Freelance DCS Freelance breaks into glassmaking business with Ardagh Glass upgrade

The control solution helped to result in efficiencies while ensuring that the design specifications cover all phases of the process

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.

Main facts

Industry Cement and Glass
Customer Ardagh Glass GmbH
Country Germany

Freelance DCS with:

Life Cycle Index to achive maximum performance

System integrator
ABB Competence Center Glass

Maximum automation with minimum engineering

The Freelance DCS was identified as the ideal solution for the batch control system upgrade of Ardagh Glass. Freelance provides ease of engineering with Control Builder F – the one tool needed for hardware and software configuration. For Ardagh Glass, this means its existing I/O channels that contain modules from a third-party manufacturer are retained.

With the Freelance Operations, Freelance provides Ardagh Glass staff the visualization and intervention capabilities to track and operate the entire system. This lessens the likelihood of faults as the full sequence flows are visible and accessible to Ardagh Glass plant operators. Another feature of Freelance is the use of one software setup for the entire system, including Engineering Station, Operator Station and Controller Emulator.

With Freelance, it is easy for Ardagh Glass to install, learn and, ultimately, master the control system.

Fred Kruse, ABB Automation GmbH, Competence Center Glass
The library of function blocks for the glass industry helps to efficiently create solutions with the Freelance DCS.
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