Implementation of the latest generation DCS automation platform, Siemens PCS7, batch and MES.
Project management & consultancy project
The Cargill plant in Wormer (the Netherlands) produces cacao powder and cacao butter that is used by chocolate producers and candy makers. Until recently, the plant was automated with a DCS system from the 1980s. Because of its age, this system was not upgradable, but had to be replaced by a new state-of-the-art DCS automation platform from Siemens, PCS7, batch and MES.
The challange: replace the heart of the plant with a minimal number of shutdowns and without loss of productivity during a multi year project.
For an automation project of this magnitude, the Cargill local engineering team decided to combine their own expertise with AG Solution’s technical skills and project management know-how for a period of 30 months.
Initially – during the pre-engineering phase of the project – AG Solution was engaged for project management and consultancy. “AG Solution has a lot of expertise and experience in the field of industrial automation processes,” says Wodan Alofs, one of the Cargill engineers. “In addition, they were prepared to coordinate and supervise the entire project. From their project management and consultancy role, they helped our own staff to automate as efficiently as possible, and to prevent situations that would have slowed or stopped our production.”
AG Solution took responsibility for the E&A management of this project and deployed a team of 2 people, coupling the specific experience of a project manager with the expertise of a senior project engineer. The senior project manager contributed his experience with more difficult migration projects, supervising software quality, instrumentation, coordinating the project flow and planning between a customer and third parties, and his knowledge in the areas of risk management and financial management. In addition, his colleague – the senior project engineer – brought experience in general project management, software development and ICT network services, and he understood the practical aspects of implementation.
“That was a formula for success,” continues Wodan. “We were 100% satisfied with AG Solution’s approach. So satisfied that we ultimately entrusted the second phase to them as well: the actual realization of the project. Whereas AG Solution at first sat on our side of the table, they now sat on the supplier’s side too – a bit of a double role, as it were. But that shows how much confidence we have in them. And rightly so, because they completed the project within budget and within the agreed timing.”