Once all beets are processed, work doesn’t stop at Frauenfeld . “Outside the beet processing time, the control system is needed for the delivery of sugar from our huge silos or their packaging,” explains Fritz Aeberhardt, Group Manager PLS / Electrical Planning at the Frauenfeld plant. So this was an important constraint, as the plant was required to operate normally during the entire upgrade period. Switching to version 6.0 had to be realized with a minimum shutdown time, programming and application adjustments on site were allowed to be interrupted for maximum one week.
Libraries and graphics of System 800xA 5.0 applications were using VisualBasic, no longer supported by the new Microsoft operating system. Therefore the migration to 6.0 software also meant that all the existing libraries and process graphics had to be replaced or recreated. “That was a total of around 170 graphics," says Aeberhardt.
ABB partner Kundert Automation in Schlieren, performing the migration, first built up a version 6.0 engineering system. After it was installed and tested in 2015, Swiss Sugar technicians created new graphics on PG2 using the new engineering system. Since several old DCI controllers were replaced with AC800M, the respective applications had to be recreated. This especially makes sense if at the same time larger extensions to the system must be made.
The final conversion took place in May 2016. For this purpose, a time frame of three weeks was defined, during which no engineering enhancements could be made to the existing system. After all the hardware had been renewed, the installation of the new System 800xA server was done on virtualized systems. This reduced the number of servers from 16 to 5. The licenses of the system could be adopted and updated within the framework of the existing Automation Sentinel contract. The 40 client workstations were also renewed and replaced by Windows 8 clients with dual screens.