Asset Management / Automation Fair / Optimization / Systems Integration

Ypé Uses PlantPAx, MES to Clean Up Production

Brazil-Based Detergent and Fabric Softener Maker Simplifies Operations Integration with SAP

By Jim Montague

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Close, simple and efficient integration of plant-floor controls and enterprise-level systems is much desired by many manufacturers, but too often it remains just a dream due to integration complexities and other obstacles.

Well, engineers and innovators at Ypé Quimica Amparo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, report they're living that dream at their new factory in Anapolis. The facility took just 12 months to build, is located about 600 miles north of its headquarters and produces liquid detergents and fabric softeners. Founded in 1950, Ypé also makes bar soap, powdered detergents, steel-wool pads, multi-surface cleaners and scrubbing sponges.

Ypé recently and successfully integrated the Anapolis plant's operations with its SAP-based enterprise system by implementing PlantPAx process automation systems with help from Iastech, a local system integrator and Rockwell Automation Solution Partner since the program was started in 1990. Iastech reports it has completed more than 1,800 projects in the life science, food and beverage, and chemical industries since it was founded.

"Our innovation department focuses on engineering Ypé's manufacturing execution system (MES), instrumentation, mechatronics and automation," said Cláudio Fernando de Jesus, Ypé's innovation manager. "We research and build new technological models; approach, integrate, facilitate and connect people to processes and equipment; research new technologies and techniques; carry out development projects; and look to the future to realize these dreams. In the department's 14 years, we've developed and built more than 200 projects, including 115 specialized machines and 10 factories. For the new plant in Anapolis, we needed a main core that integrated our MES and the plant's operation and centralized SCADA system. PlantPAx gave us an all-integrated solution that shortened our development time and gave us much better production."

De Jesus and Rafael Pezzella Chiea, Iastech's sales manager, presented "Cleaning Up Production with PlantPAx and MES" today at the Rockwell Automation Process Solutions User Group (PSUG) meeting in Anaheim, California. PSUG is being held before Automation Fair 2014 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Anapolis plant's MES manages its raw material storage, dishwashing liquid detergent and warehousing functions, while its SCADA system runs its utilities, liquid softener, IT and SAP tasks. The dishwashing liquid detergent and liquid softener areas consist of separate dosing units, mixer units, storage and filler lines, while its utilities area includes air, water treatment and steam equipment.

The factory's organizational levels include level 4 with its corporate management and SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Level 3 has the MES with its Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper V and five physical HP Proliant BL460C computers running Microsoft SQL Server, Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk and other software. Level 2 is occupied by automation processing functions, and level 1 is the plant floor.

"PlantPAx helps integrate all four of these levels," said de Jesus.

The plant also uses two ControlLogix 5562 PLCs for overall control, five CompactLogix L35E PLCs to automate its filling lines and a dozen PowerFlex 40 motion controllers to run its conveyors and other equipment. Plant-floor devices are networked with a combination of 10 DeviceNet networks and three ControlNet networks, while the upper-level enterprise systems are networked with Ethernet. The facility's total I/O count consists of 1,032 digital inputs, 792 digital outputs, 92 analog inputs, 160 analog inputs running HART and 60 analog outputs.

"We also use FactoryTalk View Site Edition Server 100 Display with RSLinx and 11 clients," added de Jesus. "This lets us view screen shots of our liquid detergent preparations, storage tank, demineralized water, integrated filler lines and other processes, quickly generate production and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) reports, and even view them on our smart phones. And our close integration between MES and controls means we can view and take orders right from SAP, immediately input them right into the production system and discharge the raw materials needed to produce them. PlantPAx's full integration with SAP means greater system reliability and better control over our orders and production. It made it possible for our dream to become real."