FFiL. Śnieżka S.A. is a leading producer of paints and varnishes on the Central European market, producing 140 million liters of construction chemicals annually. Thanks to many years of experience in the industry, innovation and a well-established position, Śnieżka offers high-quality products that meet the highest standards. Its production in Poland is concentrated in three branches: Brzeźnica, Lubzin and Pustków.
The scope of the project
The task was to prepare a comprehensive design of the control system for the newly built technological line of water-based paints at the P4 Department in Lubzina with the usage of the InBatch batch production system.
The project itself included the implementation of electrical diagrams, configuration of servers and production computers, implementation of the Siemens S7-1500 PLC controller software and SCADA system with reporting and implementation of the solution on site.
Challenges, the course of the project implementation
Due to the fact that the products of the plant are, among others the highest quality paints, such as: Magnat Ceramic, Magnat Creative, Barwy Natury or Śnieżka Plamproof, the bar was set high. Particular attention had to be paid to the quality of manufactured products, taking into account the applicable safety standards and quality requirements.
Succesful cooperation and dialogue with the client turned out to be the key elements during the implementation. The changes were tested on a production process simulator (digital twin of the implemented system), which enables a simple and quick way to test the correctness of the proposed solution without physical devices, long before its implementation in the facility.
In addition, FAT tests (Factory Acceptance Test) and training for technologists and operators in the field of system operation, conducted on a simulator in our company’s office, allowed to shorten the time needed for the subsequent implementation of the system at the client’s. It also allowed for faster access to the process validation stage, which significantly shortened the investment implementation time.
In our solution, we used the latest generation Siemens S7-1500 safety controllers, namely the S7-1516F-3PN / DP and S7-1518F-4PN / DP CPUs. All this with a view to ensuring speed in operation and maintaining the highest standards.
• more than 120 tanks, of which 50 are production operations,
• over 2,300 physical objects: valves, sensors, motors, etc.,
• over 1060 process and transfer phases used directly in Batch Management,
• over 100 control modules that continuously manage the key elements of the technological process,
• almost 200 transfer sequences,
• over 3,300 system configuration parameters.
Over 1,100 blockades ensure system’s security including:
• over 840 interlocks (pressure monitors, local safety elements, tank levels, valve states, communication failures,
• over 340 process blocks resulting from technological assumptions, operators’ decisions, etc.,
• over 120 types of alarms defined for all devices, appropriately assigned, for a total of 13,000 alarms.
MS SQL and MS Access databases were used to handle the variables.
The usage of Batch Management software allowed to optimize the production process. Thanks to the management system recipe a precise mechanism was obtained, in which the quality of the finished product is at a very high level and its repeatability is independent of the human factor.
The batch production system manages the tank allocation mechanism deciding automatically on which devices theoperations for individual orders can be performed. Free resources are used immediately by other pending production orders.
Product recipes are created by the customer’s technologists. The formulation system enables the flexible usage of over 1000 configurable phases. Thanks to this, introducing new products into production is relatively simple and quick as it is based on existing, fully scalable elements.
The project involved using the full potential of the production line, minimizing the impact of human errors and mistakes on the process. The implemented system is not only easy to use but also fast, highly automated, ideal for obtaining the highest and repeatable quality of production as well as able for a quick change in the product’s portfolio.
Benefits / Summary
Thanks to the introduction of an integrated batch production system, the time to market a new product has decreased by up to 25%, all thanks to the optimization of the production process. By releasing the production tank, the system makes it possible to reserve it for the next order immediately. Along with the automatic system for dosing raw materials during the production route, the time of producing a single batch base – about 10,000 liters of product, was reduced from 8h to 6h.
The production time has been shortened and the allocation of tanks has been optimized, thus increasing the number of manufactured products.
The formulation system allows us to obtain products at the same and equally high quality level.
Thanks to the reporting and archiving system, it is possible to analyze data and to present it in a user-friendly form, all being available from the operator’s station.