To sustain production levels and remain competitive, packaging player Ardagh Glass embarked on upgrading the system that controls its glassmaking processes. ABB, together with Ardagh Glass personnel, collaborated on upgrading the batch control system of Ardagh Glass.
Dire dollars-and-cents consequences of downtime
Ardagh Glass’ process produces over three million glass containers a day, targeted for use in the food and beverages industry. Using recipe control, the batch control system controls the mixing and melting of ingredients to make glass.
For Nienburg-based Ardagh Glass, it has seen first-hand how malfunctions in the plant equipment have led to complete standstills. The system was so complex, largely due to the heterogeneous mix of third-party components, that staff were unable to troubleshoot the control system.
A change was due: Ardagh Glass’ Alexander Jochim and Marc Klussmeyer, the heads of batch processing and of automation engineering respectively, spearheaded the upgrade exercise.
New control solution by ABB Competence Center Glass
A team of experts from ABB and Ardagh Glass was formed to conduct an appraisal of the control assets. The Competence Center Glass of ABB Automation, under the leadership of Fred Kruse, worked closely with Ardagh Glass in crafting the control solution that will result in efficiencies while ensuring that the design specifications cover all phases of the process. The new system must be designed accurately to reproduce the process control.
ABB was undaunted as it has developed special functional blocks for applications in the glass industry. Further, it has provided customers with coordinated recipe and raw materials management with corresponding reports.