asked DWG to replace Siemens S5 hardware components at various points in the factory. This reflected a desire to ensure continuity of the inputs and outputs from mutually dependent systems, and ultimately maximise the reliability of the total production process. In our role as System Integrator, we set up a migration approach for the transition from outdated systems to new systems.

What are the key characteristics of a good migration?

The objectives are clear: a migration should increase the efficiency and availability of an automated plant and extend its useful life. There are two possible migration roadmaps. You either update installations by upgrading obsolete parts or you replace parts. This may involve one or several components within the automation systems. In the case of Cargill, the migration work involved replacing hardware.

A PLC has a technical life of about 15 years. However, because system vendors continuously invest in further development of their PLC solutions, the economic life of a PLC in practice is shorter than the technical life. Partly because of this, some types of system are phased out after a certain period. On the other hand, many old S5 systems, which were developed in the 1980s, are still in use. These systems continue to run in production environments because they can be maintained with parts that are still readily available.

The implementation for Cargill

The existing cables and wiring remained in use for this migration. An in-house Cargill team carried out the basic engineering. All their findings were shared with DWG. DWG always stands alongside the customer in a united approach. Why? Because we enjoy our work even more when we work closely and smoothly with our customer. In addition, when working with customers who have the resources for handling engineering work in-house, we are always prepared to give (unsolicited) advice. This has the positive benefit of ensuring continuity and guarantees the continued effectiveness of our customer’s business model.

United interdisciplinary approach

This migration assignment called for collaboration between multiple areas of expertise within DWG: Electrical, Industrial Automation and Project Management were all involved.

To make the migration a success, our hardware engineers installed the new remote IOs and converters. An IO crosscheck for both hardware and software was performed and extensive testing was done to ensure that the inputs and outputs were working properly. Then, before the new system was commissioned, we performed an FAT. In the end, just over 860 I/O signals were successfully migrated in 16 hours. This is another great example of smooth collaboration, both internally and with the customer, that resulted in successful completion within the specified time. Are you also interested in what DWG can do for you? Contact us and experience the joy of working with DWG!

Our customer's experience

“This job was our first joint assignment with DWG and a great way of getting to know them. We contacted DWG for a competitive quote for this PCS7 migration job and their offer was so attractive that we decided to award them the order. DWG adopted an extremely professional approach (project management), which immediately gave us confidence. Although the assignment was not particularly complicated, the PCS7 programmer assigned to us made a very good impression on me and had everything under control. And when a serious issue unexpectedly surfaced during commissioning, he was able to resolve it quickly and practically. All in all, a successful first project!”

Ruud Mosk, Automation Supervisor AEI, Cargill

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