The Collaborative Automation Partner Program (CAPP) works with Strategic Partners around the world who provide essential components to our overall customer solutions.
This strong collaboration was demonstrated in a project with Mackmyra Svensk Whisky. The Mackmyra distillery is located next to one of the purest water sources in the world and utilizes this resource as one of their key marketing differentiators. To reach their production goal of 1.8 million bottles per year, they realized that they also wanted to ensure their production was environmentally safe and sustainable.
Mackmyra engaged Schneider Electric to build a solution for their new distillery with a focus on efficiency, environmental sensitivity, and safety. Schneider Electric brought in our Collaborative Automation Partner, Bihl&Weidemann, knowing their offers would help deliver the best solution for this customer.
Determining the correct level of automation was one the key challenges in this project. If the process was too automated, the ability to make critical last-minute manual adjustments would be lost. These adjustments are what give the Mackmyra whisky its special characteristics such as its unique color and texture. The automation solution needed to have the capacity to vary the different factors in the production process depending on the quality of the raw materials. The customer also wanted a solution that would enable the entire process to be observed. This meant visibility on not just one floor, but multiple floors within the distillery.
The local Schneider Electric team deployed a system to control the whole process, from the delivery of raw materials to the finished whisky. The process control system is based on EcoStruxure Plant (formerly known as PlantStruxure), Schneider Electric’s collaborative and integrated automation architecture for industrial and infrastructure applications, and would allow key staff at Mackmyra to observe the entire production process.
They could also run reports or show customers the factory regardless of their geographic location. Schneider Electric also bought the AS-i module from their CAPP Partner and industry expert Bihl+Weidemann which enhanced communication and helped transmit data.
This solution provides consistent communication between the processes, allowing for immediate adjustments. It detects if a raw material is depleted, causing the conveyor belt to shut down until the material can be refilled. This solution lowers the distillery’s energy consumption by up to 50% compared to their previous system. A SCADA system offers visibility and control over the entire process from the control room.
In addition, if operators are away from the control room, they are still able to monitor alarms using handheld devices and Magelis HMI screens. This significantly reduces the amount of system downtime.