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Glass Industry News

Entering new territory - Glass producer modernizes facilities with end-to-end automation from Siemens

Gallo Glass (Gallo) based in Modesto in California is part of the family company Gallo, a very important wine producer in the US. When the time came to modernize its in-house glass bottle production, Gallo opted to install a suitable automation system which includes components from Siemens for the first time. The new solution, which is based on the Simatic PCS 7 process control system, has significantly reduced the workload for operating staff and improved flexibility while enhancing operating reliability.

Sustainably produced glass bottles for all kinds of wines and spirits – the product portfolio of US American glass manufacturer Gallo Glass (Gallo) is clearly defined. To allow it to go on complying with customer expectations in terms of quality and flexibility, Gallo decided to invest in extensive modernization of the production facilities at its headquarters in Modesto, California. It commissioned EME Maschinenfabrik Clasen GmbH (EME) to implement the work. The challenge: The upgrade had to be accomplished without disrupting day-to-day operation. To achieve plant-wide automation, EME opted to use the Simatic PCS 7 process control system and Siwarex weighing modules from Siemens. Gallo had never used either of these solutions in its facilities previously.

 

Greater flexibility, reliability and efficiency

In concrete terms, the work involved upgrading the batch plant and parts of the cullet return system used in the glass bottle production facility. This posed a major challenge, as there are different combinations and possible transportation routes that the batch can follow on its way to the melting tanks. Prior to the modernization, the total of four melting tanks were supplied by two batch plants, which were each assigned to a specific melting tank. Operating both these plants consequently meant a relatively high deployment of staff. The new solution provides significant improvements here: Firstly, by enabling a fully redundant design of the entire system – weighing, mixing and transport to the tanks – including the control system. And secondly, by allowing the weighing applications to be integrated into the automation system by means of the Siwarex U and Siwarex FTC weighing modules. As a result, not only has the workload for operating staff has been significantly reduced, but the operating reliability of the Gallo facility has also been improved.

 

Engineering optimized by simulation

Use of the Simatic PCS 7 and Siwarex were not the only firsts for Gallo in this modernization project: The glass manufacturer had also never used the Simit simulation software before: “The Gallo Glass plant is so complex that Simit was essential for us for conducting tests and evaluations. It optimized our engineering and substantially shortened the commissioning time,” says Roger Knüttel, Control Engineering Department Manager at EME: “Simit allows us to test and commission our plants in advance without any kind of mechanical or electrical hardware. Any errors are discovered and worked around, decisively reducing the actual commissioning time on site.” This enables the time for the project engineering phase to be reduced to around one third.

 

Captions

To modernize its plants without disrupting normal operation, Gallo Glass relies on an end-to-end automation solution from Siemens. The new solution encompasses a redundant design of the entire system and integration of weighing applications into the automation system using the Siwarex U and Siwarex FTC weighing modules. When upgrading its facilities, Gallo Glass in the USA opted to use the plant-wide automation concept from Siemens for the first time.

12.10.2017, E.&J. Gallo Winery

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