Case Study: Automating a Food Production Line







A food processing company relocated their Boil in Bag equipment to a new Canadian location from the US. The process line consisted of old equipment and technology. ONYX was called on to help plan the move and incorporate the equipment into an automated process with new controls and safety devices.







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The Problem

The equipment was in dire need of updates and required modifications to fit in the new space. The new process required additional hygienic equipment for product conveyance. The age and reliability of the equipment were concerns for the customer. The equipment did not have properly certified components and devices for their intended use. Obsolescence of the equipment, if breakdowns were to occur, introduced unnecessary uncertainty and risk for a system that required maximum up-time. Enhanced diagnostics for quick equipment setup and recovery were imperative to maintain the desired production numbers. Keeping their people safe was just as important and required modifications to meet current safety standards.

The Solution

ONYX Engineering provided complete electrical and controls design for the entire process line including integration into other systems in the plant. The Boil in Bag line was fitted with new PLCs, VFDs, Servos, HMIs, electrical and safety devices in new and existing panels. ONYX worked as a turn-key controls solution provider to meet all manufacturing demands throughout the project. New guarding and safety equipment were put in place. The new control system was completely re-programmed and installed to offer a new centralized user-friendly environment for operators and maintenance personnel to operate and service the line.

The Results

With the latest automation and controls in place the Boil in Bag line was successfully refurbished with production and quality rates that met and exceeded the manufacturing targets. New safety measures protected workers but also provided safe access to the equipment for quick setup and maintenance. The new motion and process controls designed with latest PLC controllers made machine movements smooth and precise extending the longevity and efficiency of the equipment. The new controls platform means that future enhancements to the line including visual factory and IOT can be more easily implemented.

Project Details



About 18 months




                    Client: 1                                                   

Onyx: 1 PM, 4 Engineers






Services Provided

Control engineering and design

Control panel fabrication

PLC/HMI programming

AutoCAD Electrical Documentation

Start-up and commisioning




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